Even though we’re on our annual summer hiatus, we never stop working over at the Am I Write office tower. So, here’s a special summer bonus episode with one of our absolute favourite comedians, Mr. Evan Carter!
Evan has been a part of the Canadian comedy scene for almost 200 years (his words). In truth, Evan was doing comedy before standup comedy was really even a thing in Canada. He is one of the true pioneers of the industry and has insane stories about his small band of funny-men working their craft in strip clubs and music venues. And that’s not even the amazing part – what’s amazing is he is still one of the nicest, classiest gentleman in the game – simply unheard of in this industry!!
In addition to being a much sought after performer, he also teaches a comedy course at Second City in Toronto. We spend a lot of time talking about his course and his students. We also talk about what it was like starting out in comedy back in the day and what it was like touring around for a black comic in rural Canada.
Evan Carter is so down to earth and so interesting – we just know you’re going to love listening to him.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re gonna get back to lounging by the pool with our daiquiris and fighting over who gets to put the sunscreen on West African Sara, while at the same time, fighting against putting sun screen on Pete.
Please enjoy the great Evan Carter and enjoy the remaining days of your summer!
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You like BoJack Horseman? Community? Up All Night? Outsourced? Playing House?? Of course you do – you’re not ridiculous. Today on the podcast we have the hilarious, Vera Santamaria, who has written on all of them. Vera lets us know what it’s like to be a player in some of the biggest writer’s rooms fancy Hollywood has to offer.
She’s insightful, brilliant, funny, and has the patience to deal with three ass-faces as they try to speak to her in full sentences. Treat yourself to this awesome episode!!
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We’re back! This week’s guest is hilarious comedian, east coast swashbuckler, and sitcom writer, Nick Beaton!
Nick recently completed writing on the second season of Canadian sitcom, “Spun Out”, starring Kids In The Hall great, Dave Foley. But in addition to that, Nick is an accomplished standup comic and a regular headliner in Canada and the U.K. (that’s the United Kingdom, not the University of Kentucky)
If you notice something different this episode, it’s probably the fact that Producer Pete was away at a conference, so there’s wayyy more swearing and slightly less long windedness.
So, sit back and relax as Mark, Darryl, and Nick reminisce about their good old days coming up in the comedy scene together. And, more importantly, we finally get some hockey talk on this episode… when Pete’s away, the hockey will play!
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You’d think having a former life coach on the show would help the three of us, but after this episode, you’ll see, we can’t be saved.
This week on the show we have hilarious comedian, actor, and writer of her own web series, Aisha Alfa! Aisha has had quite the life and she is just getting started. The former professional soccer player is now making a big name for herself in the entertainment world. She has appeared on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Royal Canadian Air Farce, The Second City Project, Video On Trial, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and was a finalist in NBC’s Stand Up For Diversity.
When not travelling around North America performing stand-up, she’s busy working on a new web series Open Engagement, about a couple working through being in an open relationship.
This episode goes off the rails, maybe even more than usual, but the result is pretty hilarious. As an added bonus, you might learn more about us than you ever really wanted. You’re welcome!
Check out her web series!!
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Last night, Alberta elected an NDP government. In honour of that historic vote, and by total coincidence, we have native Albertan, the one and only, Amanda Brooke Perrin!
If you don’t know Amanda already, you’ll know her soon, and not just because you listened to her on our podcast. She’s poised to take over the Canadian comedy world. Not only is she a hilarious comedian who will be appearing at Just For Laughs this summer, but she’s quickly becoming one of the most sought after writers in the TV business. She talks about her time writing on “Mother Up””, “Spun Out”, and the new show she’s working on for CMT, “Almost Genius”.
We tackle a lot of subjects in this episode as she discusses her time in LA, training at the UCB Theatre there, her own podcast called “We’re Doing It”, and what it was like doing shows in Alberta with Darryl. Hint… it was terrible.
So do the right thing and elect Amanda Brooke Perrin as your NDP candidate! (Need to Download Podcast…yeah, we know, that was a stretch)
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It’s time for another episode and this week we have Now Magazine’s arts critic, Mr. Glenn Sumi!!
