There's a new wave of Canadian comics living in and gaining success in the United Kingdom. One of the stand-ups doing quite well in the motherland, to the point where he now lives in London, is Pete Johansson. Beginning his comedy career at age 16 in Kelowna, BC, Johansson has spent the last 19 years gaining experience in Canada, the U.S., and abroad, performing along the way at the HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival, the Boston Comedy Festival, and the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. Johansson hasn't just stopped in England, either, as his quest for global comedy domination has also taken him to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. Sure, they're all Commonwealth countries, but it's certainly only the beginning.
He's spent the last little while back in Canada, and before heading overseas once again, he's making a stop this weekend at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, appearing in the Friday Late Night Gala "Does This Joke Make Me Look Fat?" and hosting The Dark and Stormy Show on Saturday night, a show which features comics' dirtiest material.
The latter is a perfect venue for Johansson. As he explained when I spoke with him over the weekend, Johansson is not a fan of "clean comedy" (or at least the idea of clean as defined by someone else), one of the reasons why he enjoys working in the UK and performing on British television -- the lengthier sets is another. Plus, when asked to describe his style of comedy, he gets some help from his wife! Listen to his thoughts on censorship, why he feels social networking is an integral part of a comedy career these days, and how he'd describe his own comedic style (with a little help from his wife) in the interview below.
Mark McLeod has always loved film. In addition to his roles with ShowbizMonkeys.com, Mark also works on many film promotion projects in Vancouver, BC, through his company, Mark McLeod PR.