A veteran high school English teacher by day and one of the premier headlining stand up comedians in Canada by night, Paul Bae has appeared in many festivals, including Montreal’s Just For Laughs. Paul was also the host of the hit comedy news-panel show, The CityNews List on CityTV and a regular voice and contributor on the hit CBC Radio and TV series, The Debaters. In this live taping at Vancouver’s historic Waldorf, Paul rolls out his hilarious and, sometimes, uncomfortable thoughts on teaching, aging, and marriage.
Here’s a short bio on stand-up comedians Charlie Demers:
Charles Demers was born and raised in Vancouver. He is an activist and
comedian, a regular performer on CBC Radio One’s The Debaters, and
co-host of Citytv’s comedic panel show The Citynews List in Vancouver.
In 2005, he was the judges’ choice for Vancouver’s funniest new comic;
since then he has been featured on national radio, in print, as well
as in festivals and live venues across Canada and the Pacific
Northwest and with Paul Bae as the sketch duo “Bucket”–the act Robin
Williams called “the future of comedy.”
Charlie Demers has published two books: a novel entitled The
Prescription Errors and a collection of essays called Vancouver
Special. The latter was nominated for a Hubert Evans Non-Fiction
Charlie Demers is a stand-up comic who lives in Vancouver.
Download Charlie Demer’s new comedy special for $5 DRM-free.
“There’s a new place to catch local comedy – but it’s not a venue. All you need is a computer, smartphone or iPad and five bucks.
The idea behind TheStandUpComedians.com was inspired by Louis CK, who released his stand-up special for $5 on his website. That way he was able to cut out the middleman.
So local funny man Paul Breau decided to launch something similar using Vancouver performers.
“Some Canadian comedians got together and decided to pool our resources and see if we could do the same thing,” he explains. “Often times, local comics couldn’t afford to do that kind of thing on their own.”
The idea for the comedy site came after watching Louis CK’s Live at the Beacon Theatre stand-up show. His DIY-style digital download site was a game changer. Fans could buy his comedy for $5 and do whatever they wanted with it. He wasn’t the first to do it, but he was the first comedian. And the idea that artists, even comedians, could deal directly with fans was very cool. Once Louis CK did it, other big name comedians quickly followed: Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan both came out with their own downloadable website specials shortly after. I wondered if the same model could work for lesser-known comics.
Before settling into parenthood, I’d been a stand-up comedian in Canada for over ten years and I’d gotten to know a lot of really great comics. I think Canada produces some of the best stand-up comedians in the world and I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of them. And, as I started talking to local comedians about doing something similar to what Louis did, everyone loved the idea. Unfortunately, none of them had both the financial resources and technical expertise to pull it off. I want to be clear. No one is comparing their act to Louis CK and no one expects to get his kind of volume of traffic. But the idea of a DRM-free, internet distribution model that would bring them closer to fans and potentially give them a little extra money was very appealing. As you can probably guess, making a living as a comedian (or any entertainer for that matter) is a very hard thing to do.
And that’s where I came in. In addition to stand-up comedy, I also have a background in video and multimedia production. I decided to put a strong video and web team together and get this project done. And that’s when things started to take shape. Getting the comics would be the easy part. Almost everyone I approached was onboard with the idea. Thanks to @GrahamClark @Ivan Decker @EricaSigurdson @CharlieDemers @Dylan Rhymer and all the others rolled up their sleeves and dove right in.
Finding a venue, selling the tickets and capturing the shows and getting them up onto a website would be the real challenge. I started working with Graham Clark (Stop Podcasting Yourself, Comedy Now and CBC’s The Debaters) on finding a suitable room to film the shows. After looking all over the city, we settled on the idea of shooting at the Legendary Cabaret Room in The Waldorf Hotel.
In order to make the site financially feasible, we’d have to work on economies of scale. We decided to have two comedians per night over 5 nights. The comics started selling tickets and I started booking the crew and building the website. And somehow, despite all the odds, we managed to pull it off. I want to thank the Vancouver comedy community and everyone who came out to our shows to support us. A special thank-you goes out to Guy McPherson and the Georgia Straight for helping us get the word out at the very start.
Basically, the stand-up comedians website was developed to give an opportunity to all the hardworking comedians out there that don’t have the capital or technical expertise to develop and market to the new DRM free, internet distribution model. That’s the great thing about social media – it gives artists the chance to relate directly with their fans. Vancouver Is Awesome (@VIAwesome) and Maximum Fun have also been great.
A group of ten Stand Up Comedians have banded together to spread out the capital costs and create a website that is both individual (i.e. each comedian gets their own homepage) and comprehensive (many different comedy styles). Comedy fans, can watch free previews and pick what they like: male, female, silly, raunchy, political, smart, stupid – you name it – we’re going to put it up on the stand-up comedians website. All we care about is the comedy.
As the site grows in popularity we’ll be adding more and more comedians from as many different regions of Canada and the US as possible. But we also hope to feature comedians from around the world.