Weird art from Canada.
Weird art from Canada.
The Last Laugh
Throughout season two of The Imposter, Aliya Pabani has explored the poetics and politics of comedy in her attempt to become a standup comedian.
She's considered what makes us laugh and why, explored the implications of Improv's "yes, and" philosophy in a time of #MeToo, and asked whether comedy is worth funding as art.
She's also been workshopping her jokes about racism, but the challenge of implicating her audience without losing them has her feeling unsure whether it's possible to make meaningful jokes that are actually funny. Is comedy a tool to placate the masses, or can it be used to cut deep?
In this—very Imposter—final live show, Aliya takes to the Second City stage to perform her final stand-up set in this live-podcast-meets-The-Voice mashup featuring comedy and critical feedback from judges Nick Nemeroff & Brandon Ash-Mohammed, and a live score by Johnny Spence.
Will Aliya bomb or solve racism with jokes? Find out in this final episode of The Imposter.
This episode is sponsored by Hello Fresh and Endy
Beverly Glenn-Copeland Comes out of the Woodwork
Born in Philadelphia, Glenn came to McGill in the 60s to study music. He fell in love with Canada, released some albums, sang alongside musicians like Bruce Cockburn, and became a regular on Mr. Dressup.
Recently, his self-released album Keyboard Fantasies was rediscovered. He's since returned to the stage with a new band, pulling music from his extensive catalogue of jazzy folk, classically-influenced soundscapes and electrified negro spirituals.
Now in his 70s, Beverly Glenn-Copeland reflects on some of the moments that shaped his musical path, including his love of Star Trek, a pianistic rivalry with his dad and the experience of moving through the world as a trans man.
This episode is sponsored by Sonos and Endy
Is Comedy Art?
With less than a month left until her final set on the Second City stage, Aliya realizes that she's not totally sold on standup. So she talks to Sandra Battaglini, a comedian who's petitioning the government to recognize comedy as an art form that's worth funding, and the art duo Life of a Craphead who discuss the evolution of their jokes, from mixing a chemical weapon onstage to dumping a colonial sculpture into the Don River.
Sign a petition to get comedy recognized as art
Buy tickets to The Imposter Presents: The Last Laugh
Meet the Porn Auteurs
Montreal is home to the backend of the online porn industry, where IT gurus have been running A/B tests on desire. Stories about porn often focus on the morality and the economics of the industry, but we seldom talk about porn as a creative practice.
Esther Splett was fresh out of a creative writing undergrad when she got hired as a script writer for the premium adult film brand, Brazzers. She wanted to write porn that was inspired by her favourite classic genre films, but she found herself spiralling as the high fantasy, performative world of porn permeated her everyday life.
While working on the archives of feminist porn pioneer, Candida Royalle at Harvard, Allie Oops discovered a lifetime of diary entries that allowed her to see a long future in sex work. These days, she collaborates with her friends to make raw, DIY porn out of her Montreal apartment, and she pays them a living wage to do it.
Learn more about Veronica Vera's School for Boys Who Want to be Girls
Sound design on this episode is by Jesse Perlstein
The Sun Never Sets on AbTec Island
Erin Gee created Project H.E.A.R.T; a virtual reality game that uses your emotions to power a holographic pop star, who has to sing for combat soldiers so they don't get too depressed to fight.
Since the early internet, Skawennati's been trying to make sure Indigenous people are present online; from the first Cyber PowWow in a 2D graphical chat room called The Palace, to an island in Second Life where she builds movie sets to reimagine Indigenous histories—and futures.
Visit AbTec Island
The Patron Saint of Comics
A near-fatal health condition put Annie Koyama out of commission for over a decade. One day, while taking her pain medication, she had an epiphany—someone was making a lot of money selling those meds. Soon, Annie was playing the stock market, turning her savings into a small fortune.
Once she was on the mend, Annie sought out exciting emerging comic artists and gave them money to publish their first books. Her passion project became a small publishing house, and over the course of 10 years, Koyama Press became one of the most well-respected publishers in indie comics today.
The concept of "no strings attached" may seem too good to be true, but so is Annie.
Look at 126 different artist interpretations of Koyama Press' Kickass Annie logo.