David Heti
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"Comedy at the end of the universe"

This Saturday, London-born comedian Jeff Leeson will be headlining Post-Apocalyptic Comedy put on by Doctor Feelfunny’s Comedy Cavern. Joining him will be David Heti with his first ever London show. The duo will be accompanied by several smaller acts, including a few performers right here from London. But for those who aren’t aware of who these guys are, or haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them in person, a fun night awaits.

Leeson, born and raised in London and currently residing in Toronto, will be performing with a more improv, ad lib-type style. The typical stand-up comedy routine includes a setup, a joke, a punchline—and all involving a prepared set and routine.

“I kind of let the audience dictate the pace of the show. Lots of crowd work, lots of interaction,” Leeson says. “Each of my sets are different, and they all kind of get created from scratch, just improvising my way through 45 to 60-minute shows.”

Inspired as a child, Leeson became hooked on stand-up comedy after being voted valedictorian for his grade eight graduating class.

“I did the speech, threw in some comedy and I ended up getting a standing ovation, and really was hooked from there,” Leeson says. “I loved the feeling and the rush of being on stage, and the feeling of making people laugh, and pursued it from then on.”

Lesson has quite a bit of experience performing for crowds of Western students. His first shows were here in London, at his mother’s workplace.

“[She worked] at CNIB, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind,” he says. “They have a nice auditorium so I threw my own shows.”

After some initial successes, Leeson recalls touring around Ontario, performing in bars, clubs, universities, at corporate events—really anywhere he could go where he could simply do what he loved.

While Leeson’s comedy routines are described as more unexpected and ad lib, compared to the likes of David Letterman and Mike Bullard, the comedian accompanying him on the main stage carries himself and his shows much differently. Also quite unique among mainstream comics and their textbook styles, and described as a darker Woody Allen, Heti prides himself on his uniqueness.

“I guess the comedic interpretation of life always spoke to me. I would see comics, and I would think that I could do that better than they can. And I have something different; a comedic sensibility that I would like to impart,” Heti says.

Heti has performed in many countries spanning several continents. The only London he’s ever performed in, however, has been in England, so this is a first-time for him. But while he may not have ever performed for a London audience, Heti has experienced college and university audiences in the past. He says he’s expecting a young, active crowd.

“I have friends who went to Western,” Heti recalls. “They told me it was a pretty fun place to go to school, so I expect there to be a little bit more of a ruckus than usual.”

Comparing himself to Maria Bamford, although citing Rodney Dangerfield as his first true inspiration in comedy, Heti has a darker, more intelligently written style than that of typical mainstream comedians. His performance this Saturday may be one of his last shows in Canada. Along with Leeson and several others, prepare to experience the first major comedy event since “the apocalypse.”

Post-Apocalyptic Comedt with Jeff Lesson will be happening this Saturday, January 26 at 9:30 p.m. at The Wits End Pub & Grill. Tickets are $10 or $12 at the door. - westerngazette.ca


"David Heti knows how to get a laugh"

“Crown, do you find this offensive?” the judge asked, putting David Heti on the spot. Heti, who was articling for the DOJ in Toronto at the time, was in bankruptcy court to “say three words and then leave.” Knowing nothing about the file or why the judge was outraged at the bankrupt’s position, the longtime stand-up comic resorted to humour. “Are you asking me as an individual, or as a representative of the Queen?” he deadpanned. The judge laughed and moved on.

Heti launched his comedy career six years ago in Montreal, before starting law school at McGill. Called to the Ontario bar in 2012, Heti now does research for a hospital, working at the intersection of health law and bioethics. It’s a position that allows him to keep up with his stand-up.

For Heti, who was once described by a critic as “Woody Allen without the international success,” comedy offers a perfect complement to law. The law upholds society’s values while stand-up subverts them, he explains. “The two provide this really beautiful balance.” - Precedent Magazine


"David Heti knows how to get a laugh"

“Crown, do you find this offensive?” the judge asked, putting David Heti on the spot. Heti, who was articling for the DOJ in Toronto at the time, was in bankruptcy court to “say three words and then leave.” Knowing nothing about the file or why the judge was outraged at the bankrupt’s position, the longtime stand-up comic resorted to humour. “Are you asking me as an individual, or as a representative of the Queen?” he deadpanned. The judge laughed and moved on.

