IXclusive Interview: Just For Laugh's All Stars Dom Irrera and Ryan Hamilton

IXclusive Interview: Just For Laugh's All Stars Dom Irrera and Ryan Hamilton

Who's ready for JFL?
Filed under: 
On Our Radar

With Montreal’s 2014 Just For Laughs festival finally underway, we at IX Daily got a chance to talk with The All Star Show’s Ryan Hamilton, and host Dom Irrera about the upcoming festival and their much anticipated show.

IX Daily: So, what got you interested in stand-up comedy?

Ryan: Oh boy… I always loved watching comedy, you know? As a young kid I loved watching comedy and I don’t know what attracted me to it, but I've just always loved it. I don’t know. I mean, I started doing some shows when I was very young, like 18, but I didn't really touch it again until many years later when I was 25/26. After I graduated from college I started taking it more seriously. It just looked so much fun, you know? And I loved the combination of the creative process with performing. I've always been attracted to things that are kind of individual and singular, and comedy is very much like that. You do everything. So I think that’s why.

Dom: An archangel came to me and gave me my act, then I brought it to the little people… It was the only thing I was good at. It was very easy to concentrate on one thing when you’re really bad at everything else.

 A comedian coming to Montreal

IX Daily: Where do you get your material from?

Ryan: Life. Just anywhere it can, it just comes. It comes from all different places. Typically, I just have a thought, or something happens, and I think there’s potential in it. It’s not very funny in that moment, but I think it’s an interesting experience, or an interesting angle on an observation, and then I just make that funny.

Dom: Just whatever, you know, whatever happens in a day. I mean, just family and friends, and what people say... (laughing) Or I steal it from much better comedians and change it.

IX Daily: How does it feel to be considered an ‘all star’?

Dom: Oh, I’m just the host of the all-stars. I’m just a hack with a hook. No, it’s going to be a good show. It’s really going to be a fun show. I saw the lineup and I pretty much know everybody on the show, and I have a history with them, so… it’s going to be a great show. Everybody likes each other, except for one person who we all hate and I can’t disclose who that is.

Ryan: It feels great! I’m thrilled to be on that show. It’s always great, it has such a great reputation, so just to be a part of it with all the other talents who are involved... I’m really honoured to be on that show.

A cast of the All Stars

IX Daily: Is there a comedian you wish was going to be part of the show, but isn't?

Dom: No, not really. I mean, I think they did a good job. It’s an interesting concept because these are not new faces. These are real pros, you know?

IX Daily: Do you have a favourite city, or venue, that you like to perform in?

Ryan: I love performing in Montreal. The people are so comedy savvy because the festival has been coming there for so many years and they really seem to take pride in it, from an outside perspective looking in. And what’s amazing about Montreal is the number of amazing venues. There’s so many! I can’t actually think of a venue in Montreal that I haven’t enjoyed performing in... All the venues are good for different shows, you know? Even the big venues are very intimate, and the small venues work well because you don’t get that all the time… What’s great about Montreal is that you get to rub shoulders and they (the other comedians) become your peers up there for a couple of weeks. All these people that I've looked up to for so many years, I get to work with them and meet them. So Montreal is that experience for me. I've worked with many people in the years I've done Montreal. It’s kind of a special time when you’re up there

Dom: I don’t want to sound like I’m stroking Montreal, but Montreal is definitely one them. Kilkenny, Montreal, I would say Boston, Philadelphia, Miami. 

IX Daily: Any show that sticks out in your mind as your best show?

Dom: Nah. I don’t think there’s any one best show. I mean, it’s such a combination of you and the audience, so I couldn't say. It would be hard for me to pick one.

Ryan: There are little moments that make me think, “this is kind of a milestone or a highlight” you know?  I did a show in Idaho recently, a theatre show, a couple of years ago near where I grew up. I’m from a very small town, so there’s not really opportunity  for me to perform in my home town, but I did something 30 miles away involving the entire community around there. And lots of people that I grew up with came out to this theatre show, and it was so much fun. That was a moment. Coming home is kind of a cool moment.

Hamilton in Montreal

IX Daily: Alternatively, a show that sticks out in your mind as your worst one?

Dom: That would probably be last night. No, I’m kidding. Worst show… I don’t know.

Ryan: Yeah, I tend to not remember those as well, but (laughs) there are many. I started doing really terrible one-nighters, where you do comedy one night a week, or one night a month, at a bar in a very small town… I did a lot of those when I first started and so many of them were terrible, yeah.

