Kenny Hotz performs first stand-up set in front of a live audience

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In comedy, some things take a long time to happen.

But did Kenny Hotz have to wait this long?

“I popped my cherry,” one half of the Kenny vs. Spenny TV duo told Playback after standing under the harsh lights at the Café Cleopatra in Montreal to perform his first-ever stand up comedy routine.

“Really, I never do stand-up. I only do lying down,” Hotz, whose TV writing and acting credits include Testees and South Park, told a Just For Laughs festival audience as he began his impromptu routine.

Hotz thought he was to be interviewed for a blog, only to be pushed on stage by Ari Shaffir and, with only a bar stool and a microphone at hand, did a stand-up routine (see a video clip here) about when he was most wasted in life.

So he told of taking drugs in high school with two friends to see Tron at the Cinesphere, before matters apparently got out of hand.

“And then my friend jumped off a bridge on acid, spent six months in hospital, and then became a Hasidic Jew, and he died a week ago,” Hotz continued, suddenly silencing the nightclub audience, except for a few audible gasps.

Too soon?

And with that Hotz was initiated into the ritual of Just For Laughs, where stand-up comics from around the world bring their best seven minutes to Montreal in the hope of landing a gig in film, TV or online.

He isn’t alone.

Canadian comedy writer/producer Derek Harvie (The Tom Greene Show, Skins) is in Montreal to drum up support for a couple projects  on the go, including S.O.S. Save Our Skins, an online comedy horror series co-produced by Catherine Tait and Kent Sobey that just got funding from the Independent Production Fund.

“It’s about two idiots who wake up one morning in New York City to find the human race has disappeared, the city is empty, and they stumble on zombies and other forms of life,” Harvie explained about the premise.

Also making the rounds at Just For Laughs is Breakthrough Entertainment’s Ira Levy, who is working on a deal to get Picnicface, a Halifax stand-up and sketch comedy troupe, back in front of a camera after Canada’s Comedy Network did not renew their TV show for a second season.

The Just For Laughs comedy festival wraps on Sunday.

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