Tragedy Plus Time: Montréal Comedian Lucy Gervais

Lucy Gervais is a talented comedian, originally a Toronto native but who now calls Montréal home. She describes her comedy style as using her lived experiences and take them to surreal places to emphasize how ridiculous the situation is. Lucy has performed at various locations such as Places des Arts in Montreal for the Just Pour Rire Festival. We spoke with Lucy to learn more about her idols in comedy, what projects she has going on and her love for Rosie O’Donnell.

Lucy Gervais

How would you describe your comedy style?

In terms of material, my stuff is based on my lived experiences taken to a surreal place in order to emphasize how ridiculous the circumstances were.

I also enjoy performing off the cuff and doing crowd work. I try to be as high energy as possible and if I find a tangent that’s working, to lean into it for as long as I can. I love hosting for this reason, as it puts me in the position where I get to know the audience the most.

I will also, when I feel like it, throw in my killer Gilbert Gottfried impression.

Who are some of your influences?

I learned a lot from Tig Notaro’s style of story-telling, where you actually tell the story twice: once the long way and once the short way to hammer home the funniest parts. I love the way Nicky Glaser has mastered being honest about her point of view while also misdirecting the audience to keep them surprised by the punchline.

I was also greatly inspired by the actresses from Absolutely Fabulous, who wore unhinged ‘high fashion’ outfits while being the butt of every joke. Comedy and being funny has been usually considered a masculine trait, but I always liked sitcom actresses like Fran Drescher who embody funny feminine energy.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

When I was growing up, we listened to George Carlin’s albums in the car on road trips. We really bonded in those long trips over laughter and I can still quote his jokes word for word. Carlin is a childhood favourite that I never lost interest in or felt his message fall out of touch, and I still look at him for inspiration.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

Rosie O’Donnell is my absolute favourite comic. Her special A Heartfelt Stand-up, which was filmed in a mall that she owns, is both hilarious but poignant as she shares the intense story of the three day long heart attack she endured that changed her life.

She is in a couple of my favourite movies such as Harriet the Spy and A League of Their own as well which adds some feelings of nostalgia.

She had an iconic talk show, feuded with Trump before his presidency, and is an early gay comedy icon. She still crushes her cameos like on Curb your Enthusiasm and The L Word Next Gen (which was frankly otherwise forgettable.) As far as I am concerned, her and Whoopi Goldberg are the only two people to make The View entertaining. She is my idol.

What is your pre-show ritual?

I go over every sentence of what I want to say onstage, usually while doing a lot of bizarre pacing in whatever space I have the most privacy. I get a bit of stage fright and anxiety, so I find the best method to control it is to keep that energy in motion so it doesn’t get stuck and cause me to freeze up during my performance.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

I performed a couple of times at a sex lounge in Toronto, but taking its place would have to be at Places Des Arts in downtown Montreal on the outdoor stage for Juste Pour Rire. There were about a thousand people in attendance and including a heckler who got a bit too enthusiastic. I was a bit caught off guard but handled it, I’m used to interacting with the crowd. I even had a chat with him afterwards about audience etiquette.

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

Most recently I am opening with a joke about Pride Sponsored products.
“I asked my friend what pride flag this ice cream is supposed to represent. She responded, Neapolitan.” I don’t care what anyone says, being so inundated with pride flags that you assume Neapolitan ice cream is another company trying to ‘celebrate pride’ is hilarious.

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

Honestly, just looking at comedy channels on Spotify or YouTube is a good start. There are entire Instagram accounts dedicated to featuring newer/established comedians like Don’t Tell Comedy, Comedians You Should Know and Busty’s Comedy. I recommend getting a Sirius XM subscription and tuning in to the comedy channels and letting them play, especially if you like to listen on your commute or while travelling.

Something I want to emphasize to comedy fans is that nothing beats seeing stand-up live in person.

Tell us a joke about your city.

I am from Toronto which is a city that everybody hates, and now I call Montreal home which is a city that hates everybody else.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

I have a comedy album called Negative Space that always needs more plays and attention.

If anyone is looking for something to listen to, review, or feature, my album is available across most platforms.

I also run a monthly show called The Lucy Show at The Wiggle Room on the second Sunday of every month.

Late in Life Lesbian is my director’s debut at the Montreal Fringe this June. Details here.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Facebook

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

I gotta give it to Yumi Blake. She is a hilarious and original comic who deserves a light shone on her.