Kevin Banner

Sooke comic takes on the funnier, darker side of life

Kevin Banner always loved telling people a good joke.

Kevin Banner always loved telling a good joke.

He’d think of something new, then take it to the stage and get some laughs out of it. It was good fun.

Living in Sooke and doing shows all over town and in Victoria, Banner didn’t think it would turn into anything – but it did, and more than six years later, he’s still at it, working part time as a professional comedian.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to do, but never thought I could. I wanted to try it once, just to say that I had done it, but it’s quite addictive,” Banner said, who first started doing comedy shows at Mulligan’s (before it closed) and open mic at 17 Mile Pub.

Like every comedian and artist, Banner’s style is tailored to his own life experiences.

“Mostly, I tell stories of things that have happened in my life, I’m a little bit dark, edgy at times, a little bit silly and goofy,” he said. “I try to think of a funny thing and say it into a microphone, hopefully it works out.”

Three years ago, Banner made a move to Vancouver to further his career, simultaneously launching two separate lifestyles: working in a downtown office by day, comedian by night.

“After the show I go back to being very introverted and awkward. We’re not nearly as exciting when we’re not on stage. There are those guys who are on all the time, but nobody likes them,” he laughed.

Still, it’s not easy to make a living in Canada as a comedian, and trying to make a joke in a more sensitive world has become a little bit tricky, Banner noted, adding that the big issue these days is context.

“People hear a buzz word and they think, oh, he said that, this is how I have to respond’, but without hearing the context,” he said, adding that he’s gotten some sharp responses to certain jokes that run past a more volatile plain.

“I have a joke where I talk about rape. The part I talk about is how there’s a politician in the States, Todd Akin, who made a disturbing statement about rape, that a woman’s body would shut down and she won’t get pregnant. I talk about that and how he’s an idiot.”

Banner said he’s had people come up to him after shows telling him he’s racist, though it’s never a person of colour making the statement, but almost always a white man or woman saying it.

“People like getting offended on behalf of other people. Everyone’s trying to show other people, ‘hey, I’m a really good person.’ It becomes this competitive calling out kind of society that we’ve got right now,” he said.

Using comedy as a vessel to tell stories or even portray the issues of modern society is nothing new or radical, considering the works from comics such as Jerry Seinfeld, the vivid (and hilarious) portrayals by George Carlin, America’s real-time troubles with racism by Dave Chapelle, and the world’s struggles with mental health by the late Robin Williams.

Given the gift of observation, it’s easy to see why comedians click so easy, Banner said.

“Even if you meet a comedian at a party or an event, you can bond over the fact that you are a comedian,” he said.

Banner’s latest move is taking part in Canada’s Top Comic competition –  40 comics in Vancouver and 40 in Toronto, three of which would be selected from both regions. There are 18 left. From that, eight go to Toronto, where the winner will get a $25,000 show at Just for Laughs in Montreal, Northwest Vancouver and JFL 42 in Toronto.

It would be a step forward, which is why Banner hopes Sookies will give him the boost he needs to make it to the very finals of the competition.

Banner was the winner of Bite TV’s 2011 “Stand Up & Bite Me People’s Champ” and has performed with notable comedians like Doug Stanhope, Bill Burr and Norm MacDonald.

To vote for Kevin Banner, go to: topcomic.siriusxm.ca/comic/kevin-banner.

He also recorded his first album last month, Dreamboat.

 

Just Posted

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

VicPD notify public of sexual assault with weapon in Esquimalt

Officers ask residents to be vigilant while investigation continues

VIATEC’s 2018 “Startup of the Year” heads to Vegas for global spotlight

Victoria-based boat security company Barnacle Systems set for Consumer Electronics Show

Surprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Most Read