Published Apr 30, 2018We're particularly excited about our May 3 comedy show because it's going to be our last opportunity for great jokes until "May the Fourth be with you" is behind us and your annoying cousin Todd leaves your inbox alone for the rest of the year. You like Star Wars Todd, we get it. Shut the fuck up already.
Canada's only exclusive standup and sketch comedy label, Comedy Records, has teamed up with Exclaim! to launch the Comedy Records Showcase, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month at Wenona Lodge (1069 Bloor St. W) in Toronto. Show times are at 9 p.m. sharp!
Our May 3 edition features Noor Kidwai, Camille Cote and DJ Demers; we'll take this opportunity to get to know Noor and Camille a little better.
Camille Cote is from Winnipeg, MB but currently calls Toronto home.
"I was totally a fan of the art form and used to go and watch shows with no intention of ever getting up and performing," Cote says of her initial interest in comedy. "During this time, I had taken a couple years after high school to figure out what I wanted. I still didn't know but I fell into standup after taking an improv class and a year in a comedy program. It hit me at my first open mic that this was something I should keep up and here we are, six years later."
In terms of a style, Cote suggests that observational comedy, particularly the behavioural habits of other people, is definitely a specific influence on her work.
"I enjoy how different we all are. I love pinpointing uncomfortable things I've gone through that I can now look at through a wider lens. I think I'm changing constantly, so my material and storytelling is growing and evolving, but ultimately my motive is to relate and make everyone feel connected."
Beyond our comedy showcase, you can catch Camille Cote at a weekly "friendly to all" comedy show called Laughing Gigi on Wednesdays at Saving Gigi, located at 859 Bloor St West in Toronto.
Moving on through the prairies, Noor Kidwai is originally from High River, AB but, like Cote, now calls Toronto home. He says he used to perform improve in high school, but would also write monologues in between scenes and tell some jokes, and he found the writing process addictive. The next logical step was doing as many open mics as possible and developing as a standup.
"A lot of my earlier work focused on growing up in High River, which is a small farming town, as one of a few brown families," Kidwai explains. "There was quite a bit of material talking about my experiences growing up there, and the differences [between] my culture and the small town culture are innately funny. It also gave me a unique view on religion, as I grew up in mosques and churches, so I got to see [two] religions at once.
"My comedy is definitively a form of social commentary," he adds. "I love to talk about are culture and how it's changing. I am from a small town and have also travelled the world and, now [that I] live in a big city, I feel I have a bigger picture of how our culture is changing and I love to talk about that.
"Some of the topics I have been talking about lately are religion, spirituality, the generation gap, multiculturalism, and future technologies. The only topics I tend to avoid are topics that I see many other comics talking about like Tinder, Trump, etc. I mostly find them boring and personally l have fun making jokes on topics I haven't heard other comics talk about."
D.J. Demers hails from Kitchener, ON and has won Canadian comedy awards, including the Homegrown Comics competition at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival in 2014, and a Canadian Comedy Award for Breakout Artist in 2015. He was recently nominated for Comedy Album of the Year at the 2018 Juno Awards. Demers also appeared on America's Got Talent. (Those aren't all Americans? Weird.)
Come see these people release some jokes on Thursday May 3 at the Wenona Lodge in Toronto.
A ten-dollar ticket includes a pint of Steamwhistle; you can buy tickets in advance here.