Tragedy Plus Time: Montreal-based Comic Ben Cardilli

Ben Cardilli is an observational comic based in Montreal who’s hosted the Zoofest Discovery Series 2022 and was part of Just For Laughs Originals ’22. He will be performing in different scenarios in the coming months and is hitting an independently produced comedy special on Youtube.

Ben Cardilli

How would you describe your comedy style?

I guess I’d just be describing myself since I typically just rattle off true(ish) anecdotes in my own voice. A mix of observation and blissful ignorance, I’m just trying to connect with people over the sillier parts of everyday life.

Who are some of your influences?

Some of the legends that gave me the itch to give it a try were Pete Holmes, Marc Maron, Bill Burr, and MTL’s own Sugar Sammy as a matter of fact.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

When I was in high school, my friends and I would recite bits and pieces from Brian Regan to each other. He and Louis CK were pretty big deals for us.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

These days, I get really excited to see new work from Nate Bargatze, Marc Norman, or Sam Morril to name a few.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Before a show, I try to shoot the shit with other comics, riff a little, and just distract myself by socializing and loosening up the cuff. Whatever to keeps me from getting in my own head about the crowd’s expectations.

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

Although my favourite place in the city to perform regularly is the intimate and charming top story of the original McKibbin’s Pub where I run two weekly shows, probably the most impressive room I’ve played is the Musée Canadien de l’Histoire in Gatineau where I was lucky enough to open for Sugar Sammy for a whole weekend. It holds roughly 500 seats in steep ascending rows that wrap around the stage. The first laughs I got there physically blew me back.

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

Tough to pick since I find them all equally “meh.” Jk. There is one I don’t do very often about how messed up it is that Canadians have a shot called the “Irish Car Bomb” and how I confidently offered one to an Irish traveller when I was an ignorant young bartender. I guess I’m proud of it because it’s my only relatively worldly bit that’s almost as observational as it is autobiographical.

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

Generally, I like to get recommendations from other comics. Sometimes the comedy podcasts I listen to feature guests I’d never heard of or mention comedians to check out and I’ve discovered some really cool talent that way. Limited Netflix series like The Standups or The Degenerates have led to some cool discoveries as well.

Tell us a joke about your city.

I used to riff with tourists about how every time I’m on a plane ride home, I can tell we were getting close to Montreal because I can see the bright orange glow of traffic cones through the clouds.

Do you have anything to promote right now?

I have an independently produced comedy special hitting Youtube in the coming months. It was filmed live at McKibbins where I host two weekly comedy shows. You can hear some of the jokes from that special on 2022’s JFL Originals compilation album “Stand-up Montreal – Heavy Petting Zoo” which just so happens to get its name from one of my tags.

Where can we follow you?

Tickets to all my upcoming shows as well as links to all my social media can be found at Linktree.

Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

Oren Shbiro is a killer Montreal comedian who’s always churning out brilliant material about relatable stuff like scary dads and relationship sex. Solid writing and delivery every time.



About Demian Vernieri 414 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.