A Little Q&A With Toronto Stand Up Comedian Sophie Kohn

For this feature we caught up with stand up comedian Sophie Kohn, a writer for CBC Radio, and a Second City Writing Teacher.

Sophie Kohn

How would you describe your comedy style?

I would describe my comedy style as pretty absurd. I find extreme exaggeration endlessly hilarious. Huge, ridiculous numbers, rapidly escalating intensity, frantic use of CAPS LOCK — these are all things that show up a lot in my humour, both on the stage and on the page.

Who are some of your influences?

My biggest comedic influences are Maria Bamford for her hardcore, unapologetic commitment to super-weird and unexpected jokes, and Tig Notaro who is the unrivalled champion of deadpan jokes.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

SNL had a big impact on me as a teenager, because I think it was the first time I understood that comedy could be a career. I’d say I was most influenced by that power-cohort of women on SNL in the late ’90s and early 2000s — Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, and then a bit later, Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Rachel Dratch.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Maria Bamford remains my north star of comedy!!

What is your pre-show ritual?

I like to blast high-energy songs directly into my head on the way to a show.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

Comedy Bar is by far my favourite place to perform. It’s been my comedy home for years now — it’s where I launched and produced my monthly stand-up show, Forever Jung, before the pandemic wrecked everything. It’s got a beautiful, creative energy, and the amount of talent that places houses on any random Wednesday night is just astonishing.

What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?

Pre-pandemic my favourite way to discover new comedians was just to go to lots of live shows and festivals. Sometimes you go catch a big name and the opener is amazing. Or sometimes you discover a local comic in some random bar.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

I teach a satire-writing workshop at Second City every couple of months. It’s designed for anyone, regardless of experience level, and it’s tons of fun. I teach for both Second City Toronto and Second City L.A. but during COVID, all classes are virtual so you can join from anywhere atop the earth.

Where can we follow you?

I’m on Twitter – @thegreatsophini

PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

Meg MacKay is a hilarious unicorn of madness and everyone needs to watch her perform at all times.

Tell us a joke.

Women sneezing with the delicate rustle of a small woodland creature: Sorry! Excuse me! I’m so sorry, I won’t forgive myself until March 40th.
Men yell-sneezing at 8 billion decibels, the sound tearing a hole through the natural world: ANYWAY, so my podcast started a podcast.