Everyday we see thousands of faces. But what are the stories behind those faces? Kathleen Phillips gives her best estimate.
Ruth Roy – Falling Down Laughing
Physical comedy isn’t all funny. Perfecting a pratfall means lots of bumps and bruises – apparently an X-ray of Buster Keaton’s pelvis resembled one of those 1970’s marshmallow gelatin salads. Professional fall-gal, Ruth Roy’s “down there” is nothing to write home about either, but her act is pretty fun. Ruth got her start after “Airline Food,” a YouTube video where she catches a remote control plane in mouth, went viral. Now, the former bank teller and mother of twins has a live touring show produced by the folks who did “Tap Dogs.” In “The Flaws of Attraction” Ruth gives a candid, L.O.L. account of her failed marriage while dressed in armor and pursued by a jumbo magnet. On the pain of performance Ruth says: “I’ve broken nearly every bone in my body. When I break my funny bone, that’s when I’ll stop… or my spine.”
Rui Leitos – French Connection
He describes himself proudly as French Canadian, but he’s not from Quebec or any other Francophone region of the country. In fact he doesn’t even speak French! Rui Leitos moved to Canada from Portugal eleven years ago but Leitos LOVES tourtiÃ¨re (Quebecois ground meat pie). He loves it so much that he opened “TourtiÃ¨re Extraordinare!” a restaurant with only one item on the menu… You guessed it: TourtiÃ¨re! So far the business has been lucrative with Sunday morning lineups around the block. Rui plans to put some of his hard earned pie “dough” toward a full gender reassignment as well as arrangements for his ailing mother’s head to be cryogenically frozen for re-animation after the rapture.
Winston Glass – Who are you callin’, racist?
Winston Glass was a proofreader for a medical textbook publisher, but as the only black person in his office, he found himself frequently using his judicious language skills to answer co-workers questions about what was and wasn’t racist. Concerned doctors and medical writers regularly visited Glass’ office to ask things like, “Is there a new word for ‘African?’ Is Jive a dead language?” Glass was spending so much time de-mystifying black people for his colleagues that he decided to make it his full time job. Glass now owns and operates, “Ask a Black Man!” an anonymous hotline for people who are curious to know if they are bigots. Glass charges $3 per minute to carefully determine whether or not a caller is a hot racist mess. Apparently the phone is ringing off the hook. “Racism is really alive” chuckles Winston Glass, “And I’m wearing the $35 underwear to prove it!”
Kathleen Phillips is a writer and comedian based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @kathophillips.