Sahara Bayley, a stand-up comedian from Vancouver, sets an intention whenever she is about to perform; to spread love and joy through her comedy. Her humour, as she hesitantly tells us is inspired by her mother and delivered with a little bit of sass, Sahara Bayley is certainly one to watch for. We spoke with her to learn more.
How would you describe your comedy style?
My comedy style is a coping mechanism from years upon years of deep seeded trauma, mixed in with specks of divine wisdom and love, and very sassy. I’ve always been hilariously sassy, but in a wholesome, “That’s so Raven” sort of way, if you know what I mean.
Who are some of your influences?
Even though it’s hard to admit…my mom. And why is that so hard to admit? Normalize taking the best parts of your mom and using it for your own advantage in life. The main character from the tv show “Smart Guy”. He is honest, vulnerable, and calls out weird stuff in the show for the greater good. Also the two hosts and comedians of the podcast “Guys We F*cked”, Corinne Fisher, and Krystyna Hutchinson.
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
I don’t remember watching that much comedy growing up. I remember watching a Dane Cook special with my older brother once. I remember laughing, but I think I just wanted my brother to think I was cool. As a teen, I remember liking the Aziz Ansari specials.
Who is your favourite comedian now?
There are so many talented comedians out there it is hard to choose just one. Nicole Byer is amazing. Michelle Buteau is amazing. I binged her new show, “Survival of the Thickest” she put out on Netflix in one sitting. I’m sad there isn’t more, and I am jealous of anyone who hasn’t seen it yet and gets to experience it for the first time still. John Early is also amazing! I went to his JFL show this year when he came to Vancouver and it was the best comedy show I have ever seen.
What is your pre-show ritual?
I used to try to pretend to myself that I’m chill and it was not a big deal that I’m about to do a show, and then either get very stressed about it or go pretty numb because I was denying my feelings.
Now I just see how I feel that day, and if I’m nervous or stressed I’ll lean into it. I just try to take good care of myself so I can do my best. I also like to set a little intention about the performance. It’s always to spread love and joy through my comedy.
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
My first live performance ever was out of a garage in east Vancouver. It was very hot, and I was so nervous, but it was the first time I was like…woah…people are picking up what I’m putting down, and that was very cool for me.
What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?
My favourite bit is one I wrote about a guy coming over to fix my internet. It only took me 20 minutes to write, and I was at a low point in my life staying with a friend in Montreal after a rough breakup. I like that funny stuff and art can happen even as your world shifts in dramatic ways.
Comedy has been very grounding for me.
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
I just walk outside and put my ear to the ground. No, that’s stupid. I work at a venue right now that runs a lot of shows so I get to see performances ranging from beginners to the pros. Also, my boyfriend is always showing me clips of comedians he loves on youtube.
Tell us a joke about your city.
It’s difficult for me to make a joke about Vancouver because I love this city! I’m a Vancouver lover! I would date, marry, and have kids with Vancouver. I would go to Vancouver’s parents house and be pleasant and helpful and even wash some dishes after dinner. I’d support Vancouver in its midlife crisis. I’d selflessly die after Vancouver so they wouldn’t be lonely in old age. No, it’s not that serious. Not that serious at all. I am a lover girl but Vancouver is the level of friend I’d pick up at the airport. Maybe. If I had nothing else to do, and they were really hot or something.
Do you have anything to promote right now?
Yes! I am producing my own show now, appropriately called “The Sahara Show”. It’s a show where I interview comedians around Vancouver that I started posting online during the pandemic. Just recently I did the first-ever live version, which includes stand-up sets and interviews, along with some fun little surprises for the audience! Think late-night talk show meets the Tyra show.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?
Ben Fawcett is very funny, and I don’t think gets the recognition he deserves. I’m not just saying that because he’s my boyfriend, that’s WHY he’s my boyfriend.