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

Sooke cannabis report does little to answer production questions

Council is trying to get ahead of the issue

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Peninsula Streams Society to restore 120 metres of Colquitz Watershed

With goal of contributing to the recovery of cutthroat and coho salmon

Indigenous peoples celebrated at Royal Roads

June 21 event includes host of activities as part of National Indigenous Peoples Day

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read