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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Apr. 23: Colin Lamb

Tonight our guest comes with axe in hand. No, it's not Paul Bunyon. The axe in question is a guitar and the guest in question is Colin Lamb, who'll be making his first appearance on the show. I saw him at Sam Tonning's musical comedy show at Yuk Yuk's a few weeks ago and said to myself, "One day, this man will be on our show." Then it happened. Positive affirmations work, friends! If you like Shirley Gnome, you'll love Lamb. Totally different style from Shirley, but what they have in common is great musicianship, catchy tunes and hilarious (and inappropriate) lyrics. Colin will play for us live in studio, which is always a treat.

Tune in to CFRO 100.5 FM at 11 pm for all the chatter and chanteys. If you're outside our listening area, you can stream us at or find us on TuneIn Radio.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Podcast episode 451ish: Joel Plaskett

First off, happy 13th birthday to What's So Funny? On April 18, 2004, we hit the airwaves with our guests Dana Alexander and Paul Bae, with my trusty manservant Kevin Smith on the controls. Look how far we've come: Dana has been living in England for years and tours her standup all over Europe. She's also got a podcast with the apt title of Comedians of the World. Paul has retired from standup but has a very popular – and creepy – podcast called The Black Tapes. And, of course, Kevin retired from pushing buttons after ten years of service and is now in hiding.

But that was 13 years ago. What's the latest, you ask? Why, it's nationally adored singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett, aka Joe Plastic. Based in his home and native province of Nova Scotia, Plaskett junior and senior (his musician father) were on tour and playing the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver so I nabbed him on Sunday afternoon for a free-ranging chat on all things Plaskett. We discuss me fake-kissing his now-wife, plus he tells us about his mom and Jimi Hendrix, how hecklers on Twitter get him down, and his dream of driving John Candy's van across country on tour.

It's all right here for you to enjoy, if you like. Just click and the soundwaves will hit your eardrums. Or take us with you on the road. Go search for us in your favourite podcast peddler, be it iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, or what-have-you.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Apr. 16: Brad Upton

Our guest tonight has been doing standup comedy for over 30 years. I'll do the math for you: we're talking 1984 when he first gave it a go. And he still kills wherever he goes, whether it's a club, cruise ship, or theatre. Brad Upton still goes out on the road with crooner Johnny Mathis, but he makes time for a visit to Lafflines about once a year, where we caught him last week. Upton has spent his whole career in Seattle so it's a nice little drive up. He's been an elementary school teacher and a university track & field coach, but comedy won out. We'll talk about all of the above, and more, tonight. (Full disclosure: we already did.)

Tune in tonight at 11 pm to CFRO 100.5 FM in Vancouver. Or livestream us at Or, I suppose, find us on TuneIn Radio. That works, too.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Podcast episode 450ish: Camilo the Magician

Camilo the Magician is the first guest in What's So Funny's 13-year history who's had a pop song written about him. That's right, Vancouver's Said The Whale wrote a catchy little number all about Camilo Dominguez and you'll never guess what it's called: Camilo Juan Tamariz and all week I've been watching Juan Tamariz videos on YouTube. Great stuff. I also went to Camilo's show at the York Theatre with my son and we both loved it. He told me afterwards it was "as good as Mac King's show and maybe even better." High praise indeed. Camilo moved to Victoria as a teenager and immediately made friends through his prestidigitation. And he performed a trick for me, too. They don't call it the magic of radio for nothing!
(The Magician). Go check it out and I guarantee you'll be humming it for weeks, as I've been. Camilo was a great guest, telling us all about magic in Colombia. He told me about

Have a listen.

Podcast 449ish: James Kennedy

And now it's James Kennedy's turn in our mad rush to get our podcasts updated. James was a guest just under a month ago, his first time on the program. This guy shot onto the Vancouver standup scene like a cannon. One day he was brand new, the next he was headlining. But he remains humble. We talk about his previous life in music as well as his love of monkeys. And more, of course, but it's been so long I forget now.

Check it out. You can click below or download us (and subscribe!) at iTunes or Stitcher or wherever. We're everywhere.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Podcast 448ish: Harris Anderson

We're a tad late on our podcast posting so let's get the ball rolling. Dog-loving standup comic Harris Anderson made his WSF? debut back on March 12th. Now, a month later, the episode is available for you in perpetuity for nothing! He's a young man with old taste... except when it comes to jazz. Can't have it all, I guess. But his comedy heroes are the likes of Jonathan Winters and Victor Borge. He even threw in a quote of Milton's Paradise Lost.

