Tragedy Plus Time: Vancouver-based Comedian Ismael Ndiaye

Ismael Ndiaye, originally from France and now lighting up the Vancouver comedy scene, describes his style as a blend of storytelling and playful banter. A master of engaging with the crowd, Ismael turns each performance into an interactive and uproarious experience. His sets are a mix of clever narratives and impromptu jokes, creating an atmosphere where laughter knows no boundaries. We caught up with Ismael Ndiaye to find out more about him and Comedy Vinyl.

Ismael Ndiaye

How would you describe your comedy style?

I would say I’m a storyteller comedian mixed with a few mess-around jokes. I love interacting with the crowd and getting a kick out of having fun with them. I talk about my past and my life so I love it when someone in the crowd tells me a little dirty secret about themselves.

Who are some of your influences?

Donald Glover and another French comic, Paul Mirabel, are why I thought I wanted to try stand-up. The weirdness of Donald Glover and the vulnerability of Paul Mirabel were the biggest influences on my first jokes.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

Being born in France I first grew up watching French stand-up comedians such as Jamel Debouze, Gad Elmaleh, and Kev Adams who had this extremely funny show about teenagers. I also had English influences while in France. I grew up watching My Wife and Kids from the Wayans Brothers and once I moved to Canada I got to rediscover everyone without a dubbed voice and man is it better! Got to rewatch Scary Movie, Everybody Hates Chris and got into SNL but spent hours watching Martin Lawrence and everyone in Def Jam Comedy.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

My favourite comedian now is so hard to pick; just in the Vancouver scene, there’s so many I look up to like Ivan Decker, Dino Archie, Ola Dada, Darcy Boons Collins, Ryan Williams, Malik Elassal and Marito Lopez. The list really continues but some comics that I will always feel inspired by to this day are Dave Chappelle, Paul Mirabel and Josh Johnson.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Pre-show ritual is very simple: a quick pee break then a stretch session right before the stage. Keeps the muscle loose in case I gotta run after a risky joke

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

Favourite place in Vancouver to perform is between Jokes Please run by Ross Dauk or House of Comedy main stage in New Westminster. Both have a huge stage which are the most fun to run across. I do also really like my own show, Comedy Vinyl, as it’s in the Art Gallery of Slice of Life and has an incredible decorative wall. However, my all-time favourite is the scene of Paris. The structures are all in bricks and are just beautiful inside.

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

I hate babies that dress better than me. I don’t get how someone with no money or bank account can afford a $100 pair of Jordans. I hate them and I insult them which the crowds always love to join in on. This all started because my sister recently had a baby, and being able to talk about recent events in my life while making it funny is a sweet pleasure of mine to bring back to my family.

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

YouTube is a great way to catch a new comic. My favourite channel to check out is Montreux Comedy, a French stand-up comedy channel based in Switzerland. Netflix always has great specials out as well, but my favourite way will always be to go watch live!

Tell us a joke about your city.

It’s so diverse here…

Do you have anything to promote right now?

I run a monthly comedy show called Comedy Vinyl with the help of my comic friend Randy Myers where we make comedians sing a song before getting to their jokes. It’s absurd, it’s messy and I love it. Everyone should witness it!

Where can we follow you?


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

There are so many good comics in this scene so this list will be long but here the comics I’m constantly happy to see: Randy Jernidier, Aaron Read, Aaron Campbell, Daragh Turner, Providence Ndizeye, Zawer Sulaiman, Ernie Hart, of course my co-host Randy Myers. Really just come out to every show in Vancouver!


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: