Published Jul 04, 2017For a limited time, Canada has a summer. What better way to enjoy the great outdoors then by joining us in a basement nightclub to watch some hot, hot comedy?
Exclaim! and Canada's only exclusive standup and sketch comedy label, Comedy Records, present 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 July 6 edition features Todd Graham, John Cullen and Ben Miner and now it's time to learn a little bit about Todd and John because they responded to our email about this a lot more than Ben did. (Ben is on Twitter. Feel free to ask him any questions you have directly.)
Todd Graham lives in Toronto and has been contemplating changing his name to Jean-Claude Todd Graham. He plans to appear at most major comedy festivals and also release a standup record in 2018.
When asked to name the funniest person in the world, Graham can't quite settle on any singular being.
"I know I should say one or both of my kids, but they both really need a good dollop of hubris added to their personal narratives before they can truly tap into any universal consciousness with any kind of worthwhile observations," he says.
"This being the case I would have to create an amalgam of Tom Waits, Jack Handy and Kurt Vonnegut. I realize these are all white guys, but I think it would be hard enough for them to be taken seriously sewn together to make this 'Comedy Frankenstein' — especially with one of them being dead!"
John Cullen was born and raised in various suburbs of Toronto and has called Vancouver home for 18 years. In May, he released a record called Most Likely to be a Comedian, and he appears in Toronto for live shows from July 5 to 9 and at the Kamloops Komedy Festival July 14.
Cullen also hosts a podcast called Real Good Show. "It's a comedy podcast that's sometimes about sports and it's a really fun time," he says. "So, if you can't wait to see me in your town, listen to that."
Cullen sounds like a bona fide culture vulture.
"I'm obsessed with music and always on the look out for new stuff. One of my current fixations is the new HAIM record, which is not out yet but I can already tell by the first three songs released it's gonna be my summer jams record. They're just an extremely fun band that knows how to write a hook. I'm loving a lot of records by female-fronted bands this year: Jay Som, Alex Lahey, SZA, Lorde, Big Thief, Charly Bliss, Slowdive, Louise Burns, Feist. Damn. Really good year now that I've typed it all out.
"Books-wise, I just read The Comedians by Kliph Nesteroff, which I dug a lot. It's a no-nonsense look at the history of standup comedy. I like non-fiction that's like that: just give me the goods, and let me paint my own picture. Lots of great stories told by the greats in it, too."
As Canada comes down from officially celebrating its 150th birthday, we asked Graham and Cullen to reflect upon what makes them proud and also ashamed to be Canadian.
"It sounds like you're asking something that is those things at the same time, so I'll say Tim Hortons," Cullen says. "Their food and coffee is extremely bad, and yet, somehow good. Does that make sense? Like, put another way, I'm proud of Timbits because they're delicious and you can't beat an iced cappuccino on a hot day. But on the other hand, to have one of the things your country is most known for is a budget donut shop seems pretty embarrassing. No one is like, 'Oh man, I can't wait to get to Paris to try this chain of croissant stores!' They just have cool cafés and bakeries making them."
Come on down to our comedy showcase and feel the joy and pain of being Canadian with these fine comedians.
A ten-dollar ticket includes a pint of Steamwhistle; you can buy tickets in advance here.