When Jen Grant isn’t working, she may be at home or in the community around her Ottawa neighbourhood, enjoying her down time. However, for Grant, her everyday experiences have the potential to turn into fodder for work material.
This is because Grant is one of Canada’s most successful comics, who for over 20 years has entertained audiences with her real and raw observational-style comedy, taking stories from everyday life and sharing her unique take on the things we’ve all experienced in one way or another.
“People always ask where you get your material from, and I always say look around, life is hilarious and ridiculous and also can be painful, so when you laugh at pain that’s actually therapeutic,” said Grant, who’ll be making her debut at a Sudbury Performance Group (SPG) event, performing in Sudbury as part of her My Jokes Are Up Here comedy tour.
Grant, along with fellow top Canadian comic, Erica Sigurdson, who’s also known for appearances on the CBC radio hit, The Debaters, are two of the most successful comic headliners in Canada, and while their talent and success are reasons enough to come the show, the other reason should be less of an issue, but isn’t.
“You’re not going to see a show like this very often because first of all it’s rare to see one female headliner because women are still a minority in stand up comedy, and what’s even rarer is that we’re both headliners,” Grant said, adding that Rick Lemieux will be hosting the event.
While Grant and Sigurdson are performing their own unique sets, Grant said their show is refreshing because audiences will get to hear very strong, funny stories and observations through the lens of two people you often don’t hear that perspective from.
With a title as tongue-and-cheek as My Jokes Are Up Here, Grant describes her material is edgy with restraint, respectful, but not over-the-top dirty, and everyone is included in her observations. Busting through the myth that women comics only talk about female issues, everything’s on the table.
“We talk about everything from our families, perspectives on cultural issues, we like to shine a light on political issues,” she said, “Our world is crazy, and we’re pointing out those things in a way that is honest, playfully-edgy, and relatable.”
While their sets dive into universal truths for all people and family dynamics, they’re not overly filthy with gratuitous F-bombs. However, they’re not sugar coated either. It’s a balance between being real with the appropriate grit while also being impactful, relatable and of course, funny.
“I come from a dysfunctional family, I was the middle child and I always wanted to distract my family with laughs and try to add levity because I always thought life should be more fun then we’re having,” Grant said.