We had the chance to talk with Vancouver comedian Steev Letts about his comedy influences and what he is currently up to.
How would you describe your comedy style?
I think my style is sweet, dirty, and very gay. Like a lollipop that got dropped on the floor at a bathhouse.
Who are some of your influences?
Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Dave Chappelle, Louis CK. Not saying they’re all good people, but they’re all influences. Margaret Cho was the first live comedy show I ever saw (Notorious CHO tour, 2001) and it was the gayest, most joyous thing I had ever witnessed. That had a huge impact.
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle were co-GOATs in my eyes. Chappelle’s Show was a cultural juggernaut and Rock’s Bigger & Blacker and Never Scared still hit so hard.
Who is your favourite comedian now?
It changes all the time. As of this week, I’d say, Jerrod Carmichael. I went into watching his special Rothaniel with huge expectations after hearing all the hype and it still blew me away.
What is your pre-show ritual?
Mine is pretty tame. I always shower and put on fresh undies before I leave for the venue, and I travel with an extra shirt in case I sweat through my first choice. I used to drink four beers and incessantly repeat my setlist right before going on, but now that I’m sober I’ve substituted a bag of gummy candies for the beers. It’s still not “healthy”, but at least sour patch kids don’t make me slur my words or crave cocaine.
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
My favourite city to perform in is Kamloops. Their pride shows are always special, and the area is just teeming with lonely roughnecks, which is right up my alley. My favourite venue to perform at in Vancouver was the Comedy Mix (RIP), but if we’re talking still-standing venues, Comedy After Dark on West Pender and Heckler’s in Victoria are where it’s at.
What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?
I have a newish bit I’m doing about legal weed dispensaries and what it would look like if the government started sanctioning brothels. I’m not sure if proud is the right word, but I like that it’s a well fleshed-out bit with a couple twists and it hasn’t yet bombed on me.
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
I guess TikTok and Instagram are the only ones that come to mind. Life is too short to trawl YouTube and you’re more likely to get indoctrinated into a cult than find anything worthwhile there. Following comics that highlight other people’s work helps. My buddy Dan Duvall (@lazerdoov on Twitter and Insta) is great for that. . Also, on a local level, Comedy Here Often is a label and show producer that showcases so much great established and up-and-coming Vancouver talent.
Tell us a joke about your city.
For free? In THIS ECONOMY? No.
Do you have anything to promote right now?
I have a set on season 2 of New Wave of Standup which is currently available on CBC Gem and I’m opening for Debra DiGiovanni at the Hollywood Theatre on May 2nd.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?
KC Novak. She’s sharp as a tack and wears the hell out of a catsuit.