Listen quick because the next one is coming down the pipe any day now. Click below or go find us on iTunes, Stitcher or your favourite podcast dispensary.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Apr. 9: Joel Plaskett

We like to branch out once or twice a year with guests outside the direct world of comedy. Tonight is one of those nights. Last Sunday, I spoke with new old friend – and goddamn national treasure! – Joel Plaskett. I first met the singer-songwriter back in the mid- to late-nineties when he was still with his Halifax-based band Thrush Hermit. It was a brief hello in a diner and we hadn't spoken since. But we picked up right where we left off lo those many years ago... only we said more than hello to each other this time. Plaskett, who still lives in Nova Scotia, was out for an afternoon stroll in East Van the day after he and his pa played the Vogue Theatre in support of their new album, Solidarity, and walked right into Co-op Radio for a little chin-wag with me, which you will hear tonight if you tune in to 100.5 FM at 11 pm.

And if you're far from a radio – or far from Vancouver – you can always livestream the show at Or just wait for the podcast to drop.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Apr. 2: Camilo the Magician

I love magic. And magic on radio is something truly special! Okay, not so much. But Camilo the Magician (Camilo Dominguez) will tell us his story of moving from Bogota, Colombia, to Victoria as a 15-year-old. That's gotta be some culture shock, I'm thinking. He's got a show at the York Theatre that ends next weekend. I've seen his magic via the old computer and it's pretty amazing. Check him out, and then tune in tonight to CFRO 100.5 FM at 11 pm to hear our conversation. We'll even play a song by Said the Whale that called, crazily, Camilo (the Magician).

If you're away from a radio, you can livestream us at

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mar. 19: James Kennedy

Tonight we've got James Kennedy on the old program. This is NOT Jamie Kennedy, I found out after booking him... Not true. I mean, no, they're not the same but it's not true that I ever thought they were. In fact, it wasn't until checking to see if he had a website that I put the two together. James is a local comic who's been killing it the last couple years... and he hasn't been doing comedy all that long, relatively speaking. He was in the music biz for a decade before switching over to the laughs. We'll talk about that, and welcome him back to Vancouver. From where? Not sure. But I know he's been away for a few weeks.

We're on the air at 11 pm. Tune in to CFRO 100.5 FM to eavesdrop on our conversation. If you don't have a radio, try livestreaming us at That oughta do it.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Podcast episode 447ish: Barry Crimmins

Here's a special episode. The legendary Barry Crimmins was in town for the JFL Northwest Comedy Festival a few weeks ago and he very generously agreed to sit down with me for an hour, despite being hounded to do podcasts wherever he goes. I first heard of Crimmins in 1988 when I heard the album Strange Bedfellows. Some know him from his book, Never Shake Hands with a War Criminal. And more lately, a whole new group of people know him from the Bobcat Goldthwait documentary, Call Me Lucky (on Netflix on a TV near you). He's also the godfather of the Boston comedy scene that birthed the likes of Goldthwait, Steven Wright, and Louis CK, all of whom he talks about in this episode.

Unfortunately, the sound is a bit crap. But whatcha gonna do? We can hear his words and that's the most important thing. Live and learn. The political satirist and activist talks about who he considers to be the best and worst president of his lifetime, his problems with Hillary, his experience on Air America (or "Err" America, as he dubs it), and the early days in the Boston comedy scene.

You can hear the episode at the gizmo below or you can download it at Stitcher or iTunes or wherever fine podcasts are dispensed. Go subscribe to us and the next episode will pop up automatically in your feed.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mar. 12: Harris Anderson

Our guest tonight is a first-timer. He's what they call in the business a young up-and-comer. I have no idea how young Harris Anderson is, but it's all relative. They're all whippersnappers to me. He's established enough that they're roasting him later this month. On March 20th, his friends and colleagues will rip him a new comedy hole at Yaggers in Kitsilano, all for a good cause. The proceeds are going to the BC SPCA. Harris is also a pretty good musician, I hear, so we'll talk about that. He hates jazz, so that's a potential stumbling block, but maybe we can work through it.

And Sam Tonning is in week #2 of his audition to be my new manservant. This is his first time with a real live guest in studio so pressure's on.

