Student comedians take center stage at annual stand-up show

Koval (left) and Banzo are in their final year of Comedy Writing and Performance program at Lakeshore campus.  - David Wilson Koval (left) and Banzo are in their final year of Comedy Writing and Performance program at Lakeshore campus. - David Wilson

David Wilson

“I’m Native, so I’m Canadian,” said Vance Banzo, a second-year comedy student at Humber.

Nervous titters circled the room.

“More than any of you,” he said, smirking.

The audience erupted with laughter and applauded.

Banzo is 25-years-old, and in his final year of Comedy Writing and Performance at the Lakeshore Campus.

He and more than a dozen of his classmates took to the stage at the infamous Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club Tuesday night for the school’s seasonal stand-up showcase.

“I’ve been performing since high school, but I just hopped into stand-up a couple of years ago through the program,” Banzo told the Et Cetera.

Banzo isn’t the only one who’s been itching to try out his material in front of an audience, though.

“It came to the point where I knew I had to give it a try,” said 29-year-old Dave Koval, also finishing his second year in the program.

“I’d always write little jokes here and there and know that they’re probably terrible, but why not go and try?”

Banzo and Koval were two of many to walk off to a raucous applause break, and program director Andrew Clark said he’s happy with the warm reception.

“I thought it was a strong showcase,” said Clark.

“It was a good crowd for a good class.”

Clark is also an award-winning novelist and freelance journalist who writes a humour column about driving and the rules of the road for The Globe and Mail called Road Sage.

Clark said he and the other co-ordinators do their best to show students the proverbial ropes without cramping their style.

“We try to teach them without stifling their originality,” Clark said.

Clark also said that staff and students are prepping for the year’s biggest event at Second City, a legendary comedy venue in the heart of Toronto.

“We have to pick seven (students) to go on the industry show,” he said.

“We basically cut down to what we consider to be our strongest performers.”

The selected students will perform at Second City on May 9. For details, visit the Humber Events Calendar.

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