Montreal sketch comedian aims to build following on YouTube

As part of its series on Montrealers making it big on YouTube, CBC Montreal's Homerun spoke to sketch comedian Adam Susser, whose YouTube channel features cheeky interviews in the spirit of Rick Mercer’s 'Talking to Americans.'

Adam Susser makes Rick Mercer-like videos on topics like #elbowgate, make-believe charity 'Adopt a Squirrel'

Montreal comedian Adam Susser (left) has amassed hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube for his cheeky interviews, which include teaching Torontonians Quebec expressions and asking Montrealers if they would vote Donald Trump for Canadian prime minister. (Adam Susser/ YouTube)

This story is part of CBC Homerun's series on Montrealers who have made it big on YouTube. 

Montrealer Adam Susser always wanted to be a sketch comedian.

Growing up in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Susser dreamed of moving to Toronto to join Second City and make his name as a comedian.

Somewhere along the way, Susser, now 32, fell in love with stand-up comedy and has been performing in and around Montreal for the last 12 years.

He also runs a popular YouTube channel featuring a mix of sketch and parody interviews in the spirit of Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans."

Susser's top videos have garnered more than 300,000 hits as he interviews people on the streets of Montreal on a range of topics from Justin Trudeau and #elbowgate to a make-believe charity called "Adopt a Squirrel."

A Concordia alumnus, Susser honed his video skills while volunteering with the Concordia University TV station, CUTV. He found it took time before he hit his stride producing videos that really connected with people.

"I started producing my own videos eight years ago," he said. "My videos have evolved. I kind of learned you have to let the audience in on the joke."

He describes his work as a mix of stand-up and sketch: "It's like doing a sketch with people who don't know they are in a sketch."

Currently in "audience-building mode," Susser says he's had more success on Facebook than YouTube when it comes to gaining traction with viewers.

"It takes a different set of skills in order to make it on YouTube compared to Facebook, and for years I tried to make it on YouTube, and it's just too difficult," he said. "You have to produce a video every single week on YouTube, and I was never able to do that."

For now, Susser is content to keep producing his own videos and building his brand online.

"I'm happy making videos for my own channel because I have an audience so that's satisfying and a lot of fun."

With files from CBC Homerun