Tragedy Plus Time: Vancouver Comedian Corbin Stephenson

Meet Corbin Stephenson, the rising star of the Vancouver comedy scene. At 31 years old, Corbin is not just another comedian; he’s the unofficial titleholder of the World’s Tallest Comedian, towering at an impressive 6’10 (and a half). For the past two years, he has been gracing stages across the Lower Mainland, making his mark as an up-and-coming amateur comic. In a recent interview, Corbin shared his journey into comedy, revealing that the rush of performing in front of an audience ignited a creative spark within him. With a commitment to follow his dreams, Corbin humorously acknowledges the unpredictable nature of stand-up, uncertain of how many more bombs he can endure. As he continues to navigate the world of comedy, Corbin Stephenson is undoubtedly a name to watch for, bringing laughter and height to stages near you.

Corbin Stephenson

How would you describe your comedy style?

It is hard to pinpoint exactly what my style of comedy is, but I would say a mixture of self-deprecating humour and thoughts/jokes that I find funny. I do believe that what you need is the ability to laugh at yourself before you can make others laugh. For me, as being someone who is nearly 7 feet tall, it wouldn’t make sense for me to not joke about it and I would go as far as to say it would be a joke for me not to mention it all. To have the ability to poke at fun yourself leaves it open for others to feel more at ease, as opposed to someone coming in without any self-awareness at all. In addition to the ability to make fun of yourself, the jokes and comedic thoughts are equally as important, but you can’t have just one of the other.

Who are some of your influences?

A lot of media that I consumed throughout my life was mostly focused on comedy. Conan O’Brien was someone I watched time and time again while it being on his late-night show. His connection with The Simpsons, which is my favourite show of all time, and also having one of the funniest podcasts currently solidifies him as a major inspiration. Outside of the comedy realm, I would say my family as they are very supportive. My dad and brother were influences as well as they have been passionate about the arts in their respective ways for years while I was growing up (literally).

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

Favourite comedian growing up would have to be Dave Chappelle for his sketch work and his standup. Also, as much as it stereotypical to say I would put Dane Cook up there. I distinctly remember his standup being the first real special I’ve ever watched and it definitely left an imprint on me at a young age. I haven’t watched his specials in a while now, but it definitely came out at the right age for me at the time.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Currently, I would say my favourite comedian is Shane Gillis. His last two specials are some of the funniest in the game and I look at it with admiration. His special “Live in Austin” was the turning point where I decided I wanted to set a goal for myself to do one stand-up set and give it a shot. Ever since then, I have been going up on a weekly basis.

What is your pre-show ritual?

I like to arrive to a show early to kind of hangout and get a feel for the place. This is where I go over my notes and make a setlist or general of list of jokes that I would like to do in the time that I have. I also do not like to eat much before I go stage, and then I get home and furiously eat myself to sleep.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

There are several locations that I frequent in Vancouver and surrounding areas. Comedy Underground is a great new location with a real comedy club feel which is lacking in the city currently. Outside of Vancouver, there is House of Comedy in New Westminster and YukYuk’s in Surrey. Have also done plenty of shows with Lastlaff’s Comedy in the Abbotsford and Langley area who have great shows.

What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?

I have a joke where I talk about censorship and how some songs bleep out lyrics on their clean radio-friendly versions but are not nearly as bad as some of the ones that aren’t using Nine Inch Nails’ Closer as an example of this. This being the first bit that I wrote that didn’t pertain to me being my height it was something I was proud of. I’ve made jokes all throughout my life about my stature, but to write a joke that had no relation to my height and have it work was something made me yearn to do more comedy.

What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?

I would say that podcasts currently are the number one way I’ve been introduced to comedians. Second to this would be YouTube for sure. I don’t currently subscribe to Netflix which seems ridiculous as a comedian.

Tell us a joke about your city.

I lived in Maple Ridge most of my life and now currently live in Coquitlam. Coquitlam is like if Maple Ridge graduated from High School. A good enough resume to find a job, but never going to be the CEO of BC.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Nothing in particular at the moment, but I’m sure if you linger around the comedy clubs and scenes around town you’ll find me (ain’t that hard to miss)

Where can we follow you?

Instagram

PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

Ron Dour, Alex Svarez

 

About Emilea Semancik 124 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: