HomeEntertainmentComedian Ben Bankas to stop in Sudbury on (fake) mayoral campaign

Comedian Ben Bankas to stop in Sudbury on (fake) mayoral campaign

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He plays Yuk Yuk’s Sudbury at the Daventry Kitchen and Bar on March 9 and 10 at 8 p.m.

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This week, comedian Ben Bankas will be bringing his humour – and his election campaign – to Sudbury.

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Bankas, 31, was born and raised in downtown Toronto and began doing comedy in 2011.

“I started doing comedy when I was at Queen’s University,” he said. “I was a huge fan of comedy. I would always take the Greyhound bus from Toronto to St. Catherine’s to visit my dad and I would listen to my old school iPod, of all these recordings of Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and Dane Cook, and some like Richard Pryor and George Carlin. I’d be the only person on the bus having a good time.”

Like many aspiring comedians, Bankas started his career hitting the stage at open mics across Kingston and Toronto.

“I would drive to Toronto some nights just to do like a five-minute spot on an open mic,” he said. “From there, six or seven years just doing open mics and getting better and better, slowly getting booked on more and more shows.”

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But it’s in the last four years that his comedy really took off, with the help of social media.

“I really started doing stuff online, where people could see not only my standup but doing sketches online, making fun of current events and a bit of politics and stuff like that. It’s gotten people’s attention.”

The numbers speak for themselves. He has 65,400 followers on Instagram and 10,800 on TikTok.

His willingness to take on shots at Canadian political drama has become part of his appeal. His cross-Canada “Permission 2 Laugh” tour will double as his (pretend) election campaign for mayor of Toronto.

“(My style) is satirical and a lot of parody,” he said. “John Tory quit because he was found to have been cheating on his wife with a staffer, so we’re like, let’s run. So we’re running a platform and just trying to take it to the extreme for the purposes of laughing our butts off.”

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His stop in Sudbury will be far from his first.

“Sudbury was my first gig as a professional comedian in 2019,” he said. “We stayed at the Super Eight. It was a sports bar and we ended up getting really drunk after. The next day we had to drive six hours to Turkey Point. That was my memory, my first ever professional, legitimate paid gig.”

Bankas will play Yuk Yuk’s Sudbury at the Daventry Kitchen and Bar on March 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.yukyuks.com/sudbury.

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

mjensen@postmedia.com

Twitter: @mia_rjensen

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