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The 21st Century Comic

I couldn’t imagine starting comedy now. Anyone who just realized they want to be a comedian during the pandemic probably isn't funny.


If you weren’t funny before the world ended, you’re definitely not funny now.


How it used to be


I miss navigating the road. The GPS voice giving me directions while some comedian I hate explains why it’s so hard to make it in Canada. Usually a 40-year-old who still doesn't have a car.


"I auditioned for Just For Laughs for 10 years before I got my shot."


Comedians were jealously impressed by my car. The Cadillac I stupidly bought when I had money from Commercial Real Estate. I left brokerage in 2019. A life of cocaine, whores and money. Comedy is just cocaine and whores.


“The money will come” I tell myself.


The Cadillac was only good in the summer, fall and spring. In winter I’d pick up comedians in my mother’s 2010 Toyota Matrix. A hatchback that used to have good advertisements that'd play before shitty movies in the twenty teens.


Comics who I’d picked up in the Cadillac were thrilled to see a shittier car. “What happened to the caddy?” they’d ask, hoping it was repossessed.


“Doesn’t drive well in the winter, it’s rear wheel”.


“Oh” they’d say. Disappointed my life wasn’t worse.


What it's like now


Those days are on hold. We’re in the grips of Covid-19. The worst pandemic since the Spanish flu. If you don’t count the several holocausts in between as pandemics.


Now my days are filled with endlessly scrolling through Instagram, shrinking my brain.


“Maybe I’ll watch TikTok’s for a while” I think, as I catch myself getting angry at Tweets.


“What can my next big video be?”, “The Theresa Tam videos have been popular”.


My goal now is to entertain my 3,311 fans. Sometimes I make a post and lose 10 or 20. Sometimes I gain 100. All depends on the level of racist I use and the context I use it in.


The main fear in the comedy world is being deleted. Blocked. Reported. Losing all those followers you work so hard for.


I started the pandemic with 2200. I lost about 200 on the first day of lockdown. I complained that Trudeau was shutting down the economy for only 2500 dead. Now we stand at 9,200. I wasn't far off, lol.


Let's be honest. Most of those old people probably wanted to die, at least a little bit. Now my favourite sushi spot looks like an emergency ward in Wuhan and women cover their faces like we live in the UAE.


See, I'm a 21st century comedian. A pandemic can't stop me!


20 years ago I’d never imagine this world. Probably because I was 8-years-old and used a Compaq. Remember those? The computer your parents got you because they thought technology was a fad.... Hey, at least I had parents.


I miss a lot of things but I try not to concentrate on the past. What’s the point? It’s over. Like WW2, the Holocaust and the 9/11. Nobody cares about the past. It’s the future that’s important! Right!?


So I toil away. Building my brand between open mics that are still allowed under the new Covid laws. Complaining into a microphone and calling it a “podcast”.


It’s not all bad though. I’ve been sober for 26 days in the hopes of introducing myself to good habits. No booze, no pot. It's made comedy come easier. I feel weightless onstage, even though I'm the heaviest I've been.


In t-minus 4 days I can get hammered again. I worry I’ll fully relapse but deep down I know I won’t. Too much at stake. To much to lose. Like another 200 followers. I can’t afford that! Even though they don’t pay me :(.


To support Ben Bankas and his comedy career go to patreon.com/benbankas and make a pledge today! Starting from $1.00 a month.

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