Glenn gives us the ins and outs of what it’s like to be a reviewer. He tells how he got his start, what’s it’s like to deal with backlash from somebody he’s critiqued, and how he has basically given up his social life, as he’s forced to watch upwards of 45,000 performances per year. Ok, “45,000” might be a slight exaggeration, but still, this man sees a lot of shows and probably knows more about the theatre, dance, and comedy scenes in Toronto than even the people who make a living in those professions. Ok, “make a living” might be a slight exaggeration…
There’s an added bonus if you stay till the end of this episode!! We finally figure out why Darryl drinks and yells at strangers on the street. Here’s a hint: it’s his mom’s fault.
Enjoy Glenn… and pity Darryl!!
P.S. Click here to check out Glenn’s latest reviews in NOW magazine!!
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The description of this episode should be just two words: GAVIN CRAWFORD!
Gavin, who got his start as a cast member at the famed Second City in Toronto, has twice starred in his very own television series. First was The Gavin Crawford Show, and the second was Gavin Crawford’s Wild Wild West. You’ll find them in links below – watch them, they are absolutely hilarious. In between those shows, he just happened to be one of the stars and writers of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Those three shows really proved what many of us who watched him come up in the Toronto comedy scene already knew, that he’s probably the best comedic character actor this country has ever produced. He shouldn’t just be a household name in Canada, he should be a household name everywhere.
In addition to being a sought after actor-extraordinaire, he has also hosted the Canadian version of How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? And, of course the reason he’s on our podcast, he’s a Gemini Award winning writer. Those ridiculously funny characters that he plays, oh yeah, he’s also the person who writes them. In this episode, we talk about his shows and where he draws his characters from. We also get in to what it was like to write on 22 Minutes and the frustrations of making television in Canada.
So, sit back and enjoy the talent that is Mr. Gavin Crawford!!
ANDDDD…. Check out Gavin’s Awesome YouTube Page to watch his Wild West Pilot and his viral “Snape” video!!
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David Benjamin Tomlinson is a well known Toronto sketch and improv performer, but what he might not be as well known for YET, is his incredible comedic writing. He’s our guest this week and you are welcome! David is a very funny man and a gifted performer. He basically carried Pete through their early improv classes. He’s written his own play called Gash that was a big hit at the Summerworks Performance Festival. He’s written sketches as one half of the highly acclaimed duo Glyph. He also helped write Matt Watt’s fantastic radio drama Canada. Today he’ll talk about how close he came to getting some tv shows on the air, and he would have, if it weren’t for bad luck and you meddling kids!
Regular listeners… and quite frankly, you all should be regular listeners… will know that he also has written a web series with the aforementioned friend of the podcast, Matt Watts. That series is called, The Writers Block, where three writers have to create a series based on a ludicrous pitch one of them gave while drunk. There’s a link below, go watch the series, right after you listen to this episode, and any other episodes you haven’t listened to yet, seriously, listen to those, you’re trying our patience over here!
David really wears his heart on his sleeve and the result is very honest and highly entertaining podcast. Do yourself a favour and have a listen to Mr. David Benjamin Tomlinson.
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Today on the Am I Write Podcast, the “not-so-intelligent-us-guys” interview the very intelligent Jenn Engels!! Darryl and Mark have known Jenn for over a decade through standup, but she has gone on to achieve more than Darryl and Mark could ever possibly achieve combined.
Jenn Engels is an award winning writer and producer, writing for a variety of networks including TMN, HBO Canada, CBC, CTV, Space, Rogers, Hulu, Teletoon, the CW, and SyFy. With a background in acting and stand-up comedy, Jenn has contributed to many of Canada’s top comedies, most notably all four seasons of the critically acclaimed Less Than Kind, Seed, SATISFACTION, InSecurity, Dan For Mayor and MoTHER UP! for Rogers/Hulu. This season marks her debut in both the one-hour and genre worlds, serving as a Writer/Consulting Producer on BITTEN for Space/SyFy. Jenn is a born and bred Montrealer but pays taxes in Toronto.
