Sunday, July 18, 2010

Master debaters

(In spite of the dirty-sounding entry title, this entry is perfectly clean. )

Yesterday I went to a taping of the CBC radio show The Debaters. I’d been to the show last year, and I enjoyed it so much that I came back this year. It was part of the Just for Laughs festival here in Montreal.

In The Debaters, comedians debate various topics. In the first round, each debater presents their argument. Then, in the next round (called the Bare Knuckle Round), they argue with each other. The next round, The Firing Line, is where the host asks both debaters a series of questions on the topic being debated. Finally, each debater gives a summary of their argument. The audience then applauds for the comedian that they think had the better (or funnier) argument, and the winner of the debate is decided by applause.

The topics debated this time were: Vampires or Zombies, which are the greatest cinematic undead? Are the big oil companies really so bad? Is the moustache one of man's greatest inventions? Has Hollywood been good for Europe? Has stand-up comedy become a joke? And is everything (movies, TV) better in 3D?

The host of the show had a little hammer that he’d hit on his desk if the debaters talked on for too long. During one of the debates, one of the debaters went on talking for too long, and so the host hit the hammer on his desk. When the debater still wouldn't shut up, the host went over to him and hit him with the hammer.

Another time when someone talked too long, the host went over to a couch that was in the background and started to lie down on it.

During the debate about moustaches, the debater in favour of them was wearing a fake moustache. At the end of the debate, he took the fake moustache off, revealing…another fake moustache underneath it.

They had an Irish guy and a German guy debating whether Hollywood has been good for Europe. Before the debate, the two debaters danced for quite a long time. The debate itself was completely chaotic from start to finish, and honestly I never even knew who was on which side of that debate!

It was a very enjoyable afternoon!

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