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article imageReview: Bill Burr brings his edgy humour to raucous Toronto crowd Special

By David Silverberg     Sep 28, 2015 in Entertainment
Toronto - In a packed Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in downtown Toronto, U.S. comedian Bill Burr didn't shy away from his ornery takedowns of celebs such as Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump, Kanye West, and even Peter Dinklage.
To call Burr a curmudgeon is an understatement. This widely popular Boston comedian seems to have beef with almost everything under the sun, from airline pilot announcements to Caitlyn Jenner's sex change to simply sitting silently with his wife watching TV. He's the kind of guy who always yells at his TV, he admitted on stage at the Just for Laughs 42 festival in Toronto.
Burr throws so much shade you would think he stole a warehouse of shadows.
In his much anticipated stand-up set at JFL42, Burr was quick to set the stage for the night, explaining why he hates in-flight announcements from smooth-talking pilots who seem way too relaxed for the turbulence the passengers are experiencing. He then transitioned into bits about his relationship with his wife, a topic he returned to more than once to point out why he's just not a fun guy to be around. But he sure had the Sony Centre laughing non-stop. The hollering was especially loud when he said the best thing a wife could do for her husband would be to make him a sandwich, hand him a beer, say nothing and leave.
"When that happened to me four years ago, I got so emotional I had to wipe my tears away with the sandwich bread," he said.
Burr had some harsh words for the likes of Jenner and Trump, calling the latter a throwback to when your friend in grade 10 thought up wild ideas of what it'd like to be president. He then went on a lengthy rant about Caitlyn Jenner, saying some unsavory things about why Bruce transitioned to a woman. Let's just say there were batches of uncomfortable silence when he tried to explain his theory of the transgender operation. You can tell Burr veers into the edgy that got some Canadian attendees bursting with "oooh!"s which Burr quickly attacked. He wasn't angry, but fake-upset, because his criticism of those cringeworthy responses seemed rehearsed.
That's not to say the JFL42 audience wasn't feeling Burr. Quite the opposite. Some bits had the crowd cheering on Burr, like his critique of Kanye's inflated ego, or his attack on the NFL for waffling on their Ray Rice indictments. He threw in a few callback jokes to his oddly-placed fury at Peter Dinklage [Game of Thrones], whom he called "the smug little guy in the Dungeons & Dragons show."
His comparison of Hitler and Stalin has to be heard to be fully recapped, lest you misconstrue the comedian's intention, but rest assured there's an intelligence behind many of Burr's jokes that could easily be seen as vile and sophomoric.
To experience a Bill Burr show is to wade into controversial waters, where your instinct may tell you Burr is skating on sexist and racist ice, but he doesn't go fully into the deep end. Burr showed his experienced chops by pulling out at just the right moment, wrapping up a bit with a sharp punchline and leaving the JFL42 crowd applauding for more.
Our JFL42 coverage also features shows by John Mulaney and Trevor Noah.
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