Prince George comedian Brian Majore has always gotten laughs. Now he hopes to win money for his stand-up comedy routine which pokes fun at his First Nations background.
Majore was selected one of the lucky contestants in YukYuk’s Great Canadian Laugh Off event. He leaves for Toronto March 27.
“I will be competing March 30 against eight other comedians, amateurs and professionals. If I win that round, then I move on to the April 1 finals where I compete against another eight comedians for $25,000. The final competition airs on Comedy Network.”
Since he has to finance his own way for this leg of the competition, including transportation, food and hotel bills, Majore says he wants to win.
“I wouldn’t invest that much money if I didn’t think I had a good chance of winning,” he said.
The local comedian’s unique brand of humour is anything but politically correct.
“I poke a lot of fun at First Nations people. They always say write about what you know, so I took that to heart with my comedy. Basically, I’m telling my own story. I grew up in Houston for the first 19 years of my life, then lived in Prince George, moved to Vancouver, then came back and went to UNBC and graduated with a general studies B.A.”
It was at UNBC that Majore first discovered he had comedic talent.
“The course was in my First Nations Studies. Each week we looked at different aspects like movies, songs, novels, short stories and stand-up comedy. Instead of a final exam we had to do a performance so I did a stand-up comedy routine. When I’d rehearsed it, it took four minutes but it ended up taking me 10 minutes because I hadn’t counted on all the laughter.”
Majore smiles broadly as he runs through two pieces from his routines.
“In one, I talk about the hassles I got trying to cash a large check at a bank. In another, I talk about how I should play the suspect in Crimestoppers commercials because I fit the description better than the actors in the reenactments do: I’m Native, male, average height and weight – that story is still in my routine.”
Although he now fetches a good wage for comedy, especially when he’s booked solid in December with Christmas parties, he fills in during summer months by performing with the powwow circuit. Majore still remembers the best advice he’s ever gotten.
“About three years ago, I opened for comedian Don Burnstick and he gave me some advice about getting started in this business. He said don’t ask for money, just get them to bring you in, feed you and give you some exposure.’ I still do that sometimes. I’ve been doing professional comedy since April 2003 and building up my routines.”
As the competition in Toronto draws near, Majore says he’s confident, not nervous.
“My best eight minutes of comedy can stand up against any comedian’s best eight minutes.”