Toronto
2 min

Bitch slap happy

What's so funny aboot Canadian homos?

WHO'S BUTT. Richard Ryder, Fiona MacCool, Ted Morris and Dave Tomlinson fun it up. Credit: Xtra files

Are you tired of being the butt of gay jokes? Have you bottomed out? Well, turn that frown upside down and get on top as Yuk Yuk’s presents Oot And Aboot, the first of four all-gay comedy shows running over the next year.



Oot And Aboot Productions was formed by three queer comedy performers, Richard Ryder, Ted Morris and Susan Stewart, who have all honed their craft in the Toronto comedy scene but were looking for a company to call home and give gay comics greater exposure and a bill of their own.



“We wanted a gay company that would offer an alternative to drag shows,” says Ryder, “with an opportunity to tour as a company.”



You may recognize Ryder as the adorable cupid from the Leon’s commercials but he’s no shrinking violet. While he acknowledges that there is still homophobic humour out there, Ryder’s comment to aspiring gay comics afraid of discrimination or heckling is, “You’ve been through public school – this is nothing.”



Inspired by performers like Ellen DeGeneres, Ryder likes to tell stories with “a bitch slap” at the endÂ… like his propensity for coin hunting in sofas until “Sears kicks him out.” Often accompanied on stage by a Cher doll, Ryder doesn’t shy away from gay humour, but points out, “I’m not the gay man wearing crop tops or on every float passing by.” Constantly entertaining, Ryder is comfortable with straight and gay crowds but admits, “You want to avoid alienating your audience.” While his name is commonly shortened to “Dick Ryder,” he says he prefers “Big Dick” or “Ouch.”



Co-founder Ted Morris is a veterinarian by day and comic by night. You know that a man who can stick a gloved hand up a cow’s ass will have a sense of humour. Morris is excited about the show and the chance to showcase his own comedy. While Morris makes fodder of the gay lifestyle, he really loves to expound his theories on women from the gay man’s point of view. He claims he “talks more about menstruation than most female comics” and enjoys the insights he gets from his audience. Wanting to build the company, he hopes that even more diverse acts can join the bill.



Fulfilling this mandate, lesbian comic Fiona MacCool is on the bill. She has been performing for more than two years with her unique blend of comedy and karaoke at venues like Strange Sisters and Tallulah’s but calls herself “a comedy club virgin.” She likes to expose the “overlit nether world of lesbian dating” but acknowledging herself as “a bit of a gay man.” Her skewed song stylings take full advantage of ’70s divas, and of course, Barbra. Her inspirations include Andrea Martin and Shoshanna Sperling and while MacCool enjoys “straight incredulity” from the audience, she does love her homo audience, who allows her to be “raunchier.”



Her queer version of the Elvis tune, “In The Ghetto” is well worth a listen.



Jo-Anna Downey will be hosting the evening and Dave Tomlinson will also be bringing several of his brilliantly manic character creations to the show.



This evening of comedy should be a gay old time for all.



OOT AND ABOOT.

$11. 8:30pm. Sun, Nov 17.

Yuk Yuk’s.

224 Richmond St W.

(416) 967-6425.