Sooke comedian Kevin Banner

Sooke comedian Kevin Banner

Sooke comedian wins national contest

Kevin Banner voted funniest Canadian in Bite.ca competition

Kevin Banner is officially one of the funniest people on the Island. And he just happens to be from Sooke.

Banner came back from the east about a week ago with a heavier wallet after a successful appearance on a televised competition to find Canada’s funniest stand up talent.

Called Stand Up & Bite Me, the show is hosted by Colin Mochrie from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and is shown on Bite.ca, a speciality cable channel.

“I never thought I would get flown out to Toronto,” said Banner, who was accepted into the contest after sending a 15 minute demo tape. He won $5,000 for beating out seven other contestants in an online poll (his routine was put on the Bite.ca website and garnered the most clicks).

Banner has been very active in the comedy scene both in Sooke, where he does a monthly show at Mulligans, as well as Victoria where he is a regular fixture at Hecklers Bar & Grill. He’s done 70 or 80 shows so far this year at the only venue for comedy in the city.

But the road to success has been a long one.

“I’ve been doing (stand up) for six years – I’ve been funny for about 18 months,” Banner said

Now 28, Banner said when he was in high school he wanted to be a professional wrestler.

“I went down to California to do a boot camp thing and it hurts, (in comedy there’s) a lot less folding chairs to worry about.”

Stand up was something he always wanted to do, but never seriously pursued.

“The whole thing of writing my own material – I didn’t think it was something I could do.”

Tired of working odd jobs, Banner decided to pick up the phone and start calling local pubs and clubs to see if he could get a spot during open mic night. When he started out, Victoria didn’t have much of a comedy scene, he said.

“It’d be 10 guys doing Jack Johnson and Sublime covers on their acoustic guitars, and then I’d do stand up. It was always kind of awkward.”

He started out doing shows at Logan’s Pub in Victoria, while performing here and there in Sooke. It wasn’t until he got to Hecklers that his career started to take off. About a year and a half ago, Hecklers started having amateur comedy nights once a month. Now it’s featured every second Sunday.

“For the longest time it was just me – I wasn’t learning much, I wasn’t growing much. And now Hecklers being there has just been monumental for that.”

Banner currently collaborates with some of the top Canadian performers – he opened for Alberta funnyman Dan Quinn on New Year’s Eve at Hecklers, and is bringing in another Albertan performer, Graham Clark, to a show in Sooke. Clark has appeared on HBO and has his own Comedy Network special, Banner said.

You can see Clark, as well as musical comedian Wes Borg at Mulligans this Friday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6 at the pub. For more information, visit Stump Ranch Comedy on Facebook or @BANNERkevin on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read