By Graeme Wiggins and Colin Gallant
This piece was written ahead of a Goddamn Millennials production that took place in September of 2016. It’s since been updated by an additional reporter in anticipation of the Calgary show in March.
CALGARY – The word “Millennial” is thrown around pretty ubiquitously on the Internet these days with countless think pieces, complaints, rants often decrying the supposed superficial nature of a whole generation of young people. This constant negativity forces young people out of areas of culture and in some sense silences their apparently narcissistic voices. One such area is comedy, with the idea of constant selfies, Snapchat, and Tinder giving older, out of touch comedians much fodder. With her show Goddamn Millennials, comedian Victoria Banner attempts to give them a place of their own in the comedy community. (Full disclosure: Banner is a regular writer for BeatRoute.)
The show grew from Banner viewing a strange disconnect between her older comedian friends and the younger non-comedy people she hung out with. As she explains, “All my young artsy Millennial friends tell me how much they love comedy and all my older settled down comedian friends tell me, ‘Hipsters hate comedy.’” This clearly needed fixing. “I rented a dive bar in Victoria and showcased my personal favorite headlining comedians to a college town. I called it Goddamn Millennials to punk my older comedy friends and it attracted 200 young people and some sponsors. I’ve done it three times now and it’s always a party.”
Being fairly generous with the Millennial label, the show consists of four comedians under the age of 40. “Millennial can be a mindset,” she explains, “the word ‘Millennial’ has been appropriated and misused by clueless advertising companies to mean 12-year-olds who say ‘fleek’ and ‘bae’ when it’s really as old as 35.” She keeps the lineup close to her chest: “The lineup stays under wraps as the intention is for you to come to the show and find your new favourite comedian. Past shows have had national touring headliners such as Chris Griffin, Ivan Decker, James Kennedy and Chris Gordon all on the same bill so while the comedians are young, it’s the absolute opposite of amateur night.”
So how will the show differ from a normal comedy show, with older comics and more well-trod routines? “Boomer comics are hiding from their wives in the garage while Millennials are meeting Tinder dates in basement suites. You can talk to a young crowd and casually assume they’re not going to debate you on LGBTQ issues. It’s the difference between what you can get away saying at the family Thanksgiving dinner table and what you can say at a house party among friends.”
Since this story was first reported, Goddamn Millennials was picked up as a monthly event at The Biltmore in Vancouver. Banner has since moved on to Calgary (leaving the curation and hosting duties for that iteration of the show in the hands of pal Morris Bartlett), and will be staging Goddamn Millennials in Calgary on March 23 at Wine-Ohs. She’ll also be performing as part of The New Movement In Austin, TX, during SXSW.
Catch Goddamn Millennials on March 23rd at Wine-Ohs in Calgary.
Goddamn Millennials, Millennials, Wine-Ohs