Vancouver Sun



Going into its fourth edition, Vancity Comedy Extravagan­za is comedian Dino Archie’s annual showcase of comedic talent.

Archie — whose credits include Jimmy Kimmel Live, Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central, winning the Seattle Internatio­nal Comedy Competitio­n in 2015, Just For Laughs New Faces, and Kevin Hart’s LOL — is hosting a roster that includes Dave Merheje, Mr. D, Gavin Matts, and Efthimios Nasiopoulo­s.

We talked to the Fresnorais­ed comedian, who splits his time between Los Angeles and Vancouver, about the show, craft beer, and the difficulty of retiring from showbiz when no one knows who you are. Q What was the initial idea behind the Vancity Comedy Extravagan­za? Did you want to give back to the local comedy community? A That’s exactly what it was. When I moved here, I guess the year before we did the first one, I got so much out of the community. I was planning on moving back (to the United States), but before I did I wanted to bring in one of my favourite comics from the States, and showcase some local comics. So each year that’s

what we’ve done. It’s my own mini festival. I don’t think Canadian comics get enough shine for how good they are.

Q Are any of this year’s comics people you’ve been keeping an eye on as they’ve come up in the clubs?

A Yeah. Dave Merheje has been in every one of these shows, and I was a fan of his since I first moved here in 2011 and saw him at Darby’s in Kitsilano. I think he got heckled and he lost his mind. I describe him as a Lebanese Woody Allen who dresses like Lil Wayne. He’s an anomaly. He’s one of the most fascinatin­g guys I’ve ever met, and one of the best comics I’ve worked with or seen. Every night’s different. That’s what I love. He makes something out of nothing. He’ll take straw and turn it into gold.

Q What can you tell us about the pilot you shot for a craft beer TV show?

A The production company reached out to me, they were fans of my comedy, they said, ‘We want you to take people through the world of craft beer.’ I thought that was interestin­g. I’ve done every bar in this city, and the nightlife has always been a part of my life. I love the social element of drinking. So I said, ‘I would like to do that.’ There are not a lot of people in that world who look like me. But I think it would be great to be a bridge for that world, to explore it and learn about the process of craft beer. And I’m learning about it in real time. If you’re a novice, you learn about it with me. I pull inspiratio­n from Anthony Bourdain. I’m interested in people and their story. And craft beer is all that. It’s taking this simple process and putting your individual spin, your craft to it. And we shot the pilot here in Vancouver, at Strathcona Brewing Company and Storm Brewing.

Q What can you tell us about your forthcomin­g album?

A It’s my third comedy album, I recorded it at the Comedy Mix on Burrard, and it’s called I’ve Changed. I think that’s what I do, my whole job is checking where my truth is so I can analyze the world from an honest place. I did so many things this year. I retired. But I’m not famous. So when you retire, and you’re not famous, no one knows you quit. So I kind of had to come back.

 ??  ?? Dino Archie hosts Dave Merheje, Mr. D, Gavin Matts and Efthimios Nasiopoulo­s at the Vancity Comedy Extravagan­za Jan. 4 at the Vogue Theatre.
Dino Archie hosts Dave Merheje, Mr. D, Gavin Matts and Efthimios Nasiopoulo­s at the Vancity Comedy Extravagan­za Jan. 4 at the Vogue Theatre.

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