The Sampler – Game Show

On October 7th, 2015, we’re premiering a new competition format! Come support some super talented performers as they try to earn their 15 minutes of fame!

The Sampler

The Sampler is part incubator, part contest — where five amateur performers sharpen their skills in front of a live audience.

Your vote will determine who makes it from amuse-bouche, to appetizer, to full course meal. Cheer loudly so they can get their just desserts.



  • Take five fresh performers
  • Defrost to room temperature
    for one minute
  • Add cheers (liberally)
  • Keep the best three performers
  • Simmer at medium for two minutes
  • Add cheers (liberally)
  • Keep the best two performers
  • Heat on high for five minutes
  • Add cheers (liberally)
  • Best performer sizzles for fifteen minutes

Serves: Everyone!

Host: Aisha Alfa

Solo improv: Moniquea Marion
Stand-up: Camille Côté
Duoprov: Coko & Daphney
Clown: William Nishri
Stand-up: Lou Israel

Show: 10:00 p.m. (Doors: 9:45 p.m.) $10 at the door

154 Danforth Avenue, 2nd floor (Mainstage)


The Producer

The Dandies are two-time nominees for NOW Toronto magazine’s audience-pick Best-Of Improv Troupe. Holodeck Follies, an improvised Star Trek parody, is their flagship show. In addition to their monthly show, the format has appeared at conventions in Southern Ontario, most recently sharing their Star Trek passion at Fan Expo Canada. The Dandies have also appeared in local Toronto improv festivals and tournaments.

The Host

aisha-alfaBorn in Nigeria, raised in Winnipeg, now making her home in Toronto, Aisha Alfa is making a name for herself in the Canadian comedy, hosting and acting scenes. She is the previous winner of Winnipeg’s Funniest Person with a Day Job, has performed at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and was a finalist in NBC’s Diversity Showcase in LA. She has been on MUCH Music’s Video On Trial, MTV Canada’s Degrassi: The Next Generation and was featured in the pilot of The Second City Project on Global. Aisha loves laughing and hates bananas.

The Contestants

Performers can be soloists or groups, and can be an entertainer of most any stripe including: poets, storytellers, comedians (stand-up, sketch, improv, musical, impressionists), singers, musicians, magicians, or clowns.

This round of contestants:

  • Moniquea Marion (solo improv) is an accomplished Toronto based actor, comedian, and writer. She was twice nominated for NOW Toronto magazine’s audience-pick Female Improviser. She wrote and performed the 2015 Toronto Fringe hit, Mumsical, and has a new show, I Locked Myself in a Box: A Solo Sketch Review, premiering on October 9th
  • Camille Côté (stand-up) is a Winnipeg native now living in Toronto (and does not plan to go back to Winnipeg). Camille has trained with Second City for improv as well as attending Humber College for the comedy, writing, and performance program. Camille’s credits include performing in; NXNE Festival, Aaron Arber’s International Skype open mic, Durham Comedy festival, Rogers TV “Can you make em’ laugh”, WEST END GIRLS, Yuk Yuk’s, Comedy Bar, Absolute Comedy, and Second City.
  • Coko & Daphney (duo improv) are Toronto-based improvisers, most recently seen at the Boston Comedy Arts Festival. Their monthly show is called Coko & Daphney Present 212
  • William Nishri (clown) is an improviser and clown. Some of his recent credits include Hello!: The Original Electronic Musical, Lunacy Cabaret, andThe Improv Gong Show. William graduated from The Second City Conservatory Program and studied clown with Sue Morrison.
  • Lou Israel (stand-up) was born in Montreal and studied theatre at McGill University. Although he began acting at age 11, he performed mostly in theatre and small films before moving to Toronto in 1997, where, among other things, he studied improv at Second City and Bad Dog Theatre. He is an accomplished songwriter, columnist and improviser, he also dabbles in stand-up and sketch comedy