Heti launched his comedy career six years ago in Montreal, before starting law school at McGill. Called to the Ontario bar in 2012, Heti now does research for a hospital, working at the intersection of health law and bioethics. It’s a position that allows him to keep up with his stand-up.

For Heti, who was once described by a critic as “Woody Allen without the international success,” comedy offers a perfect complement to law. The law upholds society’s values while stand-up subverts them, he explains. “The two provide this really beautiful balance.” - Precedent Magazine


"Some more Bettsy love"

[...]

David Heti...what a great writer. I liked him the first time I saw him. Dry comedy that goes over many people's heads. He has a way with words and a brilliant mind. He may pass many by but not this gal. I look for those twisted, smart, make you think comics. Their humour is right up my alley. Keep an eye out for him and next time he performs, go check him out. You will be pleasantly surprised. - TujoHaHa


"DAMN THE MAN! Support Beluga! Comedy Showcase: Review"

[...]

And finally, to the Toronto-based show-stopping main act. And what a stopper it was. Not for the faint of heart, let me tell you. David Heti limped on stage donning the classic poor-boy look. Ragged canvas shoes paired with a shaggy head of hair. Glasses. Thin. Exceptionally quiet.

Despite a tiny audience in a space smaller than some bedrooms, the stage was equipped with a mic and speaker. Heti needed that mic. My gut tells me he keeps his delivery hushed on purpose. His are not diatribe jokes, they are not sound-effect jokes and they certainly do not require the added oomph of heightened decibels.

His are not jokes so much as they are the lonely musings of a clinically neurotic insomniac. Picture Woody Allen without the international success. He would be pessimistic. The world would look grey to him: He would fear it.

He would be seduced by thespians who announce the mediocrity of civil obedience and rejoice in the death of store-bought altruism. For him, societal norms are a bitter poison. They reek of deadened stupid souls. They have the stank of week-old bananas, blackened and mushy at the bottom of a lunch bag.

Being edgy and being downright abusive is a line comedians love to straddle, leap over, re-draw and straddle again. David Heti is one in a long line of such comedians.

[...] - montreal.wherearetheshows.com


"Comedy Reviews - CD - Various Stand-Up Comics - Best of Montreal Comedy"

[...]

David Heti is a very good, dark and nihilist comic. He really takes the crowd by surprise. This guy is original and the best on this CD.

[...] - The Serious Comedy Site


"Comedy Reviews - CD - Various Stand-Up Comics - Best of Montreal Comedy"

[...]

David Heti is a very good, dark and nihilist comic. He really takes the crowd by surprise. This guy is original and the best on this CD.

[...] - The Serious Comedy Site


Discography

The Best of Montreal Comedy Album

Photos

Bio

David Heti is a Canadian stand-up comic who divides his time between New York and Toronto.

In 2013 David was named one of North by North East’s Twelve funny people to laugh at (or with) at NXNE and in October he will be opening for Todd Barry at the Halifax Pop Explosion. David has been featured on the Best of Montreal Comedy Album (…dark and nihilistic…really takes the crowd by surprise…original and the best on this CD – theseriouscomedysite.com) and interviewed, along with Marc Maron and Myq Kaplan, by Psychology Magazine on the question of Why do comedy? In November David will be giving a talk on Holocaust jokes, entitled Offence Intended, Sort of, at Le Mood: The Festival of Unexpected Jewish Learning, Arts & Culture. In November he will be appearing for a second year at The Dark Comedy Festival, where he opened for Eddie Pepitone.

In addition to a terrifically intimate web series, What Went Wrong With Last Night’s Show, and the podcast I Have a Problem, With David Heti, David also has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and a B.C.L./LL.B. from the McGill University Faculty of Law.