Tragedy Plus Time: Montreal-based Comedian Melissa Giacomini

Melissa Giacomini is a Montreal-based comedian who got her start in comedy in improv and the performing arts. She is a seasoned clown, improviser, writer, sketch comedian, and artist. Her playful comedy style has been previously featured in Montreal Sketchfest, Ladyfest Montreal, The Ottawa Improv Festival, MProv Festival (Montreal), Toronto Haroldfest and the Big City Improv Festival (Toronto).

Melissa Giacomini

How would you describe your comedy style?

Absurd. Very silly and playful – I’m a clown at heart (and on stage). Satirical, too. I also try to weave in observational humour into my acts whether it’s clown, improv or sketch.

Who are some of your influences?

Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey for sure. Cheri Oteri, too, with her physical comedy. I remember being introduced to sketch comedy through In Living Colour as a kid and the sketch of Jim Carrey as Vanilla Ice is etched in my memory. That and the Kim Wayans parody sketch of Crystal Waters.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

Probably Jim Carrey. His physical comedy was next level for my little kid’s imagination, and I’m pretty sure I’ve watched Dumb and Dumber too many times to count.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

So many funny folks around the city. Raquel Maestre is fantastic and her “A Very Pretentious Comedy Show” is an experience – go if you haven’t! Same with Alo Azimov and their show, Tales of Gender Affirmation!

What is your pre-show ritual?

Having time to myself and getting grounded. The nerves are still always there before every single show, no matter how many times I’ve performed.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

The Ottawa Improv Festival in February 2020 stands out. I was there with an improv troupe, and we had (in my opinion) our best set ever that night. The audience was packed, engaged and we did a solid 20-minute set. I was still a newer improviser at that point, so it felt like momentum was building for our troupe and me feeling more grounded as a performer. It was an incredible feeling and I’m really grateful for those memories.

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

The “Tammy” sketch. It was part of my solo set, “UnHinged,” at Montreal Sketchfest 2023 and it was ridiculous. I don’t want to give too much away, but it was total joy, “educational” and puppets were involved. After every time I have performed that sketch, someone will come up to me asking, “Does that really happen when people have periods?” Truth in comedy, baby.

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

Going to see live, local shows – hands down.

Tell us a joke about your city.

It’s a joke to try to afford living in Toronto (where I grew up).

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Yes! I’ll be performing a clown bit at Voix de Ville at the Wiggle Room on Wednesday February 7th!

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

Mike Carozza! He’s hilarious and a sweet person.