Tragedy Plus Time: Toronto Comedian Chase Jeffels

Toronto-based comedic force, Chase Jeffels, hones a comedic style that defies categorization. His performances are a unique blend of sketch, improv, stand-up, and clowning, creating a chaotic comedy vibe that’s truly one-of-a-kind. Chase thrives on breaking the fourth wall, forging connections with the audience, and uncovering humour at the moment. While he brings his own bits and jokes to the table, Chase humbly admits that the spontaneous moments with the audience often steal the show.

Chase Jeffels

How would you describe your comedy style?

People have called my comedy all sorts of things—absurdist, alternative, weird, improvisational, silly, physical, outrageous, wacky, nonsensical—you name it. I like mixing sketch, improv, stand-up, and clowning to create this chaotic comedy vibe. In my live stuff, I’m all about breaking that fourth wall and creating a connection with the audience to find the funny in the room. Sure, I throw in my own bits and jokes, but honestly, the stuff I find in the room with the audience is way funnier than anything I could come up with alone in a room.

Who are some of your influences?

Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Sherman, Steve Martin, Will Ferrell, Rowan Atkinson, Jacques Tati, Jacques Lecoq, Philippe Gaulier, Charlie Chaplin, Natalie Palamides, Sacha Baron Cohen, John Cleese, Marc Rebillet, Reggie Watts, Isaac Kessler, Ken Hall, Gordon Neill, Ross Noble, Tim Robinson, my brothers, my father, my mother, my uncle, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele… in no particular order…that might be a bit more than you asked for. AND THATS ONLY SOME!

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

Jim Carrey by far wins as the most consistent fav for me. His physical comedy is genius. We all know that.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

I am really fascinated by Tim Robinsons’ work right now. It’s so outrageous. I love it when Tim Robinson gets angry, I don’t know what it is. I also love how it completely divides an audience. Either you love it or you HATE it.

What is your pre-show ritual?

I will often dance, sing, and move around. If I am with my comedy partner Kenneth Cheung, we will do a physical counting exercise (maybe too hard to explain here). I do this space painting movement exercise I learned in clown school that gets me out of my head and into the space. I love the reactions I get from people when I do that. SOMETIMES I don’t do anything and just try to stay present in the room. I once had a panic attack before a set… so often, I even meditate.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

I think my favourite place would have to be Sweet Action Theatre. It’s the only clown/alt-comedy theatre in Toronto. It was an old classroom that Gordon Neill (creator of Sweet Action) turned into a cozy little black box. A lot of really special and crazy things happen there. The Supermarket in Kensington Market is a close second, though. It’s a really great space for comedy (when you make it a space for comedy; it’s usually a music venue). It’s intimate and underground. I remember having a really great time performing there.

What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?

I think the bit I have gotten the most mileage out of is my “Gus Hansfart” character. It’s a character who is a musician, but his instrument is his hands that can fart. He produces farts out of his hands that imitate the sounds of doors creaking and ping-pongs. It was born out of a sketch I filmed during the pandemic. I entered it into a comedy festival, and it won People’s Choice! I created a live version that I have done around the city. I’ve been able to fart with my hands since I was 6 years old in a bathtub and I always wondered how I could make it useful… hopefully it makes me money someday. It’s hilarious that it came out in that character.

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

Probably a mixture of Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. It’s the way of the world now, and almost all comedians are on there. I get a big kick out of the ones who try something different on the apps. BUT it’s way more satisfying to find them by going to watch a show. Toronto has a wicked comedy scene. Please go see shows!

Tell us a joke about your city.

The good thing about Toronto is that it is always erect. Never soft. You ever been up the CN tower? Did I mention I’m mostly a physical comedian? Maybe imagine me trying to be the CN tower… Is that funny? Maybe imagine me trying to be the CN tower, but also erect? Either way, I can’t hear you and I don’t care.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Not anything too specific. I am doing a couple of shows a month usually; you can find all the show info on my Instagram. I post a lot of content on social media, so go ahead and follow me over there for some giggles. There are a few projects in the air. This year, I am producing a clown improv show with my comedy partner at Sweet Action Theatre called “Suddenly Something,” and I am also working on creating a monthly solo improv show… title TBD. But I think a goal of mine in 2024 is to create a solo show that is mostly me improvising with an audience. These days, I find it odd that I almost prefer going on stage with nothing prepared rather than using something prewritten. It’s really thrilling though!

Where can we follow you? 

InstagramTikTokYoutube

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

It’s hard to choose just one… Can I mention two? You must see Victoria Watson Sepejak; they are hilarious and seem to tickle my funny bone in ways I didn’t know could be done. Secondly, you have to see my comedy partner, Kenneth Cheung. He isn’t producing a whole lot yet, but once he does, you’re going to want to be a part of that audience. OKAY ONE MORE FINE! Emily Jeffers is a powerhouse of hilarity, her physicality and timing is top-notch. You can see them all at some point at Sweet Action Theatre. Come hang out!

 

About Emilea Semancik 107 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods