The final chortle: Victoria Banner explores the darker aspect of comedy with debut album

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“I might name the document moody.”

It’s maybe not the primary phrase that springs to thoughts when selling a comedy album. However provided that Calgary humorist Victoria Banner’s debut document is definitely referred to as I Hate Stand-Up, it’s protected to imagine she has no qualms about bucking custom in terms of performances. Final 12 months, Banner carried out a half-hour set in an episode of Comedy Invasion, a Canadian sequence that highlights various artists within the comedy scene. She seen that a lot of the leftover materials that didn’t make it within the particular was decidedly darker in tone. So she went with it.

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“It made me chortle, as a result of I knew I used to be going to place it on a document and I’m a giant, dark-wave, ’80s goth fan,” says Banner. “So I used to be like ‘What if I select the remainder of my jokes which can be gothy, death-(obsessed), depressive and put them collectively for one more half hour?”

Recorded in June at cSpace in Calgary, I Hate Stand-Up is scheduled to hit streaming companies on Oct. 13. It’s not miserable, after all. However there does appear to be some flagrant rule-breaking within the first jiffy. Banner bursts on stage with one thing she calls “Hi there Neckbeard,” a really meta opening that finds her singing about how she is recording an album in entrance of all her pals however the one individuals who will take heed to it on-line can be her “enemies.” “Hi there Neckbeard, who’s on a podcast and needs a fortune to try to show that girls aren’t humorous!” she shouts. She then launches right into a self-deprecating story a couple of latest breakup.

“Normally on an album, you’re speculated to do polished materials you’ve been doing for 10 (expletive) years,” she explains to the viewers. “Nope, telling a narrative that occurred final week.”

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By means of her rapid-fire supply, she covers every thing from her dysfunctional relationship along with her father, COVID-19 deaths, considering her personal loss of life, the lyrics to Demise Cab for Cutie songs, paranormal TV exhibits, the loss of life of singer-songwriter Warren Zevon and, lastly, her personal experiences with psychological sickness and cognitive behavioural remedy.

“I feel it’s tremendous humorous to choose darker feelings and chortle at simply how dangerous issues have gotten and know that everyone is in it collectively,” she says. “It’s bought that graveside humour that touches on the pandemic and touches on a variety of mental-health stuff. That’s my massive factor. Though I’m a feminine comic, I’ve had folks say that I’m not doing feminine comedy in the identical approach you’d anticipate to see the ladies’ evening, Mamma-Mia model and I’m not doing queer comedy in the best way you’d anticipate to see at a drag present. However I do mental-health comedy.”

Banner, who’s bisexual and suffers from Consideration Deficit Hyperactivity Dysfunction, has been honing her stand-up for the previous decade. However releasing an indie comedy album, which is a little bit of a rarity today, is all a part of a call she made 5 years in the past to stubbornly blaze her personal path within the comedy world. Ever since she first heard her mom’s George Carlin album, she knew she needed to do stand-up and she or he discovered some early success that included competing within the SiriusXM Prime Comedian competitors and touchdown spots in comedy festivals. In 2014, she obtained a grant from Calgary Arts Growth to review comedy at in Chicago.

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However she says she now realizes her first 5 years of comedy had her attempting too onerous to suit right into a mould and following dangerous recommendation, all in an try to supply comedy that was “tremendous relatable.”

“Earlier than 2017, I used to actually compete,” she says. “I used to try to rise up at Yuk Yuks each single week. I used to try to rise up at The Chortle Store each single week. I might host on the Comedy Cave and stuff like that. I noticed I wasn’t clicking with these folks. So post-2017, that’s after I began producing my very own exhibits.”

However previous to that, Banner additionally suffered a psychological well being disaster that she says was not less than partially introduced upon by profession frustration.

“A bunch of horrible issues occurred on the similar time,” she says. “My psychological well being was only a home of playing cards. I ran out of cash, there have been some deaths within the household. I didn’t know the right way to behave as a human being so that they tossed me behind a cop automotive kicking and screaming to the hospital, the Rockyview. I spent months doing cognitive behavioural remedy on the psyche ward.”

It led to her restructuring her life and comedy, discovering what she calls an “various area of interest of people that truly do like me.”

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“I got here out (of the hospital) and was like ‘OK, perhaps I’m a bit completely different than your common bear however we are able to nonetheless work with it,” she says.

Banner has made appearances at each Femme Wave and Massive Winter Traditional whereas internet hosting her personal theatre exhibits. In Might 2022, she started co-curating The Chortle Loft each Sunday evening at The Attic in Inglewood with comic and drag queen Karla Marx. The present is supposed to focus on queer and feminine comedians and risk-taking is inspired.

“We would like them to really feel snug, not solely in doing properly but in addition in failing, too,” says Banner. “A giant factor I encountered was that should you’re a marginalized comic, you get one shot to characterize your whole sort of marginalized comedy. So if somebody has a pre-conceived notion that girls will not be humorous and also you do good 9 instances in a row and then you definately do dangerous one time, you affirm that individual’s perception and then you definately simply don’t get any extra possibilities.”

She alternates internet hosting duties with Marx on the Attic. Each have years of expertise internet hosting comedy nights and performing stand-up and believe that they’ll carry a present.

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“We simply inform all of the wonderful feminine, queer comedians that we work with: ‘Swing for the fences, take that threat,’ ” Banner says. ” ‘I don’t care if it bombs or not, as a result of we’re going to rescue the present for you and we’re going to offer you as many possibilities as you want.’ It’s been completely unimaginable to see all the comedians we work with not doing spinoff, protected materials however doing boundary-pushing materials that truly has inventive benefit to it and permits them to securely specific what they need to specific and get it to the purpose the place it’s humorous. Our exhibits completely are humorous. Once I say persons are protected to fail, they don’t fail as a lot when they’re protected to fail.”

I Hate Stand-Up can be on all streaming companies on Oct. 13. The Chortle Loft takes place each Sunday on the Attic. Go to

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