This is what I was meant to do.
Everything I’ve ever done.
All the different paths I’ve been on. All the lessons I’ve had to learn. The hard way of course.
It all leads to hear.
I grew up as the overweight kid. I had to be funny. I had no choice. I had to learn a tool to mask all the torment that a fat kid deals with daily at school, and everywhere else.
I’m not gonna make this a sappy, poor little fat me post. This is just necessary to the plot of my life is all. Chill out fuckers.
I always had this gift.
Make people laugh their ass off whenever I could.
I was addicted to watching stand up specials from such a young age. My first ever exposure was a VHS copy of Eddie Murphy’s Delirious from the local video rental place. I can’t even confirm if it was Blockbuster or a Video 99. Oh man I’m so old.
I began renting and watching as many as I could. This was until we got something called the Comedy Network. Channel 44. Oh man this was a gold mine for me.
All this stand up was just on at all times. I watched every Comedy Now episode. All the Comedy at Club 54’s. Just for Laughs. It was all there and I still felt like I couldn’t get enough.
This was the early stages of me realizing what I am supposed to do. Learn this amazing craft and make it my life.
At this point though I never imagined that I could actually do this and be successful. Forget being successful, it just never crossed my mind as a possibility.
I began realizing who my favorite comedians were at this time.
Chris Rock, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Norm Macdonald, Gary Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show blew my tiny brain) Richard Pryor, Conan O’Brien, Robin Williams, David Letterman, and I just have to stop there. I can keep going but I think you get it.
I was in awe any time these comedians were on a stage or I was listening on a CD with my headphones on so my parents never knew what vile garbage was spewing into my brain that turned me into the disaster you see today.
A select few comedians really stuck out for me though and I now consider them the greats that shaped me and fine tuned my comedy taste into whatever it is today. They are, in no particular order: Mitch Hedburg, Louie C.K., George Carlin, Dave Chappelle and before I knew he was from my hometown, Russell Peters.
I was immediately hooked on Russell. I’m talking about that really early stand up he had. All the Comedy Now tapings and the Comedy at Club 54 episodes. I just couldn’t get enough of him.
Before he taped his now infamous CTV special that went absolutely insanely viral on YouTube, I was eating lunch at our local mall in Brampton and I hear a voice a few tables away. I look and I see Russell eating lunch with his mom as well (We are so alike). I was stunned. At this time no one really knew of him or at least he was able to be in public and not be harassed non stop. He was Provincially famous maybe. I tell my mom that Russell Peters is sitting next to us and I want to go say hi and no idea what else. I walk up to Russell and tell him I am actually a big fan and he was so super cool. By the end of the short conversation we had, he gave me a number to call to get myself and two others on a guest list for his CTV taping he was having in less then a week. I was through the moon. I swear if you watch that special today you can hear my laugh throughout the whole special. (I’ve included that special just to the right, I got you). After that went on YouTube Russell was on a rocket to comedy stardom.
At this point in my life I was still 100% focused on music as my path. I had two loves. Music and comedy. And Music was the major driving passion at this time still and I couldn’t fathom doing anything else.
I would eventually attempt to write comedy skits and videos with my best friend Andrew. He saw something extra in me when others just dismissed me as that funny fat friend that could play guitar. He loved to write as well and was always on a mission to find the path for himself and for others he believed in, he is the type to invest more time into others then himself, if you showed an attempt to succeed and worked hard.
Proud to say he’s still my best friend to this day and we are still side by side after many different attempts at paths and avenues in this journey to success.
At some point in here I just have to mention my second encounter with Russell Peters. It was a week before Christmas and the local Brampton Wal-Mart was open 24 hours a day to accommodate all the crazy Wal-Mart people and their shopping. It was around midnight and I’m standing in line when I hear a voice behind me pass by…. I immediately tell my sister “That’s Russell’s voice!” I turn around and sure enough there’s Russell walking with his mom again. My sister tells me to go talk to him but I’m now trying to convince myself he doesn’t want to be bothered (This is after Red White and Brown is released. Dude is hella famous now) She finally convinces me and I catch up with him in the cereal/juice isle. I immediately tell him “I love all his Shit” He gives me a weird look and says “You love my shit?” I nervously laugh it off cause I’m such a loser and he is once again super kind and cool. I tell him about me being at his Comedy Now taping. He was so appreciative of the support. At this point I’m an OG fan of Russell. We took that pic you see up above the Comedy Now video in the Wal-Mart aisle.
