Traedy Plus Time: Montréal Comedian Kyra Carleton

Kyra Carleton is a self-proclaimed goofy and silly comedian whose only goal is to make you laugh. Her relatable style mixed with absurd or exaggerated stories about being in her late 20’s make her well worth checking out. We caught up with her to learn more and find out what’s next.

Kyra Carleton

How would you describe your comedy style?

I’m only 3 years into stand-up and most established comics I’ve spoken to say they found their “voice” after year 5. So I don’t know if this will remain true forever but for now, I’d say my comedy style is a collection of anecdotes about my life, with lots of (highly exaggerated) observations and stories about being in my late 20s. I like to think that most of what I say on stage is either very relatable or very alarming, depending on your age group and tax bracket. I also think my style is quite positive, I tend to bring a silly, goofy, not-so-serious energy to the stage. I just want the audience to laugh, escape their lives for a night and have a good time ◡̈

Who are some of your influences?

I do really try not to tie myself too closely to any other comics when it comes to my stage presence, writing style and cadence because I want to be me. But I definitely have so many people who influenced my decision to start stand-up and who inspired me to be a better writer and performer. John Mulaney, Michelle Wolf, Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling made me want to become a comedy writer and still inspire me so much with their work. Sketch shows like Mad TV, Key & Peele and Saturday Night Live were huge influences on my humour and cast members like Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph made me want to perform and be as silly as possible.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

I don’t want to call him my favourite, given what we know now, but if I’m being honest one of the first stand-up comedians I watched as a kid was Bill Cosby. It was the first time I’d seen traditional stand-up and I thought it was hilarious, I re-watched it and I quoted his bits for days. But as I got older, my interests shifted to different delivery styles and other comics, and I became more obsessed with comedic actors like Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Dana Carvey and Will Ferrell. Another one of my favourites growing up was Amanda Bynes. Seeing a teenage girl, on TV, being hilarious, was epic. She did stand-up, The Amanda Show, All That, She’s The Man and so much more and I think she was genuinely one of the most authentically hilarious and talented artists of my generation. Unfortunately, the industry was not kind to her and she went through a lot. I hope she’s doing well today.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

TAYLOR TOMLINSON!!! Anyone who knows me knows this answer because I will yell it to anyone who asks. She’s an icon, a hero, an inspiration. I just think she’s so great. She’s hilarious, she’s an excellent writer, she’s honest and she’s an incredibly hard worker. I could literally write a thesis about my love for her but I want to be chill about it in case she reads this and wants to be friends. I also love John Mulaney, The Lucas Brothers and Jessica Kirson!

What is your pre-show ritual?

I am a very nervous person and I get anxious before basically every show (I don’t know why I keep doing this!) My pre-show ritual usually involves avoiding the consumption of beans and cruciferous vegetables, writing a set list on my notes app, drinking lots of water, listening to Rihanna, Nicki Minaj or the High School Musical soundtrack, and making sure I don’t wear any clothing that will show my sweat!

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

I’m not sure I can narrow it down! But I will say that most of my best sets and favourite shows have been shows where I get to perform with my friends, the audience is excited to be there and the energy is uplifting. Hosting and performing at OFFJFL/Zoofest’s Discovery Series last summer was incredible. It was my first real festival credit as a comedian and while I was beyond nervous, I was also so happy to be in that space, on that stage, and with a lineup of amazing artists. I also had a really great time at the Don’t Tell Comedy show I performed at in Toronto, it was in a tattoo studio and everyone on the lineup was hilarious. You could tell the audience were comedy fans because they weren’t shy, they were ready to laugh, they understood references, they listened, they played along and they were hot!!! It was great, but I also have to say I’ve had so many fun shows in Montreal, the scene is so vibrant and the local comics and producers here are the best I’ve worked with.

What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?

So far, I think the 2 bits I love most are my divorce joke and my joke about casual dating. My divorce joke was one of the first jokes I ever wrote and it’s evolved so much from the first draft, and I just like it because it’s a silly way for me to touch on a subject that so many people can relate to. I always pick out some audience members with divorced parents and it’s like a fun bonding session for us. Plus my parents both laugh at it, so I don’t feel as bad. My casual dating joke is probably my favourite though because it came from such a true place and then became this convoluted story, with lots of tags and wordplay all leading to a ridiculously bold punchline. It doesn’t always work haha. Sometimes people are more shocked than anything. But when it works it makes my night. I just can’t believe I’m saying those things into a mic, on a stage.

What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?

I used to work at a comedy company, so I was exposed to so much stand-up and so many emerging artists at the festivals and online and that was a treat. Otherwise, going to live shows in my own city or when I travel is my favourite way to discover new favourites, it’s the best way to experience comedy!

Tell us a joke about your city.

I’ve never dated a guy that has a car. I like to date within my tax bracket. And in Montréal, that’s not guys with cars. If I’m lucky, it’s guys that have winter tires on their bikes.

Do you have any events coming up?

I perform at venues around Montréal every week, and you can follow my Instagram for updates and show times.

Where can we follow you?


PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

So many I feel bad narrowing it down because I will regret not mentioning someone when I read this back. But for now please get to know these funny women: Michelle Forrester, Yumi Blake, Sarah Warren, Mariam Khan, Abby Stonehouse, Eva Alexopoulos, Andrina Learmonth and Lauren Mallory! Also shoutout to my best friend and amazing local comedian Tom Murphy <3