Tom Segura tackles taboos and humours of day-to-day life during JFL NorthWest

Comic Tom Segura performs at the Vogue Theatre during Vancouver comedy festival 

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On a chilly Saturday night, eager fans lined up outside the Vogue Theatre for a night full of hilarity and giggles, courtesy of the JFL NorthWest comedy festival. The night’s headliner: Tom Segura.

Before the night was underway, Vancouver-based funnyman Kyle Bottom was brought out to get the crowd warmed up and acquainted. Bottom is your typical mid-30’s, I’m-getting-too-old-for-this style comic; with material surrounding marriage, responsibilities, visits to the doctor, and the occasional dad joke. Not only was Bottom humorous, he was also quite relatable due to the fact that he is a local resident. He went over local struggles such as dog parks: “nothing is creepier than being caught at a dog park alone without a dog”. He also went over working at a cannabis dispensary: “it’s the only job where you are encouraged to get high”. After a few quick quips about funny sounding marijuana strains and comparing Canadian provinces to reproductive organs, Bottom’s set was over and he introduced us to the man of the evening, Tom Segura.

“Vancouver, the city of Asians and weed,” Segura commented as he graced the stage to begin his set. Hailing from Cincinnati with two comedy specials on Netflix, Segura was greeted by mighty applause. Wasting no time, he got right into the swing of things with a serious discussion of current American politics: “A steak salesman is now the leader of the free world,” he said with a resulting eruption of howling laughter. After a short bout of Trump talk, Segura refocused his ranting onto his fear that none of us will have to leave our homes in the near future due to technology.

His observational comedy came with much knee-slapping as he weaved flawlessly through spiels ranging from California’s In-N-Out burger to riding elevators solo: “It makes me feel like I’m lord of the elevator shaft”. Segura’s routine saw no limits as he talked about his distaste for the oddities of American small towns and got a raving reaction of understanding from Canuck fans as he explained his own personal disappointment in his city whenever their sports teams lose.

For the latter half of his set, there was a change in tone as he graduated from observational comedy to dark comedy, finding humour in disabilities like Tourette Syndrome and poking fun at the ails of his new found fatherhood, such as changing diapers: “I don’t know why ‘change my diaper’ isn’t a more popular insult”. Then came a hysterical barrage of sex-related punch-lines, a staple in any comedian’s arsenal. After first pointing out the vast contrasts between eye exams and prostate exams, Segura ran the crowd through a minefield of jokes about the promiscuous women he has met on tour, mysterious sex shops in the 90’s, pre-high speed internet pornography, the developments in contraception over the generations, and a story about a wild encounter in Tanzania.

Though short and sweet, it was a fun night for all and another milestone in the JFL legacy. Segura is a tough act to follow and a hard pill to swallow.