Turn on your radios at 11 pm (new time) in Vancouver to CFRO 100.5 FM. If our streamer is up and working, you can stream us at If not, we'll be out in podcast format in a couple weeks.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Feb. 26: Barry Crimmins

The JFL Northwest Comedy Fest has come and gone. I saw a lot of good shows. Hope you did, too. I also got the opportunity to sit down with the legendary Barry Crimmins for an hour. That conversation runs tonight. Crimmins has been the preeminent American political satirist for the last forty-plus years. We spoke in his noisy hotel room. The sound quality ain't the greatest, but hopefully you can cut through the noise to the scintillating conversation, which ran the gamut from Trump and Clinton, to Air America, to the old Boston comedy scene from which he sprang and helped develop.

For those who may not be familiar with him, check out the Bobcat Goldthwait-directed documentary on him on Netflix, Call Me Lucky. It's fantastic. He's also the author of Never Shake Hands with a War Criminal. And I first heard him back in the late 1980s on a great political comedy album called Strange Bedfellows, which also featured Will Durst, Jimmy Tingle and Randy Credico. Check it out. It's all about the Reagan era but it sadly still holds true. And holds up comedically.

We're on the air tonight at 11 pm, as always, on CFRO 100.5 FM in Vancouver. If you're elsewhere in the world and can't wait until the episode drops as a podcast, you can livestream us at

Friday, February 24, 2017

Podcast episode 446ish: Fred Ewanuick

Professional pretender Fred Ewanuick teaches me how to pronounce his name and then we get on with it, in this latest podcast episode of the hit show What's So Funny? He also tells us he's more than a professional pretender; he's also a voice prop. His words, people! In reality, he's one of Canada's finest comedic thespians. You know him and love him as Hank on Corner Gas. He talks about that, and about his regrets in his starring turn in Dan For Mayor. We also delve into his years as a bad theatre student and his time performing improv at his mom's coffee shop.

And away we go! You can listen here and now, or go find us on iTunes or Stitcher or some such place. If you subscribe at one of those places, new episodes will just pop up on your device when they come out. How convenient.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Podcast episode 445ish: Lori Gibbs

The always crafty Lori Gibbs (right)
How time flies! It had been five years between Lori Gibbs' last (first) visit and this one. Actually, it was I who did the visiting both times – to her hotel room. That's just the way she rolls, inviting men up to her room. Not really, but she did recently receive a proposition on the road, as she tells us in this episode. She also talks about the genesis of her nickname "the human antidepressant," her career in morning radio, developing into keynote speaker mode, and the art of crafting. We also settle, once and for all, who has the bigger head.

You can listen here. Or you can listen at iTunes. Or you can listen at Stitcher. Or you can find us somewhere I'm not familiar with. Go now and do what you have to do.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Feb. 5: Fred Ewanuick

Over the years on What's So Funny? we've had Brent Butt (twice), Lorne Cardinal, and most recently Nancy Robertson, all from Corner Gas. Tonight we've got comic actor Fred Ewanuick. Who's left? Tara Spencer-Nairn, Gabrielle Miller, and Eric Peterson. (I interviewed the late Janet Wright on set in Saskatchewan for print once.) Maybe we'll get all the way through some day. But tonight, we'll focus on Fred. He's best known for his Gilligan-like character Hank Yarbo on Corner Gas but he's been in a ton of other things, including starring as the eponymous Dan For Mayor. We're going to talk about all that and more.

We're on the air at 11 pm on CFRO 100.5 FM in Vancouver. Or livestream us at or on your fancy TuneIn Radio app.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Jan. 29: Lori Gibbs

Welcome to 2017, officially. Our first guest of 2017 was Harry Doupe, but he counted as the last guest of 2016 since we rehashed the year in comedy. Then we had two weeks of highlights from our 2016 season. Tonight we get going with the new year, a month into it. Lori Gibbs was in town in December, in the middle of our white season. I bundled up and met her in her hotel room to chat away the cold. It was perfect because she's warm and funny. The Calgary-based comic (originally from Vancouver) is branching out from standup. She's now a keynote speaker, too. And a real craftsperson. Literally. We talk about all of the above. We also measure each other's giant noggins. Who's is bigger? You'll have to tune in to find out!

We're on the air at 11 pm on CFRO 100.5 FM tonight. Lori and her posse can listen in from Calgary at or find us on the TuneIn Radio app. In fact, no matter where you are in the world, as long as you have wi-fi, you can tune in. And, of course, the show will drop as a podcast soon(ish).

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Jan. 22: 2016 highlights (part 2)

We had fun last week with all those clips of our past guests in 2016, right? Tonight we get to the rest of them: Steve Bays, Graeme Duffy, Jy Harris, Ed Hill, Chris James, Richard Lett, Brett Martin, Efthimios Nasiopoulos, Scott Patey, Nancy Robertson, Ari Shaffir, and Sam Tonning. More fun!

