Ron Roxtar for Curtains Up
Ron : Yannis, this is your third year at Just For laughs. What can we expect?
Yannis: I am doing the Ethnic show and a solo show. People can expect a great hilarious show with a Greek twist, since I am Greek-American. Not just from me alone because at the Ethnic show there will be the legendary Dom Irrera, Gina Brillon, Godfrey, Namir, and Jessica Kilson who I know from New York and we’re good friends. There’s also Rachid Badouri who is from here in Quebec. It’s going to be awesome.
Ron : Coming back here again what do you love about Montreal?
Yannis: I love Montreal! It’s a great city. if you’re a typical New Yorker like me and can love this city then it’s a good city. I’ve never met one person who said anything bad about Montreal and that’s true. When you ask someone about Montreal they always smile because they have a great time here. It’s a beautiful city.
Ron : So between New York and Montreal who has the better bagels?
Yannis : (laughing) I’ve had them both and it really just depends on where you get them from. it could go either way. it’s like Kobe or LeBron, Magic or Bird. it’s always a toss up.
Ron: What made you get into comedy from the start?
Yannis : It was really the only thing I was ever decent at doing. I was always the class clown and funny one of my friends. Once i found out you could make it a profession I was like “This is what I want to do.” and not only that it’s probably the only thing I can do. I was thinking the other day and realized another thing I am really good at is laying down. I always find a way to lie down even if it’s a sitting chair. I’m really good with dogs. I love dogs. Oh, I am also ranked the 124th in the world in the video game, Sniper.
Ron : Aside from you being naturally gifted with humour was there a particular comedian who inspired you to really do this?
Yannis : Totally! Chris Rock Bring the Pain. I saw it in college at the time and i was blown away by it. Also George Carlin’s HBO special You’re All Diseased. Both those shows were powerful, insightful, and hilarious. it made me realize how much good comedy can bring to the world. it can challenge people, make them laugh or think, it can humble powerful people. it can be very honest.
Ron : You are obviously a sports fan especially since you host 2 Point Lead. Who are your teams?
Yannis : Yankess and Giants. Those are the only two teams. I am married to them for life. The Giants won two Super bowls over improbable odds. We’ve had a lot of great moments.
Ron : You’ve conducted quite a few interviews yourself. Who was your favourite?
Yannis: Let me say I’ve interviewed a lot of people, Hall of famers, people who are great at their sport. Oh man I gotta say it was, Barry Larkin, the hall of fame short stop. Barry was so special to me because i felt like we were just talking baseball. I went off from my script questions and me and him were just talking baseball. He was transmitting his passion and it rekindled my love for baseball. He told me “You have to be humble in baseball because it’s a hard game.” It’s like life you know? Life is tough and it’s really important to be humble. I love that.
Ron : Being a New Yorker I read that you did some work in regards to 9/11.
Yannis : Yes I did some relief work for through Lutheran social services called Project Life. We basically got financial assistance for people who lost their homes or lost loved ones and were affected financially. Sometimes it was mental or physical aid that we helped out people with financially. If you fell through the cracks and needed money for something like rental assistance we would go lobby to donors. We would also advocate for them in the mortgage rental assistance program that FEMA had. For another two years I worked with the homeless and mentally ill. So I worked for five years in social work and learned a lot. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I think everybody should do it. I really think the world would be a much better place if it was a required college program where people had to do six months of some kind of social service. Giving back to society really makes us better people. It opens people up and makes you a better person. It gives you a better understanding about how society works and makes you more empathetic which is a part of intelligence. We are a social species. We’d have a much better world.
Yannis Pannas performs at The JFL Ethnic Show starting July 13th to the 28th. Click on the link to buy your tickets. http://www.hahaha.com/en/show/
Make sure to catch Yannis Pappas at his solo show Let Me Be Yannis on July 25th 10:30 pm at Theatre St, Catherine. Click on the link to buy your tickets. Yannis Pappas: Let Me Be Yannis