Winnipeg comedian Paul Rabliauskas, like a lot of other comics, stays up
pretty late to perform. But he also gets up really early for his day
job. Really early.
You're a standup comic, and a morning show host on Streetz FM. How do you manage those very different schedules?
It really is a lot of hard work. You have to be up at 5 a.m., and a lot of the local shows go pretty late, like to midnight or 1 a.m. So the naps in the afternoon help. But I love talking. I make money on the radio talking, and then at night I'm lucky to get paid to talk on stage. As long as I don't have to exercise or actually write anything, then I'm good.
What inspired you to get into comedy?
I love comedy. As a kid I loved comedy, and as an adult I love comedy. As soon as you do well one time, and you feel the rush of the crowd, it's a euphoric feeling -- it's a high. And you want to keep chasing it.
Paul Rabliauskas performs alongside Ryan McMahon and Rosanna Deerchild at the Idle No More: The Media is the Message? show on April 14 at 3 p.m.
Canadian comic Darcy Michael lost more than 100 pounds, undergoing a
significant physical transformation. SCENE wondered if that change
affected his act as much as it affected his yoga poses.
Can you tell us a bit about what prompted you to lose so much weight?
I filmed a movie in October of 2010 called Lloyd the Conqueror - where I played a unicorn (dreams can come true kids). There's a scene where I had to run across a field to attack Mike Smith's (Trailer Park Boys) character. I nearly died on every take from being so out of shape, so the ball started rolling from there...
Your weight figured prominently in parts of your act, how did your comedy have to change to reflect the new you?
Everything changed - now I talk about all the things I did to lose the weight and the things I couldn't do - like Bikram yoga. Which, come on, it's not actually meant to be possible. It's a ridiculous culture celebrating near death experiences on a daily basis. So it's basically like heroin and that's bad for you too.
Darcy Michael performs on the Saturday Night Gala and will be taping a live episode of The Debaters on April 13th as part of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
Chances are, you've seen or heard Debra DiGiovanni perform.
The Toronto-based comic has appeared on MuchMusic's Video on Trial, made it to the top 10 of NBC's Last Comic Standing and currently appears on the Comedy Network's Match Game.
She's won numerous comedy awards, hosted awards shows and all in all, found a very comfortable place for herself on the comedy scene. Since she's in town for a couple of shows at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, it seemed like the perfect time to get to know her a little better.
Where was your first standup experience?
In Toronto at an open mic called Spirits. It's been running for almost 15 years now, and is truly one of my fav spots in T.O. It was fantastic. The room was happy, I had a great set and I felt like I'd found what I was looking for.
Debra DiGiovanni performs at the Saturday Night Late Gala - Mars & Venus on April 13th at Pantages and at CBC's The Debaters taping on Sunday April 14th at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre.
Canadian comedian Darren Frost is no stranger to hecklers. But the
award-winning, controversial peformer doesn't shy away from talking
He has had things thrown at him onstage and been yelled at about his cancer diagnosis, but Frost has won the crowd back, continued his set and posted the videos of it all online.
SCENE figured he was the perfect person to talk to about getting harassed while you're at work.
Do you remember the first time someone heckled you at a show?
I was a character comic in the '90s and some guy in Saskatchewan yelled at my plaid pants minute one and I thought maybe funny pants is not the way to do this for the next 44 minutes.
Darren Frost performs at Rank and Vile on April 12 and will be taping an episode of The Debaters on April 13 as part of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
Dean Jenkinson is a popular Winnipeg comedian who has appeared on his
own televised comedy specials and currently writes for CBC-TV's This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
He's also a dad to two young children so SCENE decided to find out just how funny it is when a professional comedian has a captive audience.
Vancouver comedian Erica Sigurdson has a darkness to her sense of humour that she tempers with a little smirk.
But in 2006, when she headed to Kandahar to entertain the troops, things stopped being funny pretty quickly when a rocket attack delayed the show. So SCENE asked her to tell us about that experience and other dangers comedians face.
What's the sketchiest travel experience you've had in standup?
I don't know if I'd call it sketchy, but by far the scariest was flying in to Kandahar on a Herc, wearing flak vests and a helmet in case we were shot at. The only saving grace of terrible travel experiences on your way to a show is that you know you'll get a new five minutes [of material] out of it at least.
Erica Sigurdson performs at the Friday Night Super Gala and at The Debaters taping on Saturday.
Ottawa's own Jon Dore has appeared on How I Met Your Mother, hosted Funny As Hell on HBO Canada and recently turned up in the cast of ABC's new show, How To Live With Your Parents.
He also performed what might be the best comedy appearance on a late night talk show ever. Check out the video from Conan below and if you disagree, watch it again.
