Canada's only exclusive standup and sketch comedy label, Comedy Records, recently teamed up with Exclaim! to launch the aptly named Comedy Records Showcase, which will take place on the first Thursday of every month at Wenona Lodge (1069 Bloor St. W) in Toronto at 9 p.m.
The next instalment, on Thursday December 1, features Chris Robinson, Mark DeBonis and Clare Belford.
Chris Robinson hails from Brampton ON, and currently calls Toronto home. Robinson won the 2016 Canada Laughs (Sirius XM) Next Top Comic Award and is featured on the Comedy Records album Verbal Graffiti.
"I got a three-month-old baby, so my only fixations are getting money," Robinson says. "I have to make sure my girl eats good, so my baby is eating good. Caviar and couscous-flavoured breast milk all day."
Making babies feel rich isn't Robinson's only revealing personality quirk. He also likes to see people land on their asses.
"Funniest thing in the world is people falling with important, fragile things in their hands," he says. "Someone falling on their own is good, but once you add the disappointment on their face for screwing up, that takes it over the top. Like someone dropping a wedding cake or a baby.
"I drop my baby on purpose in public all the time. Never gets a big laugh. It needs to be natural."
You can see Robinson host his buddy Moe Ismail's album taping at St. Louis Beaches in Toronto on December 18, at Toronto's Queen Elizabeth Theatre with Jay Martin on January 21, and at Vancouver's Just For Laughs Northwest Festival on February 23.
Mark DeBonis grew up in Scarborough, Ontario but now splits his time between Toronto and Los Angeles. In 2012, he won the Great Canadian Laugh Off and performed at Just for Laughs this year. The Exclaim! showcase is also a launch party for his new EP, mars, which is available everywhere on December 2 via Comedy Records — fans at the Exclaim! Showcase will receive a free download of the EP.
"I'm huge into making my own pizza from scratch, dough and all," DeBonis says when asked how he's been spending his time lately. "I have also fallen into a YouTube documentary spiral now, where I'm watching a bunch of insane people talk about how crazy everything is in the world. Tupac lives..."
Given the choice to have dinner with an ideal guest, living or dead, DeBonis made a rather existential selection. "Future me, so I know how this all pans out," he explains.
"We'd have all side dishes but not tapas; we'd go to a restaurant and order off the side-menu, get way more bang for our buck. Why? Because I know myself."
You can see DeBonis perform in Toronto on December 2 at a concept show called WormHole that he's producing at Comedy Bar; on December 9, he headlines the Underground Comedy Club; on December 15 he's putting on a live taping of his Idea Hamsters podcast at Comedy Bar; and on December 26, he produces a variety show at the Rivoli.
Clare Belford moved to Toronto last year from Edmonton, AB and she's clearly enjoying the things that make life in the city so grand. She's also at least somewhat obsessed with undead demon spawn from the 1990s.
"Right now I'm really into spaghetti squash and Buffy the Vampire Slayer," she says. "I have a lot of Buffy to catch up on; I'm like 14 years behind. I'm also bananas over bike rides these days. Oh, also oatmeal."
Though all nutritional signs point to Belford living a long life, she's agreed to plan ahead with us and choose the song she'd prefer to have played at her own funeral.
"'Bring It On Home To Me' by Sam Cooke," she says. "It wouldn't make a lot of sense for a funeral but it's my favourite song."
The $10 cover includes a free pint of Steamwhistle and, this month only, a download of Mark DeBonis's new EP.