Comedy cheerleaders, let’s make some noise. I CAN’T HEAR YOU!
This city’s top comedic talent has crowded the nominations at the upcoming Canadian Comedy Awards, which take place next week in Toronto. While the award show is notorious for focusing on acts based in central Canada (read: Toronto), Vancouver’s contenders this year are pretty darn strong. Let’s review.
Best Podcast nominee: Stop Podcasting Yourself
For over four years, comedians Graham Clark and Dave Shumka have put out a weekly podcast, which features silly and light-hearted chats with funny people who come from all over to be on the show (bigger names include Paul F. Tompkins and Brent Butt). As part of the American Maximum Fun podcasting empire, these guys get hundreds of thousands of listeners a week from all over the world. So whether they come home with the top prize or not, they’re already champions (of podcasting).
Best Improv: The Sunday Service
Every Sunday, you’re invited to go worship the intricate and intriguing craft of improv comedy at the Kozmik Zoo (formerly the Hennessey). Since 2006, the Sunday Service has been hosting weekly improv shows here on (get this) Sunday nights, featuring games and long-form sketches created entirely on the spot. The guys and one girl in the group are masters of this art form and will undoubtedly win you over with their impressive quick wit. If they come home with the hardware this year is another story – it’s their second time being nominated. However their overall chances are good: The group’s self-titled monthly podcast is also nominated, along with founding members Taz Van Rassel and Ryan “AW Guy” Beil going up against each other in the best male improviser category. Caitlin Howden, a somewhat recent Vancouver transplant and the group’s newest member, is also nominated for best female improver. Individually, their talent is a force, and condensed, there’s no question that the members of the Sunday Service are a metaphorical top prize. Even Mayor Gregor Robertson thinks so. He proclaimed Nov. 18, 2011 as the official Sunday Service Day.
Best Radio Program: This is That
Pat Kelly and Pete Oldridge are a pair of comedic heavyweights, who originally hail from Calgary. What matters here though is that they create their ingenuous Canadian radio satire This is That out of the CBC studios in Vancouver. This means we can claim them as our own. They have a pretty decent shot at the gold here, seeing as their nationally broadcast show – now in its third season – has left listeners either in hysterics or in a state of complete bewilderment, depending on how literally you take it.