Volume 93, Issue 66

Thursday, January 27, 2000


Kittie wild and untamable

Good things come in Mini packages

Mergers found guilty in free press murder case

Stories an enigmatic odyssey

Good things come in Mini packages

Gazette file photo
IF YOU TELL ME I LOOK LIKE DEBBIE GIBSON ONE MORE TIME, I'LL VENTILATE YOU LIKE A PIECE OF SWISS CHEESE. Pint-sized dynamo Mini Holmes performs tonight through Saturday at Yuk Yuk's.

By Luke Rundle
Gazette Staff

With a hit television show under her belt, film roles galore and a promising move to L.A. in a few weeks, it seems that Toronto comic Mini Holmes can sit back during tonight's show at Yuk Yuk's and let her experience speak for itself.

This, however, will not be the case. The quintessential professional, Holmes is continually striving to give more to her audiences than just her blend of wry, sardonic humour.

So what can audiences expect from her London show, one may ask? "Free shooters and lap dances," Holmes dryly answers.

Though this might help her bank book more than the standard Yuk Yuk's gig, that's not the real reason Holmes finds stand-up so rewarding. "There's something about making people laugh," she explains. "Even if you're in a bad mood, it's just a really good feeling. Plus, it's your opinion and really, how often do people listen to your opinion? Now people pay to hear my opinion, although I don't know why."

Holmes' career as a Toronto theatre actor was cut short when a comedian pal signed her up for an open mic slot on extremely short notice. "I had to write an act in an afternoon. I didn't do all that well, but in my mind I killed," Holmes recalls, self-effacingly.

"I don't know if you remember that show, The Secrets of Lovemaking. It used to have a video that I thought Priscilla Presley hosted, which she didn't. So I'd go off on that and say, 'Here's my secrets to lovemaking. One: Lay off the Hagen-Daaz. Two: Be employed. Three: Don't ever marry someone who calls himself the King.' It didn't fuckin' make sense at all."

Those in the comedy industry seem to get it. Currently going into the fourth season of her television series, WTN's She's So Funny, Holmes has also played the Montréal Just For Laughs comedy festival, made guest appearances on shows for CBC, CityTV and the Comedy Network and appeared in a movie destined for the run of film festivals next year.

However, she's probably best known for her involvement with the Blockheads comedy troupe, who gained notoriety last year when they duped Jerry Springer into believing that Holmes was a babysitter who slept with her married employer.

"[Toronto comics] Johnny Gardhouse, Ian Sirota, Sue Meer and I would always sit there and watch The Jerry Springer Show and drink and laugh at them," Holmes recalls. "So one day, they asked, 'Have you ever slept with your babysitter?' and put up their number. So Ian calls and says, 'Hi, my name is Johnny Gardhouse and I slept with my babysitter,' just fooling around. Then they phoned back and they just kept on phoning, so Johnny ran with the ball and started lying to them and they ate it up like crazy. We didn't even have time to rehearse."

Springer later sued each member for a reported $200,000 US when they were exposed by the Toronto media. The fiasco resulted in a long, drawn-out court battle which ended with an out-of court settlement.

But Holmes has put the incident behind her and her future plans look bright. She's So Funny has grown from a low budget affair to a full-scale investment for WTN and Holmes couldn't be happier.

"Everything comes with money, as you know," she laughs. "With a bigger budget, the more comics you can fly in, but when you start off a show on a specialty channel, you don't have much money and there's not a lot of support. Now I've got people like the William Morris Agency calling me, sending me tapes of their girls. The first time they called, I was like, 'Holy Shit!'"

However, she can thank Springer for one thing – adding another acting credit to her résumé. Her newest film, Dry Hump Tilt, has opened doors for her along the sunny shores of Los Angeles. "I play a nun. I get all the kooky roles. I've played a nun, a porn star and a babysitter. Why can't I just be the girl next door?"

If only we could pick our neighbours.

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