Comedian Michael Rapaport hopes to help heal Toronto with laughter

By Lindsay Dunn

Comedian, actor and hoops enthusiast Michael Rapaport will be in Toronto this Thursday for a special taping of his wildly successful podcast I Am Rapaport.

Rapaport said he heard about Sunday’s mass shooting on The Danforth and is hoping to help the people of Toronto with laughter.

“Obviously, the situation that happened the other night has everyone sending good thoughts to the people of Toronto,” he told CityNews. “I’m really honoured to be performing for the people of Toronto.

“I really want to do something special and give people a really good night to sort of forget about any fears that they have had and really try to make people laugh.”

His podcast, which has 1.5 million daily downloads, happens alongside the film and TV veteran’s other job as sideline reporter for Big3 — a three-on-three pro basketball league founded by rapper Ice Cube and featuring NBA Hall of Famers and all-stars like Gary Payton and Allen Iverson.

The new basketball league will make its first stop north of the border this Friday.

“We are going to have one of the Raptors up there and we do our thing,” he said. “It’s comedy. It’s trash talk to the crowd. They will ask me questions, I will ask them questions, and it’s kind of a free-for-all. But a good live comedy show and podcast.”

Will there be an appearance by NBA legends “The Iceman” George Gervin or “Baddest Bad Boy of them all” Rick Mahorn at his show?

“The big three is going to be up there and we are planning on having some of those guys come to the show also,” Rapaport said. “The Big3 has been a lot of fun.”

Rapaport is as famous for his acting and comedy as for his commentary on the NBA.  He has played in two NBA all-star games and wasn’t a fan of the way the DeMar DeRozan-Kawhi Leonard trade went down.

“I think I had the same reaction as all Raptors fans,” he said. “It seemed to have come out of nowhere. Obviously DeRozan is a very loved Raptor who had given it all and committed to the team. Kawhi is obviously no slouch but I think it was just a shock in the way it was handled to everybody.”

The I Am Rapaport live podcast takes place Thursday at the Danforth Music Hall and the Big3 game will be on Friday at Scotiabank Arena.


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