Kyle Brownrigg is having a breakout year in the comedy industry and is quickly becoming one of Ottawa’s best acts. He’s shared the stage with comedy greats like Mike MacDonald, Nikky Payne, and Gilbert Gottfried. His snappy wit and smooth approach work well with his stylish demeanor, make him a hilarious act to watch onstage.
On November 10, he will be gracing Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa to record his debut comedy album, under Howl & Roar Records. Ahead of his performance, I got the chance to talk to Kyle and ask him about his time as part of 2018’s Top Comic competition and the build up to his album release. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Apt613: How are you?
Kyle: I’m doing really good. It’s been kind of a crazy year but glad things are finally settling down a bit.
How was it participating and making it so far into the SiriusXM’s Top Comic?
To be perfectly frank, I’m kind of glad it’s over with because it was the most emotionally exhausting things I think I’ve ever done in my entire life. Because it was literally the biggest comedy competition in the country, but the experience is worth it. It was an amazing show, I had an amazing set and there was 1400 people there, so it was a really awesome experience. A career highlight for sure, but I’m also happy it’s over with.
How was the voting process of Top Comic, and trying to gain attention to your material, or topics that are personal to you?
My subject matter of my material has never really been something personal when it comes to talking about things in front of strangers. What does speak for me, from an emotional attachment is just the whole… following up on the voting, making sure I print off little slips for people to vote for me daily that I would hand out at shows, and I had to be on top of that. I had to remind people to vote, every single day. I’d have to create new content every day to get people to vote. I had to create 21 days of new content… it was honestly exhausting.
When did you first start doing stand up comedy in Ottawa?
I was 23—September 3rd, 2012.
What made you want to go up in the first place?
You know, it’s interesting, but I just kind of feel like it’s who I am. When I realized that anybody can have potential to sign up and try it, it was like an “Oh!” moment. At the time I was working at an art gallery in Ottawa and I had these standup comics come in that were open-micers. They told me that they had done stand up and up until that time, I had thought that, in order to do standup comedy, you had to either be a famous person or you just didn’t do it. It never occured to me that a non famous person can do standup comedy. So I thought that if they could do it, then I can do it too.
It never occured to me that a non famous person can do standup comedy. So I thought that if they could do it, then I can do it too.
How many times did you perform standup comedy before you though you could make a career out of it?
When I first did it, like in my first year and I made it to the finals of the Absolute Comedy’s (Prove You’re a Comic Competition), I remember just thinking this is something I can do. This is something I’m good at, but it never really occurred to me that it can be a job because I had never gotten paid to do standup comedy at that point. I was just mostly doing one spot a month for free. I finally ended up getting paid after doing the comedy competition and then I was getting more and more gigs from the comedy competition and ultimately I kind of fell into it. I don’t have a day job now, I only do standup comedy, but that took years. It was always something I did on the side, and eventually it ended up being the only thing I do, but it took a long time.
Before you left Ottawa, I actually remember watching you perform during your first year in standup comedy and you were great even back them.
Thank you! That’s very nice. I remember performing in Ottawa. You know, Ottawa produces some of the greatest comedic talents… but a lot of times, we end up leaving the city. When I started, there was Adrian Cronk, Rebecca Reeds, myself, Jimmy Cassidy, Mat Carter… yeah we all moved away.
Is this your first comedy recording?
Yes, I have never recorded my comedy and this has been in the making over the last 6 years. I am really excited for it because it’s gonna be a body of work that I’ve been working on for a long time so I’m really excited for it and to publish it.
What’s the main thing you’re comfortable with the most, at this stage in your career?
I am happy with my delivery. That’s something I’ve been working on for years. The way I deliver my jokes and my particular type of comedy is undeniably my own and it’s one of those things where I’m really excited to share. It’s my my little contribution to standup comedy… the way that I like to do standup comedy, and the way that I like to do jokes and tackle subject matter.
Thank you for talking to me and I’m looking forward to your album recording in Ottawa.
Thank you. Hope to see you at the show.
Kyle Brownrigg will be at Yuk Yuks Ottawa on November 10th. There will be two shows, starting at 7pm and then at 9:30pm. For tickets to the show, please visit www.yukyuks.com or learn more on the Facebook event page.