Montreal

3 questions with: Just-for-Laughs comedian Brad Williams

We asked comedians performing at this year's Just For Laughs Festival about what makes them laugh: their biggest fails, their best (profanity-free) jokes and the funniest thing about this city.

Just-for-Laughs comics on their biggest fails, their best G-rated jokes, the funniest thing about Montreal

Comedian Brad Williams fancies himself a storyteller as much as a jokester. He was born with dwarfism and his jokes centre on disability, relationships, sex and race. (CBC)

For the 34th year, the hottest comedians in the world will descend on Montreal for the Just for Laughs Festival. With so many funny people in one place, we wanted to find out about what makes them laugh: their biggest fails, their best (profanity-free) jokes and the funniest thing about this city.

Brad Williams, who fancies himself a storyteller as much as a jokester, was born with dwarfism and his jokes centre on disability, relationships, sex and race. He is performing at the Nasty Show from July 20 to July 30 and in his own show, Daddy Issues, which runs from July 28 to July 30.

CBC Montreal: Can you tell us about a time when you experienced a comedy fail? A joke that didn't go well, an awkward moment or something that didn't go as planned.

Brad Williams: I was making a joke about fat people that came off too mean and too aggressive, and the audience didn't like it. I knew it was a funny premise, so I changed the joke and changed the perspective of it.

Then it wasn't fat people, it was there are good fat people and bad fat people and I don't like bad fat people. Because then all the fat people in the audience are like, "Oh, well I'm a good one! I'm fine!"

It's like when you make fun of stupid people, no one in the audience is thinking "Well I'm stupid so that offends me." They all think they're smart. So in that way I made the joke a little less harsh, a little more palatable.

CM: What is your best short-form G-rated joke?

BW: My jokes are stories. I'm not that guy where I have one liners; it's long jokes that have little laughs in the middle of them.

CM: What's the funniest thing about Montreal?

BW: How disappointed people are when I start speaking English. As soon as I walk into a café or a restaurant or any place, and they say "Bonjour!" and I look at them like "Hi!" and as soon as I say that you see their face drop like "Ughhh, OK, I guess I'll talk to you in English."

That's the funniest thing to me, how it happens all the time. I think I walk around looking like I'm an ignorant American, so I think it's pretty obvious that I'm not going to speak French, but I still manage to disappoint people.

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