A trio of B.C.-based comedians are touching down in Penticton this summer for a show they hope will bring clever humour to the Okanagan crowd.
The Aug. 12 show at Penticton’s Clancy’s Pub and Grill will be hosted by Jeremiah Ukponrefe, as part of the Funny Side Up tour featuring Abdul Ali and headlined by Robert Peng.
“I like the small towns, I love how quiet it is and I think that small town people aren’t afraid to have fun, so I am looking forward to being around the people,” Ukponrefe told Black Press Media.
Ukponrefe is a Vancouver-based author and stand-up comedian who self-describes his style as a mix of clever observations with subversive darkness, all performed under a veil of innocence. He said his sets are often funny thoughts he couldn’t say in other aspects of his life and takes inspiration from day-to-day moments.
Ukponrefe co-found the Funny Side Up Tour with Ali, who is an up-and-coming stand-up comedian, writer and producer from Vancouver. He said he gives his audience a dive into his Middle Eastern and Filipino Canadian upbringing. Ali has so far shared the stage with the likes of Trixx, King Bach and more.
Starting in 2018, Ukponrefe was intrigued by the thought of stand-up after seeing it on TV, but he did not always think he could do comedy after a ‘bombed’ performance.
“‘I didn’t do it for like a year and then I got back into it.”
Ukponrefe has looked up to well-known comedians like Chris Rock, John Mulaney and Demetri Martin, as well as Vancouver comedians Simon King and Harris Anderson.
“I think they have amazing material and just the way they deliver stand-up is something that I aspire to be like.”
To inspire his own work he looks for unique elements in other comedian’s sets, such as Demetri Martin who’s known for his musical comedy.
Outside of business partners, Ali and Ukponrefe have become close friends through working together and building the tour for the past year-and-a-half.
Sometimes the pair will give each other tips on how they can improve their set, write together, or tag which allows them to add on to each other’s jokes. Along with many ways they spend their pastimes outside of comedy, they play basketball together when business meetings aren’t in session.
Headliner, Peng is a Vancouver-based comedian of over four years. After not being able to find an engineering job, Peng channelled that nerd energy into stand-up comedy, delivering gut-punching humour on dating and job finding, a news release said.
Robert Peng has become another good friend and Ukponrefe said he loves watching his stand-up.
“He has given me a lot of good advice like one of the first times I did stand up he was the one who told me you have to move the mic stand away from you.”
Outside of this tour, Ukponrefe is also travelling to Prince Edward Island, Toronto, Kelowna, Victoria and Halifax, where Ali will join him as well.
Ukponrefe said people can expect a great show and people will have to come out to hear material topics.