We had the pleasure to talk with Rush Kazi, Montreal-born, Toronto-based comic, non-binary, bipedal, carbon-based stand-up, sketch, and musical comic. We spoke with them to find out more about their comedy style and influences.
How would you describe your comedy style?
A dark, alt, unique blend of fun nostalgic story-telling and unapologetic stupidity pulled from modern real world examples.
Who are some of your influences?
I think I have more inspirations than influences. When I first saw brown comedians on TV like Russell Peters, Sugar Sammy, and Ali Rizvi, I realized that I didn’t have to just be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or accountant like my parents always insisted. Kristen Schaal made me realize I could be as zany as I want. I was already crass, but Amy Schumer made me realize that I didn’t need to censor myself in comedy.
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
Dave Chapelle. He was basically everyone’s favourite comedian growing up. I also liked watching old Eddie Murphy specials.
Who is your favourite comedian now?
It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I really liked Amy Wong, John Mulaney, and Bo Burnham’s newest specials.
What is your pre-show ritual?
Grabbing a drink to make sure my throat isn’t dry, and then going to the bathroom. Don’t want to have any “accidents” on stage.
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
Anytime I’ve performed at Asian Comedy All-Stars at the Rivoli, the audience was buzzing and teeming with energy. My JFL42 performance at Comedy Bar had a very similar vibe with one of the best audiences around, but the sheer (pre-covid) numbers at Asian Comedy All-Stars was staggering. It was exhilarating to see 200 people all there to enjoy my craft.
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
I have been running an open-mic, Laughter Luau, since 2012 and that was my favourite place to find new comedians. During the pandemic lockdowns, the show shifted to a virtual format, and it was amazing to see comedians who were starting out under such crazy restrictions still being incredibly funny!
Do you have anything to promote right now?
You can catch me at Courtyard Comedy Saturday, August 7th, and I’m taping a special for OutTV on August 20th! I’ll also be recording an album soon after through Howl & Roar Records, more info will be up on my website as soon as I have it!
Where can we follow you?
I’m all over Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, the easiest way to find my social links is on my website.
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?
There’s no way I can mention enough names here, but in no particular order, I LOVE Leonard Chan, Al Val, Jade Niles Craig, Sarah Ashby, Kevin Shawanda, Bobbi Summers, and Oren Williamson, just to name a few. And obviously, I need to shout out to Courtyard Comedy’s Robert Watson for being such a superstar. I have more names, but you’d run out of space.
Tell us a joke.
I’ll do you one better, you can watch me tell a joke on my website’s main page.