This weekend, Michael Harrison is back in Montreal, headlining at downtown’s ComedyWorks. Audiences can expect an evening of non-stop laughs, from an internationally renowned comic who absolutely loves this city. Also on the bill are Bianca Yates, Subhah Agarwal and Vlad Levitt.
The following is an interview with Harrison, originally posted on Examiner.com, in December 2014: (Examiner closed in June 2016.)
Comedian Michael Harrison is looking forward to spending time in Montreal this January, despite the frosty climate. First off, he loves the city’s crowds. “Montreal audiences are awesome! ‘ComedyWorks’ and ‘Yuk Yuks Montreal’ are two of the best comedy clubs I have ever done in Canada.” Secondly, Harrison is proud to participate in a fund-raising effort that highlights the vital topic of mental health awareness.
Harrison is no stranger to cold weather; he was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. These days, when not performing at colleges and comedy clubs across North America, he calls Toronto home. The easy-going and affable comedian credits his dedication and authenticity to his small-town roots. “If you believe in it, the audience will too.”
A working comedian since the age of nineteen, Harrison got his first taste of stand-up comedy as a little boy, after performing a routine at his uncle’s birthday. “I killed,” he blithely affirms. Since that auspicious debut, Harrison has had continuous success at stand-up, including a “The Comedy Network’s Comedy Now” special. Harrison is also an in-demand actor who’s appeared on “The Bridge”, “Queer as Folk” and in the film “The Jazzman.”
Harrison lists legends Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison as early comedic influences, although he’s quick to point out that his stand-up style is nothing like his heroes. “What always strikes me is the diversity of comedy – the different approaches and styles that are out there.” Harrison stresses the importance of finding an original perspective, a unique voice. “It’s easy to pick up mannerisms from watching other comics. You don’t want to be a clone.”
Harrison is particularly taken with comedy that tackles heavy subject matter. “It’s always great when you can use humor to bring awareness to an important issue.” Along with an upcoming weekend at Montreal’s “Yuk Yuks Comedy Club,” Harrison brings his talents to “Laugh Your Blues Away” at “The Roxbury,” an evening of stand-up and music to benefit the Montreal General Hospital’s Psychiatric Department. “Laugh Your Blues Away” showcases an impressive roster of talent, including producer/host Tony Riccio and Faisal Butt, winner of “SiriusXM Canada’s Top Comic.” Also performing are Pat MacDonald, Jeff Elliot, Gino Durante, Neil Janna and singer Nadia Dolce.
Michael Harrison at ComedyWorks
Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 & 24, 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.