Josh Saltzman (left), Laura Cilevitz, Adam Christie, Zabrina Chevannes, Alana Johnston and Bryan O’Gorman compete for laughs and loot on Monday.
Laughter's a subjective thing, but one of the best forums for discovering new comedy talent is the annual Tim Sims Encouragement Award Nominees showcase.
This year, three stand-?ups (Zabrina Chevannes, Adam Christie, Bryan O'Gorman), one character monologist (Alana Johnston) and one sketch duo (7 Minutes in Heaven, aka Josh Saltzman and Laura Cilevitz) face off Monday (October 27) for the funny and a pretty decent purse of $5,000, all in honour of the late, great Second City performer Tim Sims. See Comedy Listings.
You're the love child of two comics - who are they?
Alana Johnston: Sinbad and Diane Keaton.
Bryan O'Gorman: Mother Teresa and Anton LaVey.
Adam Christie: Lennie Bruce and Comic Sans.
7 Minutes in Heaven(Josh Saltzman and Laura Cilevitz): Sonny and Cher meets Spy Vs. Spy.
Zabrina Chevannes: Bill Cosby (because I talk about my experiences with my kids a lot) and Wanda Sykes (because my material can get dirty real fast).
What role does comedy play in lousy economic times?
Christie: Comics are the first to be killed for meat and fed to the rich. Trickle down, trickle down.
Johnston: For the audience, comic relief during tough times. For comics, a confidence booster because everyone is now as poor as you.
Chevannes: It's always good to laugh at comics who are poorer than anyone in the audience. The best thing I've received doing stand-?up was a weed cookie.
7 Minutes: Isn't it more important to ask what role stockbrokers play in lousy economic times?
What will you do with the money if you win?
O'Gorman: Balloons, balloons, balloons.
Johnston: Buy some self-esteem and a baby.
Chevannes: Pay bills so I can do more stand-up. I spend a lot on travel and babysitting just to get to open mics, and it sucks.
Christie: Buy two gallons of oil. (Take that, economy!)
7 Minutes: Well, we're not going to open a theme restaurant, if that's what you're asking.
What jokes/gags didn't make it into your act?
O'Gorman: I used to shave a panda and then shoot it in the head to protest the senseless slaughter of all the pandas of the world. But I don't wanna be a prop act, ya know?
Christie: The one that literally blows the roof off. It's not fair to the other comics.
When you become rich and famous, what secret about you will the tabloids reveal?
Johnston: I drank Javex when I was six years old. Hard times, my friends, hard times.
O'Gorman: Luckily, I'm a Canadian entertainer. Words like "rich," "famous" and "tabloid" are things I'm never going to have to worry about.