Debra DiGiovanni dishes on the fun but weird career of comedy

Thursday 21st, January 2016 / 02:03
By Alex Molten
Comedian Debra DiGiovanni from MuchMusic’s Video on Trial shrugs off all the bad advice she ever received

Comedian Debra DiGiovanni from MuchMusic’s Video On Trial shrugs off all the bad advice she ever received

VANCOUVER — To Canadian comedian Debra DiGiovanni, what is the best part of being a comedian? “It never gets boring,” says DiGiovanni, “I’m one of those people who bores easily and comedy has never been dull. I like being in control and I like being my own boss. Plus, when your job is basically laughing, it’s pretty cool.”

Many people may know DiGiovanni from her role on MuchMusic’s television show Video On Trial where she was a fan favorite. “[It was] my favorite job ever. It never got boring!” explains DiGiovanni, “Shooting though, was much less glamorous than you’d think. It was just me, the producer, and a camera person. I basically sat in a small room in front of a green screen and talked. MuchMusic gave us the videos, I’d make notes and then – GO!”

When she started out, DiGiovanni got some advice that is now laughable. “When I first started comedy, the men who had already been doing comedy for 20 years told me ridiculous things,” muses DiGiovanni, “Like, I had to learn to juggle (seriously, a man told me that) to be a good comic. But the best worst advice came from a man who owns several comedy clubs in Canada. When he first saw me do stand up, he told me that I should never get on stage again and that no one would ever watch me for more than five minutes.”

Obviously she didn’t take this advice. Not only has she been a regular on MuchMusic’s Video On Trial and Stars On Trial, she also sometimes enters into bareknuckle rounds on CBC’s The Debaters. “We get our topics and our opponent, and then there’s about a month to write. You chat with your debate partner and work out your points,” says DiGiovanni about working on The Debaters, “It’s less free form than stand up or VOT, you really stick to your script. That’s why I like it, it’s different from what I normally do.”

Not getting bored is a goal of DiGiovanni’s, and the weird wacky world of comedy is the perfect place to be. “A crowd of people can get ridiculous. Add in booze and group mentality and shit gets strange sometimes!” concludes DiGiovanni. “Once a woman brought her cat in a backpack and later I gave that cat an autograph. Weird. Fun, but weird.”

Debra DiGiovanni will perform at the Comedy Mix from January 28 to 30.

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