Interview with stand-up comedian Tom Stade

Edinburgh based Canadian stand-up comedian, Tom Stade has recently added 25 dates to his tour ‘I Swear’. Engaging and witty, he tells us about his comical inspirations and gives us a look into the complexity involved in making people laugh.

How would you describe your brand of comedy? What can we expect from ‘I Swear’?

The best way to describe it is time went on and I stayed behind. I’m looking at the changes in life from a distance, that’s how I describe this show. It’s not possible to describe the comedy over a whole career, but this is where I’m at right now

Ever feel the pressure to be funny, because it’s what you do for a living?

You’re a comedian, so I think you’re a moody person who’s always contemplating the next idea, so it takes you away from the now, and that’s never good for happiness. When I go off stage, it depends on who I’m with. I keep a good attitude always, not just for comedy, because you never know who you’re going to meet. You could meet your new best friend so it’s good to be in good mood.

Who inspires you both professionally and personally?

Definitely, my family. My father is one of the biggest ones. He was a goof and such a nice guy, and he was a big fan of comedy. So actually getting into comedy, my influences would be my dad and all my uncles. If you’re talking about the famous ones it would Sam Kinison and George Carlin. But if you’re thinking of good you are, everyone I’ve ever gigged with. People like Mike Wilmot or Dave Johns are heavyweights in their own right, who you watch and they blow the room away, which inspires you to up your own game. And then there are new guys like Ivo Graham, who keep you current. So you’ve got pros like Mike on one hand and people like Ivo, who represents the current generation and take away inspiration from both.

What’s been your most memorable moment on stage?

It was the very first time I walked on stage in Vancouver and I’d never done comedy before. That was the one show, I went on and I knew I was either going to love this or never do it again. It was the one show where I was unsure of a direction in my life and then I walked on that stage and all of a sudden everything made sense. Everything I have now goes back to that moment, so it sticks out in my memory. I even remember some of the jokes I did on stage that day, they were bad!

Now I’m curious, give me an example of the jokes you made that day!

Well, I made a joke, “ I farted in an elevator and said I fluffed a bunny and everybody else said ‘you didn’t fluff the bunny, you killed the bunny”, it was horrible! But it still got me excited then.

Has there ever been a moment that you want to pretend never happened?

That would be when I did the Lee Mack show. The audience was so far away that there was no connection. The first joke didn’t go anywhere and the second joke died. When that happens, you either get disheartened or you become phoney and try hard which ends up looking worse. That was one I wish I could take back, but they are also life lessons, so I also don’t want to take it back.

What’s one question no one ever asks in an interview you wish you were asked?

‘How serious do you take comedy?’ The answer to that is you have to take comedy seriously in order to commit to it fully. I am lighthearted and goofy, but I take being goofy very seriously. It’s not just writing jokes, it’s about being the voice of a generation.

Check dates and venues for ‘I Swear’ here.

Watch Tom in action below:

Tom Stade Live DVD

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