Tragedy Plus Time: Toronto Comedian Mike Payne

Local comedian Mike Payne has been causing a stir in the comedy scene with his darkly absurdist observational shock comedy. Influenced by comedy greats such as George Carlin and Tom Segura, Payne has honed a unique voice that sets him apart in the industry. From hilarious gay parenting material to witty takes on modern society, Mike’s authentic comedic style is not to be missed.

Mike Payne

How would you describe your comedy style?

Darkly absurdist observational shock comedy.

Who are some of your influences?

Tom Segura, Hannibal Buress, Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan, Kenny Robinson, Casey Corbin and many others.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

George Carlin

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Theo Von

What is your pre-show ritual?

I look at my notes and remember that when I’m on stage I’m at home and it’s my party.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

Rick Bronson’s The Comic Strip. Because it’s a big “real” club and still a fair room. Crowds are not overly pumped up but still into it.

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

Probably my gay parent material. Because it was the first great bit I ever wrote, it’s completely unique and based on truth.

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

Live shows! You don’t know a comedian’s material until you’ve seen it on-stage in front of a live audience. Podcasts are pretty good for the “finding” part if they aren’t local to my scene.

Tell us a joke about your city.

Today’s young people are garbage. I mean I like their sensitivity and openness but they have lost all sense of courtesy. Like they won’t even hold a door open for anyone. I was on the bus the other day and I watched as a young person got on and sat down in one of the accessibility seats. I mean I get it, the bus was full and no one was sitting there but at the next stop an elderly person got on and the young person didn’t budge so I said, “Hey why didn’t you move for that old lady?”. They frowned and said, “Excuse me? I don’t identify as a younger person. I have an old soul.”. So I shook my head. At the next stop a clearly disabled person got on and again the kid didn’t move so I said, “Um, so why wouldn’t you get up for that guy?”. They said, “I don’t identify as an able-bodied person. I have an invisible disability. I have depression.” So I rolled my eyes. At the next stop a woman got on with a baby in a stroller and at this point the bus driver got up and looked like they were going to get involved so I said, “Don’t worry, I got this. I’ll get up”.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Yes, my monthly show at Comedy Bar West (945 Bloor St. W.). It’s called The Stand-Up Show with Mike Payne and is on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 7 pm.

Where can we follow you?

On Instagram, Facebook or TikTok.

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

Jared Nathan – he’s a killer!


About Emilea Semancik 89 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