Please, sit back and enjoy the lovely Jenn, as she tries to explain basic life concepts to three well-meaning idiots.
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If you search famous people from Chatham-Kent Ontario on Wikipedia, just a few spots below a guy named Geoffrey O’Hara (famous for a song called K-K-K Katy, which we assume is about two carefree and extremely racist teenagers falling in love), you’ll find this week’s guest, the lovable, and incredibly not racist, Ron Sparks!
Ron’s resume is as absolutely incredible as his stand-up and sketch comedy work. A winner of the prestigious Tim Sims Award, he’s also won 11 Canadian Comedy Awards in various categories, and on top of that, was nominated for 17 more! In total, that’s exactly 28 more nominations than Mark, Pete and Darryl combined…we really need to do more with our lives.
If that wasn’t enough, his list of screenwriting credits should be nominated for it’s own award. His handy work can be found in shows like This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Little Mosque On The Prairie, Spun Out, Satisfaction, Meet The Family, Crash Canyon, Flickers, The Debaters, Video On Trial and many more.
This episode was so much fun to record. Ron is a long time friend of ours and one of the most naturally funny people that you will ever meet. And on a personal note, while lesser people would have cancelled, Ron did this episode on almost no sleep, get well soon Ron’s dad, and thanks for helping produce one of the absolute best. It’s our pleasure to present to you, Mr. Ron Sparks!
Check Out His Facebook Page
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This week we welcome into the Mark Bennett Recording Studios and Dining Room Table, a comedian, writer, serial dater, social media darling Christina “Walkinsauce” Walkinshaw!
Originally from Vancouver, but now making her home in Toronto, there were stops in Ottawa and LA in between, Christina sort of almost accidentally burst on the Canadian comedy scene a few years ago after being fired from a gig in Niagara Falls. She wrote a blog about how she had been fired after audience heckles crossed the line into sexual harassment…that blog went viral and Christina’s career hasn’t looked back.
Christina talks briefly about that infamous night, she also talks about starting comedy in Ottawa, but we focus more heavily on her time in the journalism program at Carleton University, and her incredibly popular blog My Week On Tinder. For those who don’t know what that blog is, it’s a running diary about her dates with people she meets on tinder…If Darryl were to write a blog about his own time on tinder, it would likely be a one paragraph story entitled “From Self Esteem To No Self Esteem In One Simple Swipe!”
Her tinder blog is so popular that it’s now being turned into a TV show…no word on who will play us in the Am I Write interview scene, but it will probably take Hollywood a while to find somebody hairy enough to play Pete.
Christina, a nominee for Best Female Stand-Up at the Canadian Comedy Awards…because she’s hilarious, still tours heavily, so keep an eye out for her when she comes through town. Check her website for tour dates, and swipe left when you see her on Tinder. And when you do go see her live, don’t heckle you jerk, just sit back and enjoy a very funny comedian, the way gawd intended!
Check out her Tinder date Blog Here!!
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For those of you who like to keep up on all of the Canadian entertainment news, CBC announced this week that they’re bringing back their critically acclaimed show Michael: Tuesdays And Thursdays. Why do we mention that? Well, because this week we have one of the creators, writers, and star of that very show, Mr. Matt Watts!
Matt started in entertainment at a very early age, he was a stand-up comedian and sketch performer in his teenage years. From there, he got his start in television writing for sketch shows The Bobroom and Comedy Inc. He also managed to snag a starring roll in the classic Canadian program The Newsroom. The guy has had an incredible career and he’s still so young.
During this episode we discuss his start in stand-up and also his time performing sketch comedy in Toronto, with you guessed it, our own Producer Pete. We also delve into writing on the previously mentioned sketch television programs. We talk about his time on The Newsroom and Michael. We also discuss what his goals for the future are. Frankly, if this had been a job interview, we would’ve hired him… or told him that he was overqualified – most likely the latter.
