Tom Stade seems to have gone out of his way to be anything
but the Canadian stereotype. He's loud, brash, and doesn't care if his opinions
cause offense. That he's anything but apologetic about his taste is evident
from his peacocking in a fringed cowboy-look shirt and the show's title,
Stade's material varies drastically: one minute he might be joking about child pornography accusations and the next he's praising Cash in the Attic. It's a style which works to some advantage. He's appeals at once to those seeking Live at the Apollo-esque sets and fans of edgier no-holds-barred material.
Stade's material varies drastically: one minute he might be joking about child pornography accusations and the next he's praising Cash in the Attic. It's a style which works to some advantage. He's appeals at once to those seeking Live at the Apollo-esque sets and fans of edgier no-holds-barred material. He delivers observational pieces on English vs Canadian customs whilst swearing like a sailor, and even if talking about cultural clashes is somewhat rote he makes it feel new with his charming brand of rage. His abrasive style works well for the crowd, and helps him perfectly explain the mentality behind certain reality shows in a brilliant concept.
Unfortunately, not all of Stade's material stands out as strongly, and is often left at its concept stage without really building upon observations. His controversial materials lands well, but taking a step back to consider how the jokes are structured his better material could have led to an equally satisfying punch line without an unnecessary dig at a minority group. I'm all for controversy in comedy but only when it's there to make a significant point. His stance on the word "immigrant" is golden, but his condemnation of a trans person leaves me wondering whether this person's presence in the set was purely for a laugh at someone different. Stade works best when addressing a point of contention and offering a spin, not just to use as a back-up punch line. Likewise, some jokes can peter out, and it's a shame to reach that conclusion after such a brilliant build-up.
When Stade's good, he's really good. He can bring laughs from the least expected places and that's a great skill, but with that power comes the responsibility of making your show less about concepts and more about the payoff.