"It's difficult not to love her."
There's no way to remain at arm's length from Canadian comedy champion DeAnne Smith. She's warm, easily fascinated, and has an adorable "did I just say that?" reaction after some of her racier punchlines, making her shtick both intimate and endearing. It's difficult not to love her.
Smith's show, Post-Joke Era, is a surprisingly perky exploration of comedy's role in a world consumed by intolerance and uncertainty. It wanders through questions on identity and the interstices of gender in society, but in a way that is packed with brash commentary, clever wordplay, and pretention-free enthusiasm.
The success of her performance is thanks to her buoyant, welcoming delivery, which truly fits her self-described identity: "gentlemen elf". She dances around the stage, revelling in laughter one moment with an impish grin and then dropping a dozen mics on the floor with a deadpan stare the next. No matter what she's talking about, her humour is bright and optimistic, littered with quirks and knowing smirks and enticements to the "academic lesbians" she just knows the room is filled with.
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Equally wonderful is the ease with which Smith flits from well-rehearsed deliveries to improvised crowd patter. During the hour, Bruce and 'sprain lady' sitting in the front row were woven into Post-Joke's narrative and became a source of constant callbacks.
If you're looking for something wholly different to what Smith terms "men knowing things loudly", Post-Joke Era is well worth the ticket price.