Published on May 6th, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Comedy has Issues

If you’re like me, happiness is sitting at your corporate day job and hearing your boss in the distance say “give this to (your name), it’s a comedy thing”. (It’s so nice to be understood!)

That’s how the May issue of Driven wound up in my cubicle, and I’m quite tickled about it. May is indeed a “comedy issue” — not a groundbreaking idea by any stretch (see also: Vanity Fair 2009, Rolling Stone 2008, GQ almost annually), but very impressive in execution.

image9Russell Brand graces the cover, with a slick profile inside to match. Jason Jones penned an inspired piece of his own, complete with fantastic photographs, on “how to tell if Samantha Bee is cheating on you. Andrew Clark (my writing inspiration, who over a decade ago inspired me to start covering comedy) contributes a great piece on how the ’90s comedy bust impacted the Canadian scene. And the editors are pretty darn funny themselves, compiling a back page list of stats that had me laughing out loud (no small feat).

“But hey,” you’re saying. “I don’t live in Canada, and/or I don’t want to pay the $8 cover price.”

“Well”, I say, “welcome to 2009”. Every single page of the issue is available to read online. Behold, for what I assume to be a limited time:


My favourite surprise is actually a web-only article, a brief eulogy to early ’90s silliness written by Murray Foster, touring bassist for Great Big Sea and former member of Moxy Fruvous. For the uninitiated, Moxy Fruvous was an often-silly, often-political (but often neither) Canadian band with a few hits in the early 90s. Their following turned grassroots, and I was one of many fans who, by the late 90s, practically lived their lives according to the band’s schedule. Murray reflects on the goofy roots of Fruvous, and asks “what ever happened to the funny music?”


And given the themes of hilarity and the 90s, here’s a shot of me and Murray in Winnipeg in 1995, when we were both just kids (17 and 28 respectively). Yes, those were really my glasses.


About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

2 Responses to Comedy has Issues

Back to Top ↑
  • The Colbert Report A-Z

    Third Beat editor Sharilyn Johnson presents the ultimate fan guide to The Colbert Report, available from all major booksellers including amazon.com