Too Much Information is not Comedy Now. It’s certainly not The Ron James Show. It’s even more ribald than Funny As Hell. Too Much Information is, as the title suggests, a lot of shocking–and mostly sexually-based–talk from some of Canada’s hottest comedians.
“That’s the kind of the beauty of having the show on something like Super Channel,” TMI host Norm Sousa says. “Obviously there are some standards that we have to uphold but for the most part anything goes.” Inspired by such English panel shows as Never Mind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats, Sousa introduces episode subjects like “Sex,” “Fitness” or “Porn” and then moderates the controlled chaos that spews from the mouths of homegrown comedians like Carla Collins, Lauren Ash, Mark Forward, Sitara Hewitt, Fraser Young, Aisha Alfa, Boomer Phillips, Marty Adams, Justin Landry and Nicole Arbour, to name a few. Over 30 funny folks were chosen to participate; then Kathleen Phillips, Pat Thornton, Luciano Casimiri and Sousa teamed in the writers’ room to come up with what he would say as host.
Many of the talent involved are improv performers and don’t have the opportunity to tell stories on-stage like stand-up comedians do. Sousa spotlights Ash as an example; the Second City Toronto veteran used the TMI forum to regale the live audience with her outrageous life encounters. Divided into two teams of three, the comics use the spotlight to unveil more private sides of their lives thanks to the questions Sousa opens each part of the discussion with. There is a rough points system that Sousa uses to declare a winning team, but he’s fast and loose with that power, admitting he sometimes secretly awarded a team the overall win as soon as they said something he really liked.
Production of Lone Eagle’s TMI had the air of a long stand-up road tour: 39 episodes filmed in 10 days. Sousa laughs when he recalls not being able to read the cue cards on the second Thursday during taping of the day’s fourth show. What got him through?
“What really helps you get through it is that the panelists are so fantastic and so hilarious that we were having a good time,” Sousa says. “And, at the end of the day, I knew when I went back to the dressing room there would be a beer there waiting for me.”
Catch Sousa at the Toronto’s Comedy Bar where he appears Friday nights in Catch 23.
Too Much Information debuts Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET on Super Channel.