"You can't move forward in a vacuum," K. Trevor Wilson tells Exclaim! as he lets out a hearty chuckle. "If you're just doing the same thing over and over again, you can be fulfilled by the reaction you're getting, but you're not challenging yourself. To be the best standup comic you can be, you have to put yourself in situations where you don't know if it's going to go well."
Burly, bearded, and six feet tall, Wilson is not easy to miss. Every year, he travels across Canada and performs at every kind of show you can imagine; and whether it's in rural Saskatchewan, on the Just For Laughs Roadshow tour, or in front of thousands of people opening for Louis CK, he's determined to deliver.
"I try to do comedy by the 80 percent rule. You know, if you make 80 percent of the people laugh 80 percent of the time, you'll probably make everyone laugh at least once," the 2016 Roast Battle semi-finalist explains.
Given his work ethic, it's no surprise that K. Trevor Wilson has risen to the top of the Canadian comedy industry. In the last year alone, Wilson played Squirrely Dan on the new hit show Letterkenny, toured arenas with the Oddball Comedy Festival (alongside comics like Iliza and John Mulaney), and made his American late night debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Wilson's first half-hour special, Bigger in Person, airs on Saturday March 18 at 10 pm on the Comedy Network.
"To put a big show out there on Canadian television, it's a thrill," he says. "I get to be the first one of these new specials that comes out. After [standup series] Comedy Now! ended, nothing really stepped up to replace it. It looked, for a long time, that no one was going to have a special in this country again unless they produced it themselves. So when Bell and Just For Laughs contacted me and offered me this opportunity, I was quite ecstatic."
Unlike most Canadian comics who seek opportunities in the States, Toronto-based Wilson says "I'm incredibly busy up here. My family, friends, girlfriend and TV show are here. I have a project in development, and my standup career is quite bustling. Moving to the States would just make it more difficult. I'm actually trying to find time in my schedule to take bookings in the States. Right now I'm just swamped. My calendar is pretty much filled up until August."
Despite the fact that K. Trevor Wilson once said that he's married to his career, he still makes time for the other loves of his life.
"Meeting my girlfriend was my highlight of 2016," he says, happily acknowledging that he sounds a bit cheesy. "Right now I'm trying to figure out Snapchat cos [she] likes that."
There's a second woman Wilson loves too. "I love Dolly Parton movies. Like Straight Talk, I've probably seen 11 times. That's one of those movies where if I'm channel surfing and it comes on, I'm gonna watch that whole thing. And that's not even her best movie!" He gushes, then chuckles.
"9 to 5 is probably her best film, but some of the lines in Straight Talk are just classics. Like 'Get off the cross. Somebody needs the wood.' I still use that. That's a good one."