When standup comic Tyler Penner was last voted Favourite Local Comedian in 2015, he’d just finished a big year, having also won Rumor’s’ “Funniest Person with a Day Job” and finished as a finalist in Sirius XM’s “Canada’s Top Comic” contest. Over the last three years, he hasn’t slowed down a bit.
“I’ve become a regular host at Rumor’s, which is great,” Penner says. “I get to do a 20-minute set there every week, opening for different comics.
“This summer, I headlined at Rumor’s for the first time and recorded an album at The Handsome Daughter, which is yet to be released.”
Penner says that he’d set a goal of recording an album in 2018 early in the year, but not much came of it until he was approached by Handsome Daughter general manager Mischa Decter who, coincidentally, had the same idea.
“I hadn’t necessarily planned it out,” Penner says. “But I can guarantee you, I wouldn’t have done the album if Mischa hadn’t come up to me and suggested it.”
Penner describes the night of the album recording as “probably the best night of my comedy life.”
“My family was there, and they hadn’t seen me do comedy yet. My friends were there. We did two shows back-to-back. It was just a good night.”
Penner says that, for him, the album recording was a necessary creative step.
When performing at “Rumor’s or The Handsome Daughter, if it’s a new crowd, you want to make sure you leave them with the impression that, ‘Hey, I’m funny.’ For me, it’s always been a little scary to try out new stuff. But recording the album meant, ‘These jokes are on tape, you have to write new material.’”
Penner is grateful for the supportive comedy crowds in Winnipeg who encouraged that discipline.
“It’s good to see so many people checking out comedy shows. There’s so much good talent here in Winnipeg, good comedians grinding it out every week.”
Published in Volume 73, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 29, 2018)