Published Oct 30, 2018Holy moly it's November! That snuck up on us quickly. Way to be a trooper and move along, 2018. If only other years didn't spend their time riding the escalator and instead sprinted up the steps like you've been doing, you fit year you.
Canada's only exclusive stand-up and sketch comedy label, Comedy Records , has teamed up with Exclaim! to launch the Comedy Records Showcase, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month at Wenona Lodge (1069 Bloor St. W) in Toronto. Showtime is at 9 p.m. sharp!
Our November 2 edition features performances by Lianne Mauladin, Darryl Purvis and Kyle Brownrigg, and so we thought we'd learn more about them and then present our findings to you, the reader.
Lianne Mauladin is originally from Burlington, ON but has been living in Toronto for the past 15 years, where she hosts Merry Janes of Comedy, the longest-running all-female standup show in the city, which takes place at the Comedy Bar every third Friday of the month, featuring up-and-comers and professional headliners.
Mauladin first got into comedy when she wanted to meet people after moving to Toronto and took a few improv classes at Second City.
"I was a huge fan of sketch comedy since I was little, watching The Carol Burnett Show and I grew up like many comics did, watching SNL and SCTV," she explains. "I loved Molly Shannon, Chris Farley, David Spade and that whole group. But to perform it, I didn't like the fact that other people were depending on me. It might sound weird to some people, but I felt like there was way more pressure on me in improv or sketch, because other people were counting on me for a good performance. So It wasn't fun for me.
"Then I tried standup, and it stuck. I had spent my teens and 20s watching An Evening at the Improv on TV. Actually, I watched a lot of standup my first year of university, because Yuk Yuks would let you in if you weren't 19, they just wouldn't serve you alcohol. So lots of dates there. But yeah, standup is just me up there and if it goes well it's all me, and if it goes badly it's all me. I love it. It's just enough pressure to still be fun."
Beyond our showcase, catch Mauladin on December 15 at Hugh's Room Toronto for Martha Chaves and Friends, with headliner and Canadian Comedy Award winner for Best Standup Comedian 2018, Martha Chaves.
Darryl Purvis is originally from Antigonish, NS, but now calls Toronto the city where he currently lives. He just released his first album, Friendly Face.
"Ever since I can remember, I wanted to do standup," Purvis explains. "When I was a kid I would tape Letterman and Johnny Carson every night and the next day instead of doing homework, I would watch their monologues and the guest comedians over and over again. After a while I started writing my own jokes and trying them out on my friends at school. Again, I would do that instead of doing homework; I was a horrible student. But I was a pretty funny kid so that's something I guess."
After graduating from university, Purvis moved to Toronto and appeared at a Yuk Yuks amateur night and then started doing open mics around town and the rest has worked itself out.
"My act is very much about my life," he says. "It's mostly a series of things that have happened to me or things people have said to me, and how I dealt with those moments. I try to avoid talking about politics, especially nowadays; it's so hard to avoid what's going on in the world. I think most people who are going to comedy clubs are trying to escape the world for a while, and I think the same goes for me while I'm on stage. It's nice to just have a little bit of time where life is just fun."
Kyle Brownrigg is from Ottawa, but now lives in Toronto; he's been doing comedy for about six years. This year, he was featured as a finalist in the SiriusXM Top Comic competition.
"I was always a fan of standup comedy," Brownrigg says. "Growing up, the height of conversation was always comedic with my family. We always seemed to be quoting funny TV shows and film and would only tell stories that made us laugh at the dinner table.
"My parents were huge fans of the late Mike MacDonald, as he was originally from Ottawa as well. They even used to go see Mike when he wasn't famous in the '80s at local bars and clubs. My father took me to Yuk Yuk's when I was 16 and I guess I never really realized how much comedy was part of my life. We were always watching comedy specials, quoting funny movies, the fact that I got into standup, looking back now, kind of seemed inevitable.
"When I was finally doing standup professionally and I had the opportunity to introduce my parents to Mike, I remember how star struck they were by him. He gave them a big hug and said, 'I'm sorry he's so gay.' Mike loved telling me that story. It's moments like that that I would like to say are the reason I got into standup, but honestly, it's just who I am. It's how I express myself."
You can also catch Kyle Brownrigg at the 905 Comedy Festival where he'll be doing a taping for CBC Radio on November 23.
Come see these people make October kiss their ass on Thursday November 2 at the Wenona Lodge.
A ten-dollar ticket includes one pint of Steamwhistle; you can get tickets in advance here.