By Tony Binns
Talk to most comedians and they’ll tell you straight up what they want — awards, festivals, talk show appearances. So what happens when you actually get there? If you’re Ivan Decker, you start from scratch.
“The big thing for me now is the production of new material,” Decker says in a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles. “So I’m spending the next few months leading up to this show in Vancouver and onward trying to come up with a brand new act, a new hour for 2019 that will be good and hopefully people will enjoy.”
That may seem like something effortless for one of Canada’s fastest rising comics, but Decker’s material is very meticulously laid out. It may appear that he’s just talking about something as mundane as a subway sandwich, but Decker brings a unique perspective and dry observational humour that can make the prospect of a new hour daunting, more so when you’ve made your reputation on clean material. “It’s kind of always been the way that I write” he muses “I was always a big fan of that kind of comedy. When I started I loved Chapelle and Chris Rock, I still love them I think they’re hilarious, but I’ve just never been able to sell dirty material.”
Fortunately, Decker has never had to. He’s had an impressive run lately, with a Juno Award for best comedy recording, a Netflix special and an appearance on Conan. It’s clearly a breakout year by any definition, but it does make for an unusual experience living in L.A. when you aren’t quite a household name yet.
“It’s a bit of an adjustment because I have to integrate myself into a comedy scene that nobody really knows me in,” he explains. “When people have never seen you before, they assume you’re not very good. So you can go up and do well and people are actually surprised, so it’s very fun.”
Up in Canada, where Decker has made a few more in-roads, he continues to work hard to give a return audience something new to see.
“This is kind of a production phase. Last year was a really big year for me in terms of the industry side of things…this year is going to be more of a nose to the grindstone tour and try to come up with new material,” Decker says. “You want to make sure when you’re forced on to that big stage that you can deliver. That’s the thing about entertainment…it only gets harder.”
Ivan Decker will be performing at the Comedy on February 15