This was a fun episode to do, and we’re really happy for Matt that Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays is coming back to TV!! It’s a great show, it’s a hilarious show, so watch it! But first, sit back and enjoy our conversation with the multitalented Matt Watts!
Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Don’t forget to check out Matt’s web series – The Writers’ Block
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Arthur is the real deal. He headlines across the country, he’s been to all the major festivals, and he’s a hugely popular regular on CBC’s, ‘The Debaters’.
This episode veers all over the place – we cover so many different topics it’s ridiculous, some even involve writing, which is a lucky coincidence because this is a writing podcast, after all. Among the many topics, we talk soccer, African hockey, Arthur’s road to Canada, professional wrestling, dating in Uganda, and how he passed up his economics degree to become a comedian. We also get to find out who his influences in stand-up were and how much he studied them. And as for writing, we find out how Arthur learned to write comedy and his writing on the pilot for a potential new show.
And if that’s not enough, if you’re thinking about going to Africa to watch comedy, Arthur talks about how comedy is developing on the continent and what it was like to do comedy back home for the first time.
Folks, this episode goes beyond interesting. Arthur is a super great guy and beyond funny, do yourself a favour and listen to this episode, maybe even listen to it three or four times.
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Our guest on this episode iss no stranger to Mark, Pete, and Darryl – he’s a long-time friend and fellow stand-up comedian and long-time friend, Alex Nussbaum!!
Alex’s success in stand up is no secret. He’s a regular at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, was nominated for Best Male Stand-Up at the Canadian Comedy Awards, and headlines comedy clubs across the country. But, did you know he’s also written on such popular cartoons as “Total Drama Island”, provided voices on (among others) “Pink Panther and Pals”, and helped animate such shows as, “The Magic School Bus”, the cartoon version of “Ace Ventura”, and “George & Martha”.
If that’s not enough, last summer he mounted his first one-man play at the Toronto Fringe Festival, “Handbook To The Future: A Brave New Warrior”, which won him the Patrons’ Pick Award.
So, after you’re finished listening to this awesome podcast, why not use your iTunes machine or your Android robot or your Windows Virtual Eye Glasses to download both of Alex’s very popular albums: “Absolutely Free* (not actually free”) and, “A Number Of Bits” . Trust us when we say, they are hilarious!
Ok, enough reading, go listen to everything!
Follow Alex on Twitter!!
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She’s a stand-up comedian, she’s a writer, she’s an actress, she’s one of the nicest people you will ever meet… this week we have the incredible Laurie Elliott!
In addition to being an award winning comedian (she actually beat Darryl out for the Tim Sim’s Encouragement Award, after years of therapy he can just now talk to Laurie again), she has written on so many television shows it’s ridiculous – including The Jon Dore Television Show, Video On Trial, Almost Heroes, Scaredy Squirrel, Total Drama… and on and on and on. And if that wasn’t enough, she has also acted, performed on, or provided voices for many of those same shows. She’s so talented it’s easy to see why any group of judges would pick her for an award over old talentless Darryl.
So please enjoy our conversation with Laurie and see for yourself why she’s one of the most beloved people in the entertainment industry!
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Sean Jara is our very special guest on this episode. Sean, in spite of being a long time friend of our own Producer Pete, is incredibly accomplished. In addition to working on live action shows, he’s carved out a niche as one of the biggest names in the animation writing game. Much like his wife, and Am I Write favourite, Alex Zarowny, Sean did his learnin’ at the Canadian Film Centre and went on to write on Degrassi.
From there he moved on to such shows as The Latest Buzz, The League Of Super Evil, Sidekick, Johnny Test… and the list goes on and on – it goes on so long that you could actually confuse it for one of Pete’s questions.
Amongst the many topics, Sean tells us about what it’s like to work on multiple shows at the same time and what it’s like to be in a marriage that consists of two television writers.
Also, as an added bonus, Mark punctuates the episode with some rapping…yes, rap music rapping. Enjoy!
And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter….please and thank you.
