Q&A with comic Nile Seguin
The funnyman about to appear on an upcoming episode of “Comedy Now!” talks to CTV.ca about how he got his start in the business and his comedic inspirations.
"Comedy Now!” airs Saturday nights on CTV, with full episodes available online at CTV.ca.
CTV.ca: So how did you get your start in comedy?
It was one of those things, where all my friends told me I should try standup, and eventually I snuck off to do a set at the local comedy club, just in case it didn’t go well, I didn’t want my friends to see me eat a brick. It went well. That would have been the late 90s, some time ago. I would have been 23, 24, something like that. It was one of the few things that came easily to me. I had success pretty early, because I was in Ottawa. I did a few sets, and things progressed from there.
CTV.ca: Who are some of your comedic inspirations?
Chris Rock and Richard Pryor, because they’re good at taking risks. I remember watching Chris Rock’s “Bigger and Blacker,” it was a few years after it came out, and I was like, “Oh, you can do that? You can speak your mind?” I had been doing cleverly written stuff that wasn’t opinionated about anything, it didn’t give people a chance to connect with the kind of person I was.
CTV.ca: Tell me about your “Comedy Now!” taping.
I remember it was kind of trippy. It had been a while since I was hoping to get one, and it was cool. Obviously, the stage looks a lot different when you’re standing on it, instead of watching it, which I’ve done before. But I was like, “Wow, this colour scheme looks totally different!” It was fun. In my normal set, there’s stuff that’s usually a little edgier, and so I had to take those bits out, and sub them in with other bits. I had to stop a couple times, because I was getting into a rhythm.
CTV.ca: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Normally it’s one of those things where, you know, comics carry pads with them, because you’ll be having a conversation, or walking down the street, then all the elements click into space and you think, “There’s a joke that will work.” Though it’s usually basically life, things you go through, that’s why I vary my activities. You see comics that do a lot of jokes about commercials, and you’re like, “You probably spent a lot of time at home watching TV,” you can tell. I’m trying to force myself to write in any topic. So myself and Debra DiGiovanni, we do this podcast now called “Total Request Comedy,” Basically we just ask listeners for topics, then we do jokes on them, and record those sets, and its new material. It’s pretty cool. I found myself at one point, doing a set, and I was thinking to myself, I’ve been leaning too hard on this stuff. “When’s the new stuff coming in?”
CTV.ca: So how did you two meet?
There used to be this club called “Comedywood,” and it was North of Steeles on Bathurst, up there. I was just starting out in Toronto, and she was just starting out. We would hop the number seven bus all the way up, it was a long haul, and we would just hang out. We would giggle ourselves out on the bus, then we’d get to the show and have nothing left. But that’s where we started chatting, and we started hanging out.
CTV.ca: You were talking before about writing things down in terms of ideas, do you remember the last time that happened to you?
This is just a fledging idea, I haven’t fleshed it out completely, but last week I was in Montreal, because I was trying out stand up in French, and I was in the part, but I started to notice the pretty big differences between Montreal and Toronto. I was walking through a park in Montreal, and someone was there at midnight, playing a harp. The only way you are going to see a harp at midnight in Toronto is if a crack head is trying to sell it to you. From there I’ll flesh out the topic. It wasn’t like I was going to flesh out a topic on harps, it’s just a random thought.
Tyrone Warner has been with CTV.ca since 2005, covering news, entertainment and everything related to CTV. When he’s away from the computer, you can find him writing, recording and performing his own music, running his own record label and dabbling in photography, painting and creative collage. Follow him on Twitter!