Published Sep 01, 2017Now that school is starting up again, perhaps you should attend our next comedy showcase and teach yourself how to laugh all over again.
Canada's only exclusive stand-up and sketch comedy label, Comedy Records, recently teamed up with Exclaim! to launch the Comedy Records Showcase, which will take place on the first Thursday of every month at Wenona Lodge (1069 Bloor St. W) in Toronto. Showtimes are at 9 pm sharp!
Our September 7 edition features Pat Burtcsher, Courtney Gilmour, and Daniel Woodrow. Each of them were gracious enough to tell us more about what makes them tick, so that we could all get to know them better before we look at them holding microphones and listen to them tell us jokes.
Pat Burtscher calls Toronto home but originally hails from Graz, Austria. On September 9, he's recording a live album the Corner Comedy Club in Toronto.
"My brother entered me into a comedy competition and the rest is history," he says when asked how he got into standup. "One of my earliest memories is of my other brother getting out of trouble by getting my parents to laugh. I thought to myself, 'I gotta learn how to do that,' and the rest is history."
A history buff, Burtscher says his comedy runs the gamut, or at least a gamut if that sounds more open-ended to gamut nuts.
"I just like making fun of stuff that I think needs making fun of," he explains. "The only topics that are off limits are things I find lame and the rest is history."
Courtney Gilmour is originally from Waterloo, Ontario but now lives in Toronto, where she'll be performing at JFL42 on September 21. She was also the co-winner of the "Homegrown Comic" award at Just For Laughs in Montreal this summer.
"I entered a 'Funniest Person' competition in Windsor where I was going to school" she says, recalling her own earliest forays into comedy. "It was my second time trying standup after doing a set at a college fundraiser event, and I think I just liked the thrill of it even though I hadn't cracked it yet.
"Once I moved to Toronto for a writing job I figured I would try some open mics, Yuk Yuks amateur nights. I knew I was funny, it was just a matter of putting myself out there on a stage."
Gilmour says she comes from funny stock; her family is often a source for material and her parents' sense of humour has definitely shaped her own.
"I'm conversational and silly, I guess. I like to point out things or people that I find strange and see if I can hyperbolize it enough to make it sounds as funny as it does in my head. Recently I've been talking about my own blunders in life and how my cat has an anxiety disorder."
Ottawa-bred but Toronto-based, Daniel Woodrow is celebrating the ninth anniversary of his "Perfect 10 Comedy" monthly live show at the Comedy Bar on November 4 and plans to tour across the west coast later that month.
"I got into comedy first as a performer; I never used to watch very much comedy but there were a few comedians I did love to watch," he explains. "I always loved making funny stupid videos as a kid, so I had an interest in performing comedy most of my life. I was asked if I wanted to try standup, and I jumped at the opportunity."
Woodrow suggests that being a black comedian raised by white parents in the suburbs deeply impacted in the ways you suspect such a thing might. The relative complexity and unique nature of his upbringing has certainly shaped his comedic perspective.
"I'd describe myself as an observational comedian, but realistically I just talk about things that annoy me. I talk about my weird childhood, race. Secretly, I'm a fairly clean comedian; I rarely slip in a few [cuss] words, but my standup is still pretty edgy so most people don't even notice."
And the rest. Is History.
Come see these funny people perform live comedy on Thursday September 7 at the Wenona Lodge.
A ten-dollar ticket includes one pint of Steamwhistle; you can buy tickets in advance here.