Tragedy Plus Time: Vancouver Comedian Jackie Agnew

Delivering autobiographical bits with her dark and dirty sense of humour, Vancouver stand-up comedian Jackie Agnew spoke with us and shared a little bit about herself. Watching classic Saturday Night Live Dvds with her family she developed a love for comedy. Jackie Agnew tells us about her projects, pre-show rituals, opinions on her favourite comedians and more.

Jackie Agnew

How would you describe your comedy style?

It’s pretty autobiographical, I talk a lot about myself and experiences I’ve had. I lean towards dark and dirty comedy for sure because that’s just how I see the world, I’ve always had a dark sense of humour.

Who are some of your influences?

Nikki Glaser and Sarah Silverman are probably the comics my style most closely resembles and I love them both, but in a larger business sense I’m really inspired by Tom Segura and Bert Kreischer and how they’ve completely changed the game in comedy by leveraging their podcasts and their fans to blow the door wide open on what’s possible to do in this industry. People love to hate on Bert but he’s easily in the top 5 earners in comedy right now so he’s doing something right and I’m taking notes.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

My parents love classic SNL, so we watched a lot of those old DVDs growing up and that was probably my biggest comedic influence. Comedians like Eddie Murphy, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Mike Myers. I don’t think my style really resembles any of theirs, I’m not up on stage doing Church Lady or singing The Chanukah Song, though that would be a hilarious transition for me. But those guys opened my eyes. I was quoting SNL sketches and Wayne’s World at far too young an age than was appropriate. Don’t even get me started on my little brother quoting Austin Powers to strangers. It was an issue.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Tom Segura, John Mulaney, and Nikki Glaser are three people who never fail to make me laugh out loud. In terms of newer comics, last fall I was lucky enough to host for Ralph Barbosa at House of Comedy for a weekend and he absolutely murdered every single night, and since then he has really blown up. If you haven’t heard of him yet you will soon (yes I do credit myself completely for his success, thanks for asking).

What is your pre-show ritual?

My boyfriend and I are both comedians (Jonny DiVito, punch it in your Googler) so the best nights are when we are on the same show. We drive out to the show together, windows all the way down, Kid Rock ALL the way up (he’s more Bawitdaba era, I’m more Cocky era, but somehow we make it work), then we grab a drink at the venue before the show. Sometimes I’ll bring my notebook and try and work out a new joke before my set, but usually, I’ll regale whatever poor soul is sitting with us with a full recap of the last episode of Survivor.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

There are a lot of hidden gems in Vancouver. Comedy Ring runs shows out of this back room in a bar called Holy Chow and it’s the perfect room for comedy. The MOTN is also a great space, the crowds there are always so much fun and supportive. Outside of Vancouver, I’ve gotta give a shout out to The Effie in Kamloops, it’s an awesome venue and they’re great supporters of the arts.

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

Lately, I’ve been working on a bit about how I saw the Blue Man Group live dozens of times growing up. We were a big Blue Man Group family. My little brother went as a blue man for Halloween one year. I wish I was making this up. It’s a bit of a departure from my style since I do tend to lean more towards a darker/dirtier style of comedy, but I do love tapping into that sillier side of myself and it’s fun to see crowds react to the change of pace.

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

Definitely podcasts. The market for comedy specials is so saturated right now it’s rare that I’ll go out of my way to watch a special from a comic I’m not already familiar with, but with my favourite podcasts I’ll listen to every episode regardless of who the guest is, so I end up getting introduced to a lot of new comedians that way.

Tell us a joke about your city.

Truthfully I don’t talk about Vancouver on stage at all really, it eats up precious time where I could be talking about myself.

I do have a story I tell about when I lived in a micro apartment in the downtown east side and my boyfriend got me evicted through a mixture of what was categorized as “vandalism” and “public nudity”, but I fear it won’t read well on paper.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Like every other comedian in the world, I have a podcast. It’s called Show Me Yours, I do it with Jonny DiVito and Ty Boissonnault. We talk about music, or we aim to, but it usually ends up being mostly about Bigfoot. We bring on a lot of local comedians and musicians so check it out if you’re into that sorta thing.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Show Me Yours

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

Jonny DiVito is the funniest person in the world to me and he’s doing a lot of cool stuff crossing the worlds of comedy and punk rock (not just saying this because he’s sitting right beside me). Also “Good” Darragh Bourke, “Evil” Daragh Turner, Tim Williams, Alex Carr, and tons of others who I’m forgetting and will definitely hear about later.


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.