Tunji Taylor-Lewis is a multifaceted Vancouver-based comedian who gained rapid popularity on social media. From hilarious TikToks about celebrities, his mini-series “Meanwhile, Black in Vancouver” and his stand up; Tunji is a force to be reckoned with. This past November, Tunji performed to a sold out show at The Improv Center. We got a chance to chat with him about his favourite comedian growing up and how Vancouverites can’t handle snow!
How would you describe your comedy style?
My comedy style is very heavy on characters, skits, and storytelling. When I’m on stage doing my set, I want to take my audience on a journey as if they’re watching a one-man movie
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
Eddie Murphy and Will Smith are my top influences for sure. My top 5 stand-up comedians in no particular order would have been Chappelle, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Steve Harvey, and Eddie.
Who is your favourite comedian now?
What is your pre-show ritual?
Praying, listening to soul music, and drinking a grande flat white with almond milk from Starbucks. It has to be that coffee specifically or else the show will go terribly.
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
I did an improv show at the Rio Theatre and that was extremely special. It was the largest venue I had ever performed in at that time, and to get laughs in a venue that big and with that much history really gave me a lot of confidence as a young performer.
What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?
When I was in university (shoutout to TWU) I did this sketch at our yearly talent show where I played the character of a Spanish Balladeer and my friend Nathan was my sidekick playing the guitar. We sang this dramatic love story to a random girl from the audience and MAN… we absolutely rocked the place. It must’ve been 400 people and they were all dying of laughter. And the cherry on top was that we won the talent show! It was the most fulfilling moment of my comedy career to this day because from that point on there was no doubt in my mind that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram are awesome places to find new comedians because you can be sure that their success is coming from their ability to resonate with the general public. There’s a lot of great talent out there that deserves more opportunities than their getting right now.
Tell us a joke about your city.
Well, I’m from Vancouver and the way we handle snow every year is definitely a joke. Snow is not new to this city and yet every year it seems to catch us by surprise. It always takes a few accidents and major traffic jams before the government say “you know maybe we should send out a couple snow plows to clear that stuff up.”
Do you have anything to promote right now?
Hopefully, by the time this article comes out, I’ll have shows already announced so everyone follow me on Instagram for updates!
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?
Akeem Hoyte-Charles is a good friend of mine and is probably the best pure comedian in the city right now. This dude can hop on stage without anything prepared and still have the audience dying for an hour straight. That is not an easy thing to do at all. Sky’s the limit for that dude.