Tune in at 11 and we'll get started. CFRO 100.5 FM in Vancouver or livestream us at or find us on your TuneIn Radio app.

Podcast episode 444ish: Harry Doupe

It's Harry Doupe time again! The veteran standup comic/producer/writer has recently moved back to Vancouver (or thereabouts) (again). We rehash the year that was in comedy. And, of course, go off on tangents, as we do. So you'll hear us gabbing about comedy "specials," comedy deaths, the Human Rights Tribunal, game shows, and Saturday Night Live. He also gives us a taste of a book he's been working on for years which he hopes will be published in 2017.

Here you go. It's the first show of the new year. Have a listen. Also available at iTunes and Stitcher and elsewhere, if you can find it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Podcast episode 443ish: Nancy Robertson

It's not often you get Nancy Robertson in studio for an hour of free-wheeling conversation, so no matter how sick I was, I was going to be there. And I was sick. Usually the guest and I will sit in the same room but on this night I quarantined myself in the control room and had Nancy sit in the studio. But boy was I golden-throated! Best I've ever sounded; worst I've ever felt. After the show, I drove home and slept for 30 of the next 32 hours. Fun times! Robertson, as everyone knows full well, is best known for her role as Wanda on Corner Gas. We talked about that, how she started in acting (learning from one of the finest cowboy thespians in the business), and her formative years improvising with the Vancouver TheatreSports League. We also got into her love of obscure British TV series, her dislike of her new slow cooker, and her loss of respect for me for having not seen so many classic movies.

Here she is. You just need to click the button below to start listening to Nancy with the laughing face. Or you can download the show at iTunes or Stitcher or similar places. (NOTE: I just tried the button and it took 45 seconds before the audio started playing. Not sure if that's just my machine. Individual results may vary.)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jan. 15: 2016 highlights (part 1)

We started off 2017 with a recap of 2016 with guest Harry Doupe. Tonight and next week we look back audibly on highlights from our shows last year. We can't get to them all because there are too many, but we'll do about half this week and we'll the rest next Sunday. You're going to hear snippets of conversations from the following guests tonight (not in this order): Dino Archie, Byron Bertram, Jason Bryden, Sophie Buddle, Sara Bynoe, Jeff Cooper, Grahaeme Cowie, Ivan Decker, Glen Foster, Jessica Holmes, Paul Hooper, Caitlin Howden, Shauna Johannesen, Sean Kent, Julie Kim, Simon King, Dave Merheje, Camille Mitchell, Tim Nutt, Rob Pue, and Mike Storck.

Tune in tonight at 11 sharp to CFRO 100.5 FM. Or livestream us at or on the TuneIn Radio app. It'll be a fun show, promise.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Jan. 8: Harry Doupe

It's become a bit of an irregular tradition on the show to have Harry Doupe on the show at the end of the year to talk about the year in comedy. He's been with us in late December in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014. He's back tonight – really late December! Ah, first week in January is close enough. As anyone who's heard him on the show previously will know, Doupe was one of the first comics I ever saw live, back in the early 1980s at the now-defunct Punchlines Comedy Club in Gastown. Then he moved to Toronto (and elsewhere). He moved back to Vancouver a few years ago only to move away again. But I hear he's back to live again in the lower mainland, which is why I can welcome him back to the studio tonight. I saw him opening for his old buddy Norm Macdonald at the casino theatre in Coquitlam (I can never remember its name). We'll talk about the year that was and whatever else we can think of.

We're on the air at 11 pm and will go until we're finished, at least midnight, on CFRO 100.5 FM. If you're elsewhere in the world (or don't own a radio), you can livestream us at

Friday, January 6, 2017

Podcast episode 442ish: Sam Tonning

Getting back to business here after the holidays. Let's start with the posting of Sam Tonning's podcast episode. Sam is a guy I've probably seen more at jazz clubs than comedy clubs, but he's a very funny comic. And despite his good musical taste, he's also an unabashed and unironic lover of Phil Collins and Ted Nugent. Comedically, he's not ashamed to admit he adores Jay Leno and Dennis Miller, too. Got like a guy with the courage of his convictions. In this episode, we also discuss TV talk show sidekicks, moustaches, voice-over acting, playing the bass, and a whole lot more.

Check it out below. Or go download it iTunes or Stitcher (or elsewhere) and take it on the road with you.