Published Dec 28, 2018With the new year fast approaching, many people are locking in their new year's resolutions. If your resolution is to "see more comedy," then you're in luck — the next Exclaim! and Comedy Records monthly standup showcase is on Thursday, January 3 at Wenona Lodge in Toronto (1069 Bloor St. W.), kicking off at 9 p.m.
The first showcase of 2019 marks the return of showcase staples Steph Tolev, Nick Reynoldson and Daniel Woodrow. Ahead of the show, we asked them about their New Year's resolutions, current fascinations and more.
Steph Tolev isn't just returning to the Wenona Lodge — the East York-born comedian is currently based in Los Angeles, and has come back to her hometown for the holidays. "I miss it so much," says Tolev of Toronto. "[There are] too many self-absorbed people in [Los Angeles]. I go grocery shopping and everyone is wearing heels or sports bras and I'm walking around with one eyebrow drawn on not giving a shit. I find it funny now, but at first it was annoying."
Regardless of how many shits she gives or how many eyebrows she'll have drawn on, Tolev is excited to be performing in her hometown once again. "Self-deprecating humour does much better here than L.A.," she observes.
It's worth noting that things aren't all bad for Tolev in LA. "I recently stumbled across dating men in their 40s and am into it!" she exclaims. "I was so hung up on dating guys my age and under, and hating it, now I'm trying to find myself a nice, older man."
When not dating older men, Tolev is working on "a very gross and violent" new project titled "The Revenge." Her New Year's resolution is to stop complaining ("I felt like it's all I did this year") and to act more.
Nick Reynoldson is a co-host of the Talking Raptors podcast, but he's not totally loving the Raptors' successful season so far (at press time, they're the top team in the Eastern Conference, a position they've held all season long).
"It's way easier to talk about stuff when the team is a disaster," gripes the comedian. "We have only been saying nice things all season and it gets boring. We need a low key scandal or for the mascot to get hurt again. We need dirt."
There are more reasons why Reynoldson is (not so) secretly rooting against his home team. "I feel like we are going to win a championship and I am going to go broke buying playoff tickets."
Also harming Reynoldson's bank account is some new interior decorating. "I recently got velvet couches and was scared to sit on them for a while. I finally did and they are so comfortable I am obsessed." Reynoldson's new year's resolution? "Sit on my couch confidently and comfortably."
Daniel Woodrow was born in Ottawa but currently calls Toronto home. Much of his comedy deals with being a black comedian raised by white parents, and the unique place he occupies in conversations about race and identity.
"I get to view race from a unique angle, so I like to bring the audience with me into that world," says Woodrow. "Although I do speak about race in my comedy, I usually do it from a lighter side — pun not intended. I like to use my jokes to inspire reflection."
According to Woodrow, he's known for diving head-on into his fascinations, spending most of his waking hours obsessing and poring over whatever has caught his attention. Currently, Woodrow is obsessed with multi-level marketing schemes: "So many people have tried over the years to get me in them."
But would he ever get involved in one himself? "I would never be involved unless someone how I could get in at the super beginning," he admits sheepishly. "Either way, you are scamming people."
Fittingly enough, Woodrow's New Year's resolution is to "get that bread. Or more Instagram followers. I'll take either."
Come encourage these comedians to fulfill their New Year's resolutions (and, of course, fulfill your own) on Thursday, January 3 at the Wenona Lodge. A $10 ticket includes a pint of Steamwhistle; you can buy tickets here.