Maddy Kelly did not wait long to start her career in stand-up comedy. In fact, four days after she turned 19 – the legal age for alcohol in BC – she made her first set at a local club. After that, she felt like she was part of the Vancouver comedy scene.
“There was a really, really welcoming community at the time,” Kelly says on the phone from her Mount Pleasant home. “It felt like I was becoming a part of something – that I did not realize before I started comedy. I made all the open microphones and we went to the clubs and saw cartoons that were better than me. , and it was really, really fun to be 19 and 20 – it felt like I was growing up, you know. “
Now, at a mature age of 25, Kelly is enjoying the fruits of her labor with laughter. In addition to being known around the city for her standup work, she has made a name for herself when working on podcasts (Let’s make a Sci-Fi), a conceptual comedy show for CBC Gem (The slowest show), and a sitcom project (Popcorn for dinner), purchased by Podcast Network.
She also goes nationwide as one of the comics in the second season of The new wave of standupwhich launches March 29 on the free CBC Gem streaming service.
The series, which was filmed this winter at Gastown’s Guilt & Co., features 12 Canadian comics featuring their funniest works in 10-minute sets. Kelly says it was quite a challenge to come up with a tight, gurgling set in time for the recording.
“I had to write it pretty quickly,” she recalls. “I worked overtime, did a lot of things at night to get the material done. My friends Bobby Warrener and Malik Elassal, they were like my pit team – we all worked on the set and it was so much fun. I’m really happy. for how it turned out. “
During her allotted time, Kelly covers topics like her Irish Catholic immigrant grandparents that she was really crushed on for a long time and got a wrong order from A&W during the pandemic. She claims to know most of the comics that participate in The new wave of standupwhich includes one of her best friends, Vancouver’s Andrea Jin.
“We came to the same recording at the same time,” she says, “and it was really fun. I think I was a better cartoon because she was in the room with me.”
Kelly says her favorite stand-up comedians when she started were Mike Birbiglia, Maria Bamford, Wanda Sykes and the late Louie Anderson. However, she is much younger than any of them, which is a bonus when you are trying to get in touch with a youthful audience.
“I can relate to the same issues [as the audience], “she points out,” like talking about dating apps and social media or whatever it is. But I also go through similar things that people in their 20s go through, right nowand do not talk about it in the past. “
When we talk about social media, one of the facts mentioned in Kelly’s impressive bio is that she has amassed over 2.5 million views on Tik Tok. However, this exposure was not brought about by any knowledgeable social media skills on her part.
“I was just really lucky,” she says. “A comedy outfit called Comedy Here Often posted a clip of me and it just went viral. I’m not very good at social media. And I prefer Instagram, I think.”
Kelly also believes that the success she finds at such a young age is due in part to the help she received from certain Vancouver comedians who embraced her from the start.
“I really look up to a lot of the people on the local stage,” she says, “Erica Sigurdson and Graham Clark. And Ivan Decker. They’ve all really given me lots of advice and a lot of mentorship, and I’ve been really lucky too. that.”
As lucky as she feels right now, Kelly admits that Vancouver’s comedy scene has faced some major obstacles, such as the recent closure of a longtime venue close to her heart.
“Little Mountain Galley was definitely a big loss. I used to run a show there for years and I think a lot of people started and found out that their own audience could run their own shows there. It really is sad. that we do not get those opportunities. “
Overall, though, Kelly remains positive about the Vancouver comedy scene, adding that it has done a good job of finding new venues. It is easy to stay positive when you are only 25 years old. Or is it? With all the life left to live, is it so hard to make comedy when the hilarious ghost of World War III is so big?
“I think…Yes!“she replies.” I think the first week where all that [war in Ukraine] was going on it was very strange. We advertised Let’s make a Sci-Fiand it was so embarrassing to promote an entertainment comedy podcast when a lot of other people were sharing resources.
“But I also think I relied a lot on comedy in tough times,” she adds. “I saw so much comedy during the pandemic, and some of my worse times during it, so my dream is that I hopefully give some kind of relief to other people.”
And should the state of the world ever get upset enough that she needs someone to do her laughing for a change, Kelly knows who to call.
“I have funny friends,” she says, “yes, that’s my whole thing. You can not be my friend if you are not funny.”