Published Jul 25, 2018As Netflix invests in 15-minute specials as part of their series The Comedy Lineup, Janelle James and Tim Dillon have received their first big breaks: Dillon's special came out earlier this summer, and James' special is set to premiere at the end of August. With their sets at the Montreal Improv, both comics proved why they're on their way up in the industry.
Janelle James' presence was calm, calculated and smart in a way that was reminiscent of Dave Chappelle in his recent special Equanimity. Pointing out that men are freaking out about the #metoo movement even though it only affected six celebrities, and admitting that she thinks eating at a Canadian Chick-fil-A would make it less homophobic, she danced around tricky opinions with poise. James wasn't concerned with the number of punch lines per minute, and so she didn't get as many laughs as her co-headliner, but her graceful energy was enough to keep the crowd engaged.
Tim Dillon was unstoppably loud. After answering a real phone call on stage and talking to both his friend and the audience, he launched into a strikingly memorable tale about giving a blowjob to a guy from Craigslist. Though the story was wild, the funniest moments of his set was when he unleashed his comical wrath on a girl who went to the front of the room to charge her phone, and when he talked his exhausting hike up Montreal with "two other fat, out-of-shape comedians."
Opener Calvin Evans was also enjoyable. With his joke about how his biggest fear in life is being proposed to and his witty lines about the small crowd, Evans seemed like he could be a candidate for a 15-minute special on Netflix in the future.