Aaron Eves and Chris Locke. Photo by Joe Fuda.
Toronto funnymen Aaron Eves and Chris Locke, hosts of the monthly variety show Let’s Get Hot!, celebrate their linen and silk anniversary (that’s four years, people) as a duo tonight at the Rivoli, home to the popular weekend-capping comedy series Laugh Sabbath. LGH virgins can expect a lineup of the city’s finest comics sandwiched between Eves and Locke’s cry-laugh inducing performances. “Aaron and I always got along jokewise,” says Locke. “At first we thought of doing a talk show where he’d be my sidekick, like Paul Shaffer. Or, you know, like in Return of the Jedi when Jabba the Hutt has that screaming gremlin.” Eves adds, “And we wanted our audience to be chained women in gold bikinis.”
Back in LGH’s infancy, when shows went down at Oasis (now the Savannah Room) the crowd was mostly made up of friends, but now total strangers come out in droves and show their appreciation in various ways. “Things like macaroni pictures, or Barbies with pictures of our heads glued on them and they’re covered in lipstick. Or pictures of our faces with Photoshopped bodies that are drowned and bloated,” says Eves. “Or nice stuff like writing ‘You’re next’ on our windows,” says Locke.
The friends have tightened up their set over the years. “At first we would dive into the darkest parts of our brains,” explains Locke. “Now we smile and wave and go ‘Whoo!’ and say thanks. I start by reading fake fan letters. It’s an easier format to follow, and it usually involves body humour. There’s a softer build to our brand of absurdity.” Earlier shows clocked in at over two and a half hours, and the pair found it tough to keep tired audiences with work in the morning engaged. “I think what happened was their brains barfed and their eyes filled up with the barf. There’s a limit to how much bullshit an audience can sit through.”
Their friendship has evolved as well. “I accept Aaron for what he is and is not, and he accepts me for what I am and am not.” “I know Chris isn’t going to hang up the bathroom towel so I don’t bother getting after him about it.” They recall the first time they hung out outside of a comedy school setting, when Locke happened upon Eves buying comics at The Beguiling. Locke describes it: “Everything was in soft focus, and Aaron came down the stairs in a white dress. And his dad said, ‘He’s ready.’ And I took him to the prom.”
The Let’s Get Hot! four-year anniversary goes down tonight at the Rivoli (334 Queen Street West) and features Katie Crown, Levi MacDougall, Nathan Fielder, Kathleen Phillips, and more.