Where are we most likely to find you, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook or other?
On the streets!
If we see you with headphones on, what are you most likely listening to?
The Big 3 Podcast - cause they talk about pop culture AND their own personal lives.
Jon Dore will be wandering around the Winnipeg Comedy Festival with a camera crew and appearing at XM Radio's Anything Goes show on April 10 and Friday Night's Super Gala on April 12.
People always ask me about my background because I look a bit ambiguous I
guess. It's funny how I can tell them til the cows come home that my
mom is from a small farming town in rural Manitoba and all they do is
anxiously wait for the other half.
They want to know about my "dark side"!!! When I start to tell them about punching that kid in the face in kindergarten for no reason other than to see what if felt like to punch a kid, they stop me and clarify.
I am half Nigerian I'll tell them. I'm just as white as I am not though, which is hard for people to believe - difficult to see through the afro I suppose. When it comes to backgrounds, people are far more interested in my black-ground.
The Winnipeg Comedy Festival's artistic director will be joining the
lineup for the Coming Out Swinging gala Thursday, April 11, to discuss -
with a few laughs - his choice to come out of the closet a few weeks
ago, ending a 23 year marriage and a chapter of his career.
Al Rae performs at Coming Out Swinging at the Gas Station Theatre on April 11.
If you've spent any time watching television, chances are you've seen Jonathan Torrens. He got his start on CBC's teen consumer affairs show Street Cents and went on to host his own teen talk show, Jonovision. Since then, Torrens has appeared as J-Roc on Trailer Park Boys, on the reality show parody Joe Schmo 2, received multiple Gemini nominations and launched his own show on TVTropolios.
Jonathan Torrens will be onstage as part of the Saturday Night Early Gala - High School Confidential at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. The show is April 13th at Pantages Playhouse Theatre.
The World According to Sook-Yin Lee
So, I'm walking down the hallway at the CBC and a woman gets off the elevator and smiles at me. I smile back and take a sip of my take-out coffee, only the drinking hole isn't lined up with my mouth and coffee pours down the side of my face all over my shirt.
WARNING: line up the hole with your mouth.
More useful advice when Sook-Yin Lee and the DNTO crew take the stage at the Gas Station Arts Centre for a live taping at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
Storytellers who will be exploring the topic of parenting include Niigaan Sinclair, Zarqa Nawaz, Bill Richardon, Dean Jenkinson, Diana Frances and live music courtesy of Imaginary Cities. The show is April 11 at 7 p.m., tickets are $15.
Seán Cullen has appeared on many stages - from The Ellen Degeneres Show, to The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show, and Just for Laughs.
He's hosted the Geminis, appeared in films, and is writing a number of novels.
See Seán Cullen as part of the Friday Night Super Gala - Regional Comedy Showdown & Parent Trap and CBC's The Debaters on Saturday, April 13.
After my baby was born only weighing six pounds, 14 ounces I was determined to lose the
other 73 pounds I had gained.
Not only was I huge, my breasts, once my milk came in (it sounds like I ordered it) were size "H". It was hard to stand up straight and not fall over, that's how huge they were. And unfortunately I wasn't blessed with the "my baby will nurse my pregnancy weight right off me" luck. Oh no!
Kate Davis appears at the Friday Night Super Gala at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and will be taping a live episode of The Debaters on April 13.
CBC Radio has called him "one of the smartest comics out there". Which
explains why, in addition to doing stand up comedy, Charlie Demers also
teaches classes at two different universities and writes
He's in town for the Winnipeg Comedy Festival so SCENE took the opportunity to find out more about this favourite guest of The Debaters.
What's one topic you'd love to debate on The Debaters?
I'm not sure -- the honest, kind of sucky answer is that Richard Side, the producer of the Debaters, has given me the chance to do many dream debates: Karl Marx versus Tommy Douglas, wine versus beer, West Coast versus East Coast.
Okay, here's one I'd like to do: Whereas it is a naturally-evolved trait that can spur hard work and creativity, be it resolved that anxiety is a good thing. And then I'd argue against that.
Charlie Demers performs at several shows at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, including a taping of The Debaters on April 14 where he will be debating whether or not it's time to stop fighting climate change.
Nicaraguan-Canadian comic Martha Chaves spends a lot of time on the
road. She's in town for the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and you have four
opportunities to catch her in action.
What do you pack first when you're getting ready to go on the road?
What are you most likely to forget?
What magazine are you most likely to pick up at a newsstand?
None. I always bring a book.
Martha Chaves is performing at several events, Best of the Fest, Friday Night Super Gala - Regional Comedy Showdown & Parent Trap, Coming Out Swinging and at Rumor's Comedy Club #7 (Saturday Late Show).