On the Town with Shinan: A trio of funnymen have Toronto in stitches, and Jamie Oliver tightens his britches

By Shinan Govani

There sure were a lot of sore cheek muscles this past week.

Three boldface comics, in town at the same time, on the same night! Lots of ha ha, indeed. While Seth Meyers had set up shop at Toronto's Hummingbird Centre – a chance to show he's much more than a fake anchor, or merely a talk-show host – Will Arnett and Chris Rock gamely teamed up at the Allstream Centre.


Photo: George Pimentel Photography

Second thing's first: the event at the Allstream, dubbed 'Laughter is the Best Medicine' – a bi-annual gala for the Toronto East General Hospital – was notable for the Arnett-fest that it usually is. With a lot of family connection to the institution (Will's dad was president of its board), the hometown boy inaugurated the event two years ago. This year, the Arrested Development star was back as the emcee, and brought along his pal, Chris, who had the room a) in stitches, b) kinda flabbergasted.

It's not for nothing that Chris is called an “edgy” comic. And as even Will later commented, the only thing better than watching Chris do his thing was, well, watching his parents watch Chris do his thing.

More: See photos of the guests at the Laughter is the Best Medicine gala

It was all new material, by the way – and Chris used the Toronto crowd as his guinea pigs. And, as the big-leagues comic – this generation's Eddie Murphy - said later, in an interview, “It's scary doing new material....but if you're not scared you're in the wrong business.” (The event, by the way, raised $2.5 million in support of the hospital!)


Photo: George Pimentel Photography

Meanwhile, some streets to the east, Seth was making like a pro, here at the behest of the Just for Laughs fest. The high flyer, who's done everything from hosting the Emmys to headline the White House Correspondent's Dinner, delivered an act that was shrewd and, at times, even a little blue. The line that probably got the most reaction was when he smirked, “Such a beautiful city, Toronto. I'll be really excited to come back when you finish building it.”

Meanwhile:

Photo: Sam Santos/George Pimentel Photography

A perceptibly slimmer Jamie Oliver made the scene at Buca, on King West, this week, where he was meeting with a small gang of super-fans at an event organized by Indigo. Here, he also played media meet-and-greet. “I'm trying to look a litle sharper,” the British charmer told me, when we sat down together for a little catch-up, and to talk about his stunning new book, Comfort Food. (More on our conversation in my 'Last Word' column in Hello! Canada, coming soon!)

After a couple years of being lobbed unkind remarks about his girth, the do-gooding chef was not only looking fit but also, almost shockingly, in an all-grown-up blazer. A bit of an image change-up, it seems, for the chef who's been part of our consciousness for more than two decades now! The word at the party was that Jamie not only got himself a new trainer, but he's also been making a concentrated effort to sleep better (a sleep-deprived brain being just the thing that doesn't have trouble saying yes to that second canoli!)

Oh, and also:

Photo: Stephen Lovekin

I die for Elizabeth Hurley – and always have. So am happy to report that she did not disappoint when we crossed paths here, this week, at Arcadian Court. Another Brit, another day! In town in to kick of Breast Cancer Awareness Month – in her long-time role as Estée Lauder ambassador – she looked fantastic.

Taking some time to chat with me about, among other things, her role in the upcoming E! series, The Royals - in which she plays the Queen - she said she was also very excited about the opportunity to work with the one-and-only Joan Collinson the show. "She was fabulous, and she looks fabulous," Elizabeth told me. Must take one to know one! (More with Elizabeth, too, in an upcoming 'Last Word' column... so stay tuned!)

HELLO! Canada magazine is available for your tablet and smartphone. Get HELLO! Canada, PEOPLE, Vanity Fair and over 100 more of the world’s best magazines for one low monthly price at Next Issue. CLICK HERE to sign up for a free trial.

HELLO! Canada magazine is available for your tablet and smartphone. Get HELLO! Canada, PEOPLE, Vanity Fair and over 100 more of the world’s best magazines for one low monthly price at Texture by Next Issue. CLICK HERE to sign up for a free trial.