By Victoria Banner
VANCOUVER — If you ask anyone who follows local comedy who their top five favourite comedians are, you will hear the name Chris Gordon. If you ask any famous touring LA comedians who have passed through Calgary who their favourites are, Chris Gordon makes the list. Yet if you Google “Chris Gordon” you don’t get theatre ticket dates or TV spots. You get a single YouTube video titled “Comedian Has Hilarious Mental Breakdown on Stage.” One of the biggest mysteries of the Canadian comedy industry is how someone who wildly beloved and wickedly funny can stay so underground for so long?
Not having an album is a good start. “I have been told my comedy is too visual or weird for an album… but I also know that one of the biggest draws to Steve Martin’s live shows was that people would hear laughter on his records but not know why the audience was laughing; prompting them to go see him live,” starts Gordon. A creeping optimism comes over his face when he points to the recorder and says, “Ask about my upcoming album.” Keep an eye out on iTunes for Chris Gordon’s upcoming album Chris Gordon: Black Female Comic In a Gay Wheelchair.
Gordon has set-up his comedy camp firmly in the heart of punk-rock absurdism, always on the verge of making a statement, yet very little he says actually makes sense. Doing so makes him very polarizing for comedy fans depending on how seriously they take the political side of the art-form. “There can be a pressure in comedy to be saying *something* like George Carlin or Doug Stanhope… but I’ve always just wanted to take the stage, make people laugh, and leave them thinking ‘who the fuck was that weirdo?’” People who love him really love him, but people who can’t emotionally handle being pranked go out of their way to decry his name (but what’s punk rock without a little bad press?). Who would have thought the goal of trying to be a silly as humanly possible in stand-up comedy sets up such a long uphill battle?
As for the type of mischief you can expect to see in a typical Chris Gordon headlining set, it’s comedy gold. Gordon lives so in the moment that each individual show becomes a legendary “you had to be there” night, leaving his fans collecting his individual show stories like badges. Gordon is professional headliner with hours of pre-written material that he has worked years on, yet he will throw his material out the window if he makes a discovery about his surroundings while on stage – at a recent show he realized some comically long slack in the mic cable could reach well into the men’s washroom by walking it there.
Gordon’s goofy demeanour seamlessly transitions on stage and off and has earned him a strong friendship with LA top dogs such as Rory Scovel. “My favourite thing about Rory is he never turns down an idea, he always rolls with it and expands on it and has fun with it whether it’s another comedian or the barista at Starbucks.” Gordon gushes about his friend/ favourite comedian not realizing that he himself does the same thing. Do yourself a favour and see the madness live, once you have seen him once it’s highly unlikely you’ll resist being able to see this grassroots superstar every other chance you get.
Chris Gordon performs at the Comedy Mix from July 13-16.
CORRECTION: This post’s headline mistakingly identified Chris Gordon as hailing from Vancouver when in fact he lives in Calgary. We apologize for the error.BC, British Columbia, Chris Gordon, stand-up comedy, The Comedy Mix