IX Daily: Any pre-show rituals?

Dom: I take a big bubble bath, and then I rinse myself up, and then I do a handstand for about an hour. I start walking around on my hands like a monkey and they throw tangerines at my butt, and then I go on. You know, same old same old. (laughing) But no, I don’t have any rituals. You know, it’s just when they call my name I walk out there and then they give me a light and I walk off. And hopefully they had a good time.

IX Daily: Do you ever get nervous before going on?

Ryan: Sure, I get nervous, because I want to please people who have come to see me again. That’s what makes me nervous. I’m not so, you know, I wouldn't call it stage fright, but I do have nerves about, you know, upholding the standards people expect. So there’s certain shows I get nervous about, yeah.

Dom Ireera in Montreal

IX Daily: Last question, and a left-fielder, but we have to ask because we’re IX. Do you have a favourite artist or musician our reader should know about?

Dom: I like to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in today’s music, so I would say the Beatles are my favourite. I’ll tell you, those kids are terrific. The harmonies, the writing, they’re brilliant. I like Eminem as far contemporary music, and I’m a big Miley Cyrus fan. I stalk her, I follow her around. I go to all her concerts alone, which is really sad. Just being there alone, cheering for Miley.

Images: Header, 1, 2, 3, 4

Videos: 1, 2, 3 

Share this article


Content Stream

Toronto-based vocalist/producer Sylo Nozra has released his long-awaited album Mud Mask . We've had Sylo Nozra on our radar for quite some time now, so having him drop this project on us was definitely highly anticipated (to say the least) - Mud Mask provides eight vibrant singles with smo oth...
FIELD of PONIES is back with new drop at the Phi Boutique. The brains behind the project Julie Bérubé shot the pieces on local babe Rosewhatever last summer, and we can't get enough. FIELD of PONIES is an independent London based label, which embodies a post-apocalyptic take on fashion. The brand...
Our Vancouver favourite duo SO LOKI are back. After dropping their Planet Bando project back in May, they noticed that people were leaning towards the single "Elephant Man" and so they decided to shoot a music video for it. They hit up their in-house creative director Skimchi & Jevan and put...
Parisian producer Clément Bazin has been in touch with the Montreal scene for quite some time now, and now more than ever. He just recently dropped the music video for his single "Ride" featuring Montreal singer Lia . The video is 100% Montreal’s made. It was shot in Montreal’s Hilton Hotel by Made...
Devon Welsh , who used to be frontman for the Canadian band Magical Cloudz has gone solo. He's just released his album Dream Songs which you can cop on all official platforms. He will be playing at POP Montreal on September 26th, presenting his solo project accompanied by footage shot by...
Hailing from Lévis, Les Louanges (whose real name is Vincent Roberge) is a multi-instrumentalist and multi-talented individual who is embarking on a new path by exploring more chillwave, R&B and hip-hop sounds. A couple days before the release of his debut album, Les Louanges splinters himself...
A few months ago, Kris the $pirit released Spirit Mode Vol.1 , a strong album with introspective lyrics. This debut album marked the beginning of an exciting solo journey for the young rapper who built a name for himself over the past 5 years with beloved hip-hop duo The Posterz ​. He presents...
Put GrandBuda on just about any beat and you can expect the Montreal rapper to bring a sizzling high-energy output. We've followed his progress since his very beginnings and can't say that we aren't proud and excited to premiere his latest release. Less than two weeks ago, Grandbuda dropped his...
Feast your eyes (and ears) on this one. Museum of Symmetry is the explosive feel-good alter-universe of cartoonist and animator Paloma Dawkins —a room-scale VR experience with 2D animation in a 3D playground as never been seen before. This young illustrator, who graduated from the prestigious NFB...
Our fave newcomer IDKCHARLIE has already released another tune to follow up his previous single. The multi-faceted artists utilizes different styles and perfectly concocts them into one melting pot of pure crystal based shit. His latest single is titled "Lost & Found" and here's what he's gotta...
R&B Singer/Songwriter Yoko Gold (Moses Peterson) was born in Downtown Toronto and uprooted to Miami with his family shortly after. At a young age. Yoko has matured into an artist that knows no boundaries. His distinct breed of artistry won’t allow him to be placed in any one genre. Although he...
You have to peep Notifi 's "Won't Get Lonely" video which recently dropped. The Toronto-based rapper, producer and crooner introduces his crisp beats, blitzed-out production, and unique view on life with his debut video directed by Zac Facts . The vivid, stimulating and romantic images create a...