Okay, he’s from Hogtown and has never lived here for an extended period, but don’t hold that against K. Trevor Wilson. Admittedly, the name sounds more like something befitting a bank president, but Wilson is one hysterically deadpan dude. No surprise that he won this year’s Just for Laughs Festival Homegrown Comic Competition. Much more of a surprise – considering his heft – is that he’s a former Men’s 18-and-Under Canadian Platform Tennis Doubles Champion. Seriously. Plus, he’s a two-time winner of the Toronto Comedy Brawl – due to his wit and not his heft. Then again, his heft does account for much of his humour: “I discovered the only way not to stain my clothes when I’m eating is to eat naked … which can be a bit of a problem at the Olive Garden.” Wilson notes that he was born into a family of scientists: “Christian Scientists. But they don’t believe much in medicine. That’s why most are dead now.” He has appeared on AE’s Breakout Kings and Showcase’s Billable Hours. Wilson flies into the Comedy Nest, 2313 Ste. Catherine St. W., Thursday to Saturday. He will be fully clothed. Call 514-932-6378.
Party hats are in order, Sunday at the Comedyworks. BOOM celebrates its fifth birthday. BOOM refers to the best of the monthly Open Mic performers at the Works. Mondays are Open Mic nights at the club, and those deemed to be the funniest get to duke it out on stage once a month for a weekend spot at the club. This has become one of the city’s prime showcases for up-and-coming anglo comics. This Sunday’s BOOM will be devoted to the best Open Mic performers from the last year. There will be cake, and there will be the ubiquitous and witty Eman presiding over festivities. And there will be special guests and judges, too. Admission is 10 bucks. But for a mere five bucks, Comedyworks patrons can take in one of the town’s wildest, Mike Paterson, every Tuesday night at the Works. Meanwhile, the Summer Sizzle series continues at the club, Thursday to Saturday, with Just for Laughs fest vet Rodney Ramsey as emcee. Call 514-398-9661.
No surprise that Phyllis Diller died Monday, at 95, with a smile on her face. Fitting. She put countless smiles on the faces of her legion of fans. Her agent called her the “first lady of stand-up, who paved the way for everybody.” True. But she was more than a pioneer for women in comedy. She was a pioneer, pure and simple. She was 37 and the mother of five when her husband encouraged her to try her luck at comedy. That took guts in an era – the mid-1950s – when comics were considered as subversive as Commies in some parts of the U.S. But the ever-self-deprecating Diller – with the coif that wouldn’t quit – never looked back.