I hold these chance meetings with Russell very close to my heart. One day I will share a stage with him and tell him once again how much I still love all his shit.
Now where was I?…….Oh ya, comedy team
We tried for so long to build a good team of funny people we knew, but just never could finish anything to a point where we were happy with it enough to share or even fully complete. Things always fell apart eventually and could never successfully finish a project.
This is the exact issue I had with Music. If I could sing I would have never had to rely on a band. To this point in my life, I always pursued a path that involved me compromising or depending on others to pull through with the same urgency and passion I would put into a project.
With a band I eventually realized I or someone else would not be happy enough with a final product to share it or even finish a song. I would write songs whenever I wanted. And I would be pleased with them, but with a band it doesn’t work that way. Everyone has to agree to a point, because I’ll be the first to say most people will not let you write anything without themselves ripping it apart to their own liking.
So it was always a compromise….. And I couldn’t fucking stand that.
The same with the comedy groups I would have. Not in just a compromise type of sense though. There was a matter of never being able to find dedicated people who were willing to sacrifice anything or have the same passion to pursue it to the end, so it was just a lot of projects falling apart eventually.
Funny people, but no passion
Years go by before I hit a bottom like I have never before. And I’m very familiar with bottoms. It’s why I’m an ass person.
I had a good job, but I was so unhappy about every other part of my life. I wasn’t making music anymore. Andrew had moved to BC and I was still in Ontario in a basement just doing the routine work, eat, get high, sleep,repeat.
I lost my purpose. I lost my drive and didn’t know where to turn. In the moment you don’t realize it until you reach a point of desperation though. Hard to see the forest……..
And then one day you come across something on YouTube that changes everything…….
When I saw this podcast it was eye opening to me and where I was at in life. Tony Hinchcliff was putting anyone on stage that was willing to put their name in a bucket at the world famous Comedy Store in LA, and then interviewing them after. This was it.
The answer to my everything.
After witnessing the amount of first timers and others doing it for years on stage bombing or even having a good set, really hit home with me. Famous comedians telling them to “Keep it up” or roasting them in a way but still pushing and giving pointers. Seeing it on screen in front of me made me realize something….In my head, I was funnier then a lot of what I was seeing. I Can Do This!
I know that sounds like such an asshole statement, but please understand what it ultimately did for me. It gave me hope and made me see what I needed to see. Doing stand up was a way for me to finally do something I had a passion for, but now I could pursue a passion of mine all by myself. No more relying on band members to run a “riff” or lyric by before approval. No more relying on other people to compromise my comedy writing with.
I could write alone and getting on stage was all up to me. I had only myself to rely on
I was the beginning and end of my fate now
I learned so much watching Kill Tony. Pro tips and knowledge to eventually get me to a point of getting my ass on a stage.
That was the straw that got me to finally sell my belongings and buy a one way ticket to B.C.
Andrew had been trying his best to save me from afar. It’s what he does. Eventually I jumped out of my comfort zone and made the move. I had nothing to keep me in this hole anymore. No Kids. No Significant other. Lost my drive, and worse of all, my mentality at this low point had convinced me I had no purpose left.
I discovered Kill Tony in Oct 2018.
Did a gig in Brampton in Dec 2018.
Rented a room on Craigslist on Jan 31st 2019.
Landed in BC on Feb 1st 2019.
Had a day job on Feb 11th 2019.
Was on stage at the Kino 3 months later.
And now currently on this journey and doing sets wherever I can ever since.
Stick around for a bit and you just might see a lot more.
Catch Me Somewhere