For this Vancouver comedian feature we spoke with Abdul Azaz to find out more about his comedy style, influences and where to follow him on social media.
How would you describe your comedy style?
The topics I tread most often are Race, Science, Culture and Religion. My current approach is to present a critical examination of these themes from my personal perspective (a first generation immigrant who was born in Canada and moved around a lot as a kid). The outsider perspective really helps to bring a fresh perspective on these themes. While those themes are kinda heavy I try to juxtapose that with a generally light and fun onstage presence. The hallmark of my performance style is an absurdist and irreverent manner that belies and softens these themes.
Who are some of your influences?
Currently I’m really influenced by Tim Robinson (probably like a lot of comics out there in all honesty). His comedic voice is something that feels really new. Before him the comic that had that kind of influence on me was probably Zach Galifinakis (for the same reason). In that same vein I’d say Aaron Read is a comic who’s voice is unequivocally unique.
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
Who is your favourite comedian now?
What is your pre-show ritual?
Start the recorder on my phone I suppose. It’s not so much a ritual as just a thing I need to do to make sure I don’t forget what I said. Sorry, I don’t have a lot of rituals around performing.
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
The Little Mountain Gallery is, to my mind, the greatest comedy venue of all time. It’s a place that has existed in Vancouver for 20 years and has been a labour of love for the comedians who have lived here. The responsibility for it’s management and stewardship has passed from comic to comic over that time but it’s always remained a place where independent comedy has grown and thrived by allowing both new and established comedians to produce their own shows and hone their own voices and audiences and concepts. It’s a place that so many of us have put a lot of ourselves into and I think a lot of us feel like it’s a part of who we are.
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
For discovery I’d say podcasts right now. Specifically Stop Podcasting Yourself. Graham and Dave do a really great job of having all kinds of new comedians on, I’ve found a TON of new favorites there for sure.
Do you have anything to promote right now?
Yah! A couple of things, I have a bi-weekly show at Little Mountain Gallery right now called Coupon Book where audience members redeem coupons that give them control over the hosts of the show. You can find more information for that at the website www.couponbook.show . I also make a Dungeons and Dragons podcast with a bunch of other comedians called Spout Lore. It’s a lot of fun and does not require you to at all know how to play D&D. You can find more info on that at www.spoutlore.com
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?
Tell us a joke.
Oh man, I don’t think any of my jokes would work in print format. One time I called the lunar eclipse the ‘Anal of Celestial Events’ I’m pretty proud of that line in general. Can you even print that though?