Tragedy Plus Time: Vancouver Comedian Carter Selinger

The little things we may ignore from our day-to-day Carter Selinger takes advantage of. A stand-up comic from Vancouver, uses his attuned observational skills as inspiration to create outlandish comedic bits for his audience to enjoy. We had the opportunity to chat with him and learn some interesting facts about him such as his interesting pre-show rituals, what other projects he has in the works, what he loves about his city and more.

Carter Selinger

How would you describe your comedy style?

It’s fairly observational. Like: “Did you ever notice this?” But then I usually try to take things in an absurd direction.

Who are some of your influences?

Maria Bamford, Norm Macdonald, Joe Pera.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

I was obsessed with Norm Macdonald. I spent hours and hours watching and re-watching anything I could find of his. He was one of the most purely funny people.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Probably Maria Bamford or Chris Locke. They both have this knack for surrealism and an ability to make these absurd, imaginative leaps without losing the audience. One of my favourite things about stand-up is when it feels like you’re immersed in someone else’s perspective and going on this wild adventure with them. Maria Bamford and Chris Locke are two of the best for that.

What is your pre-show ritual?

I try not to eat too close to when I’m about to perform because I have a really nervous stomach. If it’s a show I’m anxious about, I’ll take some time to sit in a room alone and imagine everything going horribly wrong. I picture myself forgetting jokes, having panic attacks on stage, and bombing harder than I ever have in my life. I try to sit with that feeling of intense embarrassment and shame until it starts to fade. That usually helps me loosen up because I feel as if I’ve already dealt with the worst-case scenario. Then I make sure I have my set list timed out and memorized, and then I think about how I and the audience can have as much fun as possible together. Sometimes I drink a bit of alcohol.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

The Rio Theatre. I’ve lived just down the block from the Rio for years and always wanted to perform there. Luckily, Charlie Demers—who is another one of the best comics out there—asked me to do his show and it was like a little Vancouver dream come true.

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

I have a joke about a highway sign I saw that said “Dead Man’s Lake.” It was basically the first joke I wrote that worked, so it will always be dear to me even though I’m very tired of telling it at this point.

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

I really like listening to comedy albums on Spotify and watching random specials on Youtube. Podcasts are always fun and helpful for finding new people. Twitter was pretty good for discovering new comedy, but now it’s a bit of a mess.

Tell us a joke about your city.

I don’t really have anything funny to say about Vancouver. I think it’s a wonderful city and a beautiful place to live. I couldn’t imagine a better place to pursue my passions for real estate development and money laundering.

Where can we follow you?


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

You should know about Nathan Hare because he is more well known than me, but also because he’s one of my favourite stand-up comedians in town and one of my best pals. Improv, sketch, stand up, hilarious videos—the man can do it all. Great comedian, great guy. Check him out!


About Sabrina Greggain-Lord 34 Articles
My name is Sabrina Greggain-Lord and I am a Community Outreach worker for the Vancouver Guardian. I am passionate about writing and bringing recognition to those doing wonderful work within their communities.