Tired of White Boy Comedy? Add This New Local Stand-up Series to Your Watch List

Killjoy Comedy is available on OutTV starting February 14, and features queer and BIPOC Vancouver comedians.

Vancouver-based producer and director Shana Myara created the six-part documentary series Killjoy Comedy with one goal in mind: to “punch up” instead of down. In plain terms, she’s tired of the homogenous comedy scene where minority groups continue to be the butt of jokes. 

Myara says her work is part comedy obsession, part penance for consuming “thousands of hours of white boy comedy” over the years. Each of the six episodes in the series features a different queer comedian from the West Coast.

“The comedians I chose all have a really refreshing stand-up perspective. They’re all bringing little bits of themselves on stage—their identities, their values,” Myara says. “They stand out because they’re speaking from view points that we traditionally haven’t seen.”

Comedians in the past have been accustomed to reverting to common tropes and mainstream conventions (read: sexist, racist garbage), but Myara is trying to change that with her work for future generations. 

Killjoy comedy cast sitting together.
The cast of Killjoy Comedy from left to right (missing Lil Clitty): Sunee Dhaliwal, Sasha Mark, Ashlee Ferral, Joanne Tsung, Shana Myara, Tin Lorica.

She is giving a voice to groups that have been traditionally punched down in comedy by putting the mic in front of Black, Indigenous, queer, gender diverse, and racialized comedians. 

“Comedy is extremely fun, and there is a subtle power to it,” she says, “So we wanted to highlight comedians who use that power in a way that we find inspiring.”

One person we can thank for Myara’s vision is Candy Palmater, an Indigenous comedian from Canada. The two previously worked together in Myara’s first documentary series, Well Rounded, which –in her own words– changed Myara’s life. Palmater was originally set to come onboard as the anchor comedian, but sadly passed away before filming began. 

This series is a tribute to Palmater’s unapologetic hopeful energy, and will feature Lil Clitty, Ashlee Ferral, Sasha Mark, Joanne Tsung, Sunee Dhaliwal and Tin Lorica. The series will be available on OUTtvGo starting Tuesday February 14, 2023. 

“We’re the killjoys, and we will side-eye those old, past-their-best-before-date jokes,” Myara says.