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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interesting People: Kevin Macdonald

Disclaimer! This post is about someone who is not a Danforth East resident....

Oh hush. We can hear your collective *gasp*! Don't fret, Pioneer's interesting person is award-winning Toronto comedian Kevin Macdonald (no, not the one from Kids In The Hall) and he promises us that he loves the Danforth just as much as we do. Macdonald is one of the heavyweights behind this coming Friday's Hirut Hoot, an evening of comedy that he promises will leave your bellies full of Ethiopian food and possibly some laughs. Here are his non-comedic answers to some serious, hard-hitting questions:

Q. How did Hirut Hoot get started?
A. Ron Sparks, Carolyn Bennett and I worked on a video together for the 24-hour video challenge (and are nominated for Canadian Comedy Awards!) and we thought it would be fun to do a show together. The owner of Hirut is a gentleman who does many things: runs a restaurant, does financial advising (ie. keeps Carolyn in the money) and when he is not organizing open mic nights for wacky comedians, he also plays a guitar. He offered his cozy space for our show and the rest was history.

Q. How long have you lived in the area?
A. I moved to Greenwood and Dundas about six years ago, and really started discovering the Danforth East area while I was recovering from a leg injury. Once I began walking the Danforth regularly, it really started to grow on me. I used to organize another comedy night at TKO's, at the corner of Coxwell and Danforth, but their second floor space was shut down last July so that was the end of that!

Q. What do you love about this strip of the Danforth?
A. Am I allowed to use the world 'colour'? On Friday nights, when I used to walk along the Danforth to my show at TKO's, what I really loved was seeing the eclectic mix of both people and shops. You get it all here - low income, high income, families. The little ethnic coffee shops and mom and pop shops. It's a good thing the area is not gentrifying too fast. It will lose its charm otherwise.

Q. What's so special about Hirut Hoot?
A. Well, it could be the only comedy night east of the Don, but maybe not. We have Gilson Lubin. He's been on MTV. Did I mention that it's at an Ethiopian restaurant? No seriously, it's going to be funny. A wide variety of comedy and videos. And it's $5.

By day, Macdonald masquerades as a video editor but once upon a time, spent many years as a chef. His claim to fame: he was born in Brantford, Ontario - also the birthplace of comedian Phil Hartman. Funny? He says for him yes, for Phil, not so much.

This is the third Hirut Hoot he has produced....and he promises it won't be the last.

The show starts at 9 p.m. at Hirut Restaurant (2050 Danforth, west of Woodbine).

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