1. Tyler Penner
2. Michael Green / Matt Nightingale / Jordan Welwood (tie)
3. Tim Gray
When local stand-up comedian Tyler Penner heard he’d won the title of Favourite Local Comedian in the 2015 Uniter 30, his initial reaction was surprise.
“There’s such a deep pool of talent in Winnipeg,” Penner says. “There’s a lot of people doing a lot of big things, so it was a pleasant surprise to see my name pop up for that.”
But it should come as little surprise to comedy fans who have had their eye on Penner.
After six years in the stand-up game, he started 2015 off with a bang, having just won the previous year’s Funniest Person with a Day Job competition at Rumor’s Comedy Club.
“The first half of 2015, up until the fall, has probably been the best time I’ve had in comedy so far,” Penner says.
“I got to be part of the gala at the Winnipeg Comedy Fest. I was a regional finalist for the SiriusXM Canada’s Top Comic contest. I just got to do a lot of, as far as Winnipeg goes, big shows that any local comedian wants to do. It’s been a great year, and (the 30) is kind of the icing on the cake.”
Penner also hosted two sold-out shows for the Oddblock comedy festival inside Vera Pizzeria with other comics, including Pat Thornton and Andy Wood.
Dubbed Tyler Penner’s Pizza Party, the gigs were a big deal for Penner, who’s a bit of a pizza philosopher.
Anyone who’s seen him perform has likely heard him rant about Pizza Hotline, which he says is a scourge on the holiest of pies.
“Oddblock was such a great time,” Penner says. “All the comedians just had a blast. And for me to be able to host a show in a pizza place. I mean, that was just a huge comic milestone for me.”