Stand-up or shut up; Comedy in London

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

What’s the deal with airline food?

You get these peanuts in this tiny bag, you can’t open them or even eat them without worrying about someone’s allergies acting up and making their face look like a puffer fish.

Alright, that joke might have been overused a long time ago, because the comedians in today’s world have evolved from corny puns and observations.

Take Steph Tolev, for example.


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cc: youtube

Steph has been a stand-up comedian for over 10 years.

She uses people in the audience as part of her routine and makes light of serious situations.


Tolev was a regular on Much Music’s Video On Trial. Born in Toronto, she now lives in Los Angeles, touring all over the world.

However she didn’t originally plan on going into comedy.

“I started out wanting to be an actress, but that didn’t really pan out. I sort of naturally fell into comedy.”

She adds that improvising on stage is a major asset and necessity when performing.

“It’s key when you’re up there. If you (forget) a joke it’s important to be quick on your feet.”

Tolev was recently a performer and emcee at the comedy night at The Outback Shack in Fanshawe College. She performed alongside Graham Kay, who is featured in the upcoming “Super Troopers 2” film, and Bryan O’Gorman, who is also an international headliner.

Comedy in London and even Fanshawe doesn’t start and stop with one free show a week on a Wednesday night.

Every Tuesday the Fanshawe Student Union offers a ‘Comedy Nooner,’ free to attend and it features a reputable comedian performing for an hour.

John Hastings was last week’s performer, and he’s had a successful career.

Dubbed “The One To Watch” By the Comedy Network a few years ago, Hastings has taken the comedy world by storm, becoming a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

He moved to London, England in 2013 where he continued his stand up career.

Like Steph Tolev, he didn’t originally aim for comedy- he had other aspirations.

“I started out trying to be an actor, but that didn’t work out and I sort of just started telling jokes and people started paying me. But that’s not what I tell people, I say I have always had a burning passion for it because it sounds better.”

Hastings says bombing a routine happens much more than people think, and you just have to rebound and move on.

“Oh I’d say there’s probably 2 or 3 stinkers a week. (You) just have to get back on stage the next time because you have to.”

When you hear the name London, Ontario, comedy probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind or jumps off the page. However that doesn’t mean the comedy and comedians that visit the Forest City, are amateurs.

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