Arts & Entertainment, Comedy

Spotlight: “The Nasty Show” at Just for Laughs

Just for Laughs’ annual Nasty Show will return to the MTELUS Theatre from July 17 to 27, with a full bill of raunchy, envelope-pushing, and hilarious acts. The McGill Tribune compiled some highlights-to-be from the upcoming show. 

Bonnie McFarlane

Gabe Nisker, Features Editor

Bonnie McFarlane knows that nut allergies are dangerous: When she performed a joke about escaping her marriage by causing an allergic reaction in her husband on a late-night show, she earned the attention of many allergy-affected families.

“They kept saying, you know, nut allergies are very serious,” McFarlane said in an interview with The McGill Tribune.. “And my response is, yes, that’s why I used it that way in that joke. I wanted it to kill my husband.”

McFarlane likes to tread in more dangerous waters and joke about serious topics. She names her favourite kind of joke as ‘the mislead’: She’ll start with one premise and hit the audience with an unexpected punchline.

“I really like writing jokes, and I have a very specific thing in my head when I’m writing jokes,” McFarlane said. “I like to go on stage to do it word-for-word […] I like to have the right word in the punchline exactly every time.”

McFarlane, originally from Cold Lake, Alberta, estimates that she has appeared at the Just For Laughs festival around a dozen times. In addition to her appearances on The Nasty Show this year, she will also have the chance to play fast and loose with a more improvised style: Alongside her husband, comedian Rich Vos, McFarlane will co-host Would You Bang Him?, a comedic game show where four female comics watch male comedians do a brief set each and ultimately decide, based on each of the men’s performances, whether they would have sex with any of them. 

“I don’t want my husband to find this out, but female comics talk a lot about who they would have sex with and who they wouldn’t have sex with,” McFarlane said. “I was like, ‘one day that would be a great game show.’ I told Rich about it and he was like “Yeah, let’s do it” and so we started doing the show. It’s so fun and hilarious. It’s stupid and it’s sexist. We call it a slut-shaming game show.”


Comedian CP

Sophie Brzozowski, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Chris ‘Comedian CP’ Powell has pretty much always known that he’s funny. Ten years and a lifetime ago, following one fateful open-mic night where he earned a standing ovation, Powell left a successful career as an advertising executive in Detroit to pursue comedy full-time. 

“I loved advertising,” CP said in an interview with the Tribune. “I loved the opportunities it gave me [.…] The only thing was that I just wanted the credit. I just wanted people to know that I was the guy who was funny, [that] I was the guy who was making this stuff. So comedy was a way for me to get that instant gratification from my audience and have them connected directly to my brainpower.”

Even over the phone, CP projects confidence and charisma, and in the years since he first began performing, he’s earned every ounce of hubris. Alongside a successful stand-up career, CP has also made waves in television since relocating to Los Angeles, California. Most recently, in 2018, Powell sold a pilot to the television network Adult Swim. The show, titled Ol Bud’s ANU Football Weekly, is a hilarious dive into the corrupt and lawless world of college football. 

CP insists, however, that stand-up will forever be his preferred medium of expression: The stage is the place where he feels most at home. Powell says he’s looking forward to taking full advantage of the no-holds-barred environment that The Nasty Show will no doubt provide.

“[Comedians are] the ones [who] are supposed to say the stuff that everybody else can’t say. It’s my job to say these things that everybody is thinking. That’s what you’re paying me for!” 

The Nasty Show will take place at MTELUS Theatre from July 17 to 27. Visit for more information on showtimes.

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