Get ready to show your psychiatrists on the dolly where the bad men touched you, because Darren Frost and Kenny Robinson are bringing their X-Rated Rank & Vile show to the 2013 Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
Few comics are willing to see how far "too far" can go more than Darren Frost. While some candy-ass "blue" comedians may only pepper dirty words and taboo topics into their acts for cheap laughs, Frost wields a battle-axe of filth and depravity on stage with the skill and grace of a viking on bath salts. That is to say, very effectively. With an act that may not necessarily win him a lot of friends in the more commercial comedy world, Frost has long been carving his own path by being a noble proponent of the DIY production and distribution of his material, releasing several of his own live DVDs independently through his own website.
In the tradition of outspoken comedy raconteurs like Richard Pryor, Red Foxx, and George Carlin before him, Kenny Robinson is a hilarious man with a dirty mouth and a heart of gold. Entering his third decade as a touring comedian, the Winnipeg-raised Robinson has retained the same energy and intensity with his humour that has secured his status as one of the true living legends of Canadian comedy. His boisterous, opinionated, and very often explicit act has earned him considerable acclaim and infamy, cultivated in part through years of honing his skills hosting his Nubian Desciples All Black Comedy Revue show, the longest-running show of its kind in Canada, now entering its 18th year in Toronto.
The latest venture for the two long-time friends is their co-headlining Rank & Vile tour, which they are bringing to our little frozen oasis for the first time as part of the 2013 Winnipeg Comedy Festival. I spoke to Kenny about how comedy in Canada has evolved over the decades, the pitfalls and rewards of tackling political humour, and the disturbing truth about strawberry Fruitopia. I also spoke to Darren at his home in Toronto about the challenges of being a "dirty" comic in Canada and the work ethic required to write and retire an hour of material, and also got to the bottom of how monumentally screwed the Canadian entertainment industry really is.
You can see Darren and Kenny at the XM Radio Anything Goes podcast taping at the Gas Station Arts Centre on Wednesday, April 10th, and at the Rank & Vile show at the Gas Station Arts Centre on Friday, April 12th. Darren will also be at the live recording of CBC Radio's The Debaters at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre on Saturday, April 13th. More on information on these and all other shows in the Winnipeg Comedy Festival are available at www.winnipegcomedyfestival.com.
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J.D. Renaud is a writer, comedian, producer, and visual artist originally from Oakville, Ontario. You can follow his weird thoughts on Twitter at @jdrenaud.