Tragedy Plus Time: Comedian Jessica Pigeau

In this insightful interview, comedian Jessica Pigeau opens up about her unique comedy style, influences, and personal journey in the world of stand-up. Based in the Fraser Valley, Jessica has been frequenting the stand-up stages in the area, most recently, the Cultus Lake Pub. Describing her humour as “relentless” and rapid-fire, Jessica aims to leave her audience’s ribs hurting and heads spinning with her punchlines.

Jessica Pigeau

How would you describe your comedy style?

I could describe my comedy in any number of ways, but I’ve always been described by others as “Relentless.” I’m a fast talker, and I like my punchlines to come hard and fast, like a boxer. I want people to leave with their ribs hurting and their heads spinning. I’ve been introduced to audiences as “proof that autism is the next step in human evolution” and “like if George Carlin was a Muppet.” I’ve even been called a surrealist, but I’m mostly just very, very weird.

Who are some of your influences?

It’d probably reflect better on me if I listed a number of famous, well-respected professional comedians, but the most honest answer is my mother. My mother is a fantastic storyteller and a massive comedy fan, so I grew up watching tons of comedy specials and trying to impress her with my own jokes. There’s been a lot of comedians who’ve influenced me — Mitch Hedberg, John Mulaney, Anthony Jeselnik — but the most lasting impact on my comedic approach was my mother’s sense of humour: wacky and more than a little twisted.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

I don’t think I had a favourite comedian. I wasn’t joking before — I do have an autism diagnosis. Stand-up comedy has been an obsession of mine since early childhood, to the point that in kindergarten I told a teacher that I wanted to be a comic, but it probably wasn’t a realistic career path. I was a very cynical five-year-old. However, I didn’t really form much of a personal attachment to any particular comedian.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

I am.

What is your pre-show ritual?

I pace in circles while mouthing my jokes to myself and trying not to throw up.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

I used to do shows in a tiny studio above a strip club. I loved it because the door lady checking IDs would spot me and shout, “I know you dear, head on upstairs,” which was always very confusing for the men in line. I loved telling people, without context, that I was performing on Saturday at the strip club. I love all the weird places I’ve performed. I did a show once for a bunch of nudists at Wreck Beach and accidentally summoned a flock of gulls with my elk impression.

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

I have a lot of bits I love. I wrote an entire set just to justify an elk impression, for one. That being said, I’m always especially proud when I manage to make people laugh at a topic they’d otherwise never think of. It’s relatively easy to make people laugh at jokes about jobs and relationships and day-to-day life, but I think it takes real skill to make them laugh at something wildly outside their frame of reference. I’m immensely proud of a joke I wrote about economist Paul Krugman, precisely because most audiences have no idea who that is and they laugh anyway.

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

YouTube is a great place to find clips of both new and old comics. That being said, I much prefer live comedy. Local shows and especially open mics are interesting because you get to meet comics with no real notoriety and you can watch them as they develop and refine their craft over time.

Tell us a joke about your city.

I’m originally from a little place called Grande Prairie, Alberta, and I don’t want to say my hometown has a drinking problem, but I grew up down the road from a liquor depot, across the street from a liquor depot, that shared a parking lot with another liquor depot.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

I’m a regular writer for a number of informative YouTube channels about technology and gaming because I accidentally girl-bossed a little too hard and got a real job in journalism. The channels I work on include TechLinked, GameLinked, and Tech Quickie. I’d recommend them if you’re interested in computers or just like a laugh.

Where can we follow you?

I’m on most mainstream forms of social media, but I’m also a big fan of dark, narrow alleyways.

Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

Probably Alex Svarez. He’s extremely hard-working, and there probably wouldn’t be a significant Fraser Valley scene without his influence. Funny guy, 10/10.

 

About Emilea Semancik 155 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: