This month, our Spotlight Interview is on Montreal-based comedian Andrew Searles.
Who is the first stand-up comedian you remember making an impression on you?
The first stand-up comedian that made a huge impact on me was Russell Peters. I knew who Russell was before he reached his international status in the mid 2000s. I was in elementary about to start high school in the mid 90s when I used to watch this comedy show called “Comics” on the CBC, which featured different Canadian comics every Tuesday night. There was a lot of memorial comics but Russell struck a chord with not only me, but my family who watched the show as well. I recited his material around the house or on long drives on family vacation. Russell was definitely the 1st comic that really got me onto the stand-up comedy bandwagon.
How would you like someone to describe you to their friends after seeing one of your performances?
“OMG I hope he’s so funny and I hope he’s single!” But in reality (unfortunately- haha), they usually describe me as a Eddie Murphy mixed with Will Smith type of comedy, which is a really interesting, uncommon, and unique mix. Considering both are extremely talented, I take that as the highest compliment!
You travel a lot as a comedian. What is the hardest part about being on the road?
The hardest part would have to be the loneliness. Not loneliness in the aspect of being in a hotel room and traveling by yourself, but being in cities where (unlike Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) you’re stuck in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, and there’s nothing to do there. You just hope you remembered to load up your computer with as many movies and TV series as possible because when you’re performing in a city or town where there’s nothing to do, or it’s -30c outside, watching movies & shows is ALL you’ll be doing.
Also, you know it’s a boring town when the locals come up to you and say “This is a boring town”.
What advice would you have for your 18 year old self?
There is no difference between a D- and an A+ diploma. Everybody gets the same paper in the end.
Always pursue and follow your dreams.
Never take no for an answer on something you know 110% you can accomplish.
Don’t be too nice to people. People will often:
- Treat you like garbage for being nice to them (I know, right??)
- Not show appreciation or thank you when things get better
In fact, here’s a list of all the people in the last… or next 13 years that you should watch your back about. Number one…
What is your favourite place on earth?
I haven’t had a vacation in 3 years because I’ve been too busy with shows & filming, so any place serving seafood and an open bar on a tropical beach would be my favourite place on Earth right about now.
What are three words you’d use to describe yourself?
Cool. Thrill seeker. Awesome.
In the last year, what has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment that definitely takes the cake was one night I was coming home from after a show, and even though everybody on the highway does 120kp/h , it’s actually a 70 kp/h zone. So one night I’m coming home, doing the usual highway speed of about 110 kph when a SQ Squad Car is parked off to the side. By the time I saw him in the rear view mirror, he was already walking back to his car. He follows me to the next exit and then hits all the flashing lights. He comes to my window and asks me how fast I was going, so I say (what I thought was the right answer) “about 110?” to which he says it’s a 70 zone.” If you do the math, that’s 40kph over the limit.
Now comes the usual dance of licenses and registration, and of course I can’t find my registration. He then asks “Where were you coming from?” I said I was coming from a show. He looks confused and says “Show?” and I say “I’m a comedian”. He nods and, before he says he’s going back to his car, I do MY usual dance of “I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize how fast I was going” yada yada yada.
Long story short, he goes to his car and comes back with a ticket. He says “It’s $50 for not having your registration. We looked you up in the car and saw you’re a comedian.” My eyes light up like a 5 year old on Christmas, considering 40 over the limit is about $200 and 4 demerit points.
Needless to say, I’ve been doing 70 in that zone ever since.
Catch Andrew Searles hilarious stand-up special C’est Moi! C’est Papa Chocolat! at ComedyWorks later this month from September 24th to the 26th.