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He’s a stand-up comedian, he’s an incredibly popular podcaster, he’s just had a TV show idea of his optioned, and he’s in the midst of putting together his second one man show which he’s bringing to the Edinburgh Festival this summer…so much for the idea that vegetarians are too weak to do anything. This week’s guest is the hilarious, and incredibly busy, Graham Clark!
One quick check of his bio and you’ll easily see that Graham is considerably more successful than any of us. On top of everything we’ve already mentioned, he’s a regular at all the Canadian comedy fests, he appears often on CBC’s The Debaters, and has managed to grow one of the best beards in the business.
So listen up as Graham talks about phone books, the trials and tribulations of developing a one man show, his own slightly (soooo much) better podcast, and how he’s now influenced Mark to become a vegetarian…seriously, there’s nothing this guy can’t do!
We hope you enjoy! Oh, and just one more thing, please have the decency to listen to our episode before you go searching for Graham’s podcast, thanks, you’re a sweetheart!
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Welcome to Part Two of our discussion with Alexandra Zarowny. This half of our interview goes, what all the top writers in the industry like to call, “off the rails”… and it does so quickly.
It starts off innocently enough – well, sort of innocently. Alex talks candidly about what it was like to work with Russell Crowe on “Republic Of Doyle”. Regular listeners of the podcast will know that the words “Republic Of Doyle” are trigger words for Mark, who proceeds to rail on about his nemesis, heartbreak, and bitterness.
The gang does manage to get a grip on things eventually, and, once again, Alex gets back to being her informative and entertaining self – just in time for the speed round!!
So please enjoy Part Two with “Lost Girl” and “Murdoch Mysteries” writer, Alex Zarowny!
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Our latest episode is actually one of the first episodes we recorded, but we’re just releasing it now. Why? That’s not important! (It’s clearly Pete’s fault)
This episode is a real treat. Our guest is big shot, award nominated, nonstop working, screenwriting phenom, Alexandra Zarowny!!
Alex currently writes for two popular, and very different, shows; Murdoch Mysteries and Lost Girl. She also wrote on “DeGrassi – The Next Generation”, where she single handedly made Drake an international superstar and global basketball ambassador.
The first thing we learn is how to pronounce her last name (so important). After that, we get into the guts of the episode, talking, of course, about beer and cheese.
Because this is a writing podcast, Alex actually schooled us on some important topics such as what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated writer’s room, learning her craft at the Canadian Film Centre, and much more.
This is Part 1 of 2 – Alex was that informative… plus nobody wanted to stop drinking beer and eating cheese. So enjoy, and while you’re at it, spread the word about the Am I Write Podcast juggernaut!
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We also welcome terrifying horror writer Nick Cutter. No, we’re not watering down the episode by having two guests – it’s the same guy! You’ll find out why he chooses to go by two names and also what it was like to be heralded by his hero Stephen King as writing a book that, quote, “scared the hell out of me.”
If that’s not enough, we also discuss how this Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee had one of his books turned into a feature film that almost won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival… seriously, it’s hard to believe he’s accomplished all that and he’s not even 40 yet (You’ll understand why we bring that up when you listen).
As most authors do, he tells us about why he chose to do steroids and the best way to fight Margaret Atwood… those are totally unrelated stories. But more importantly, he tells us how he got started and how he goes about writing each book – we figured we might as well talk about something educational.
So please enjoy this episode, and while you’re at it, go buy the brand new Craig Davidson aka Nick Cutter book, “The Deep”, which comes out the same day as this podcast. In case you’re wondering, Wes Craven read an advanced copy and said of The Deep “utterly terrifying”. How ’bout that, Stephen King and Wes Craven now sleep with night lights because of Nick Cutter. Frankly, we should have recorded this around a campfire while he held a flashlight under his chin.
Follow Craig as Nick Cutter
His New book hit the shelves Jan 13th!! Check out “The Deep” Now!!
P.S. Don’t forget to read Craig’s crazy story of transformation as he hit the gym with some added help
From Mr Average … to superman: Craig Davidson’s account of using steroids | Life and style | The Observer.
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Hilarious and full of information – Fraser’s podcast is essential Am I Write listening.
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