During one of the evening’s bits at the first Red Hot Riot, the relationship between Jayden Pfeifer and Dan MacRae reminded of me something specific.
That of Kermit and Scooter from The Muppet Show.
No joke. That might not sync exactly, but there were at least hints of it. It’s a winning dynamic: the beleaguered host (a role Pfeifer would pick up often over the course of the night) and the eager but oblivious assistant who brings in an eccentric guest. (That final role here filled by Vancouver’s Tom Hill, playing a WWII booster lost in time.)
That’s just one of the possibilities allowed by the talk show form, something Pfeifer obviously realizes.
The mechanics of a talk show are instantly familiar: a warmup comedian, a musical act, an opening monologue, guests, et cetera. Pfeifer brought all of that to his live talk show at the Artesian on Sunday, March 20.
A lot of the guests were made up of comedic heavy hitters, including Pfeifer’s fellow General Fool Rob Appleby, Lee Boyes, and Mike Gill, as well as Hill and MacRae. Of course, some of the buzz for the show was due to their first guest of honour, former Roughrider Matt Dominguez. Jeez, was he a good choice. Not only was he charming –– and a seriously handsome dude –– but he was game for anything Pfeifer threw at him, including signing a glossy picture of the washer-and-dryer set Dominguez sold to Pfeifer via UsedRegina. Belle Plaine was equally winning as musical guest.
The brightest point, though, and what will keep me returning, is just how great the writing of the show was. Pfeiffer has mentioned that part of what he wanted to put together in making this show was something that was well produced and that would bring together different forms. That shows. It was a professional, smooth package, well-written from Pfeifer’s tight, hilarious monologue down to all the individual bits.
Regina not only has a lot of venues for people to get started in comedy of all kinds, whether improv or standup or what have you, but we also have a lot of people whose skills are honed and are already impressive. Pfeifer has put together a format that works, while also knowing the right people to make it work. Add in that he’s a tremendously talented guy on his own, and Red Hot Riot is suddenly a big, hilarious feather in Regina’s cap.
Red Hot Riot is a monthly show happening at the Artesian. The next one is on April 17. You can find more information at their website.
UPDATE: Names should now be spelled correctly.