Jun 04

Laugh Out Loud Downtown with Chris Gordon

by JaronW · 0 comments


They say laughter is the best medicine, and if that’s true Calgary’s Chris Gordon is a PHD in funny!

In addition to being one of Canada’s hardest working comedians, Chris has been featured in commercials, film and as Contrell, the mule owning grump, on the filmed-in-Calgary hit series Hell on Wheels.

Always on the move, Chris will be featured in the 14th annual FunnyFest comedy festival as well as a part of Sled Island’s comedy line-up on Jeff’s Night Out at Wine-OHs June 19th.

I was able to track down Chris and ask him a few questions about his comedy career so far:

Q: How long have you been doing comedy?
A: 9 almost 10 years now. I stepped on stage 8 years after graduating high school. I always wished I had tried it sooner but I had horrible stage fright. I tried it once and was hooked. It didn’t mean it was easy or that it didn’t involve vomiting before shows or being frozen in time with fear for the week in advance of my performances though, haha!

Q: What got you started?
A: I hit a real low point in my life and realized I was never trying something I really wanted to do. I used to go to watch shows and sit in the audience and be so nervous, like shaking nervous, as if they were going to run out of comedians and just randomly ask me to perform. I would also call the comedy club every six months or so asking them how amateur nights worked even though I knew from the first time I called. I was so nervous to even make the call and I thought doing all that was making progress, but it was about stepping into the bright lights for the first time.

Q: What do you like about downtown?
A: That giant mesh head… also a lot of great comedy shows occur there. People really need to treat themselves to a night of live comedy. You will see hilarious professional local comedians, touring comics and even big name acts.

Q: Why do you like performing?
A: There is no better feeling than the instant gratification and feedback you get from telling jokes on stage. It’s a rush and what I live for. There is also no worse feeling then when it’s not going well, but you make your best effort to minimize that second situation. Steve Martin talks about it in his book, Born Standing Up. He says, “It was easy to be great. Every entertainer has a night when everything is clicking… What was hard was to be good, consistently good, night after night…” You must try and fail to get better and sometimes the funniest sets can be when jokes aren’t working and you acknowledge that fact. Martin also addresses this, “It’s very Darwinian, because a mistake can lead to a success.” (I know I mentioned his book twice here but it is great and if you get a chance, listen to the audiobook because Steve Martin reads it himself!)

Q: Is seeing comedy live really that different from a DVD or cd?
A: Absolutely and undeniably. I will listen or watch comics sets that have been recorded in this way and think I don’t love their stuff, but then I will see them live and totally changed my opinion. There is a reason people still go to movies and it’s because it is a shared experience with others. Laughter is contagious and with comedy some things are truly only understood the moment it happens. It is also fun to watch comedians live because they are often working out new bits and you can see them before anyone else and watch them develop or fail. On a dvd or an album you are usually getting their best stuff and minimal crowd work which makes sense and is great, but a live performance will beat that any day.

Q: What can people expect from a Chris Gordon performance?
A: Lasers. Swords. Richard jokes.

Check Chris out downtown at his FunnyFest shows (until June 8th) or at Jeff’s Night Out as a part of Sled Island on June 19th. Purchase tickets and see where he is performing here: www.hilariouscomedian.com

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