Published Sep 29, 2016Mark Forward is angry — and it's awesome. For many at the Toronto comic's JFL42 set, we're in on it right away. As he points out, "I'm really good," and at this festival, he's seen a lot of "shit crowds like you!" He angrily, sarcastically hopes he can give us all something to discuss on Facebook.
Oh, the things we buzz about on social media. Remember that homeless guy that could beautifully play the piano? Perfect example, and Forward is quick to point out, that we don't "share regular piano players. What about Kevin from Saskatchewan?" And that homeless guy? You don't learn to play on the street. This guy has hit rock bottom: "Poor people do not have pianos!"
Next, he imitates Jesus with an effeminate lisp, because some people think dogs go to heaven — so by that logic, so do bears. "Bears… Bears… gather round." He then snaps at the crowd: "You're upset that Jesus is gay? I can just see the reviews now. My review? Crowd was shit."
Forward giggles as he delivers jokes and it's part of the charm. It's ballsy stuff, and he knows it — especially in a climate many comedians believe to be overly correct. Audiences are selective about it, too: "You'll laugh until I make fun of you."
But it's not all anger. The set is sprinkled with with absurdity too. There's a bit from a "Fringe Show" he's working on with a bumblebee; he takes out a banjo and strums it, but we're not going to hear a song ("I don't give a fuck what you think — if that's alright with you"); he seats himself on a stool, says he wants to "bring it down a little bit" and tells us we're a great crowd by singing Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better."
And for his fans out there, he finishes up with a one-man play called Fancy Hats. It's not a "tight" set, per se — it's chaotic, weird and abrasive. Stay angry, Mark. You wear it well.