X-rated comedian hits Yuk Yuk's London

Comedian Aaron Berg tells stories about life as a stripper

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Aaron Berg

Stripper-turned-comedian Aaron Berg performed last Friday at Yuk Yuk’s London as part of the Cold, Dark January X-Rated Comedy Festival.

Berg, who was recently nominated for two Canadian Comedy Awards for his one-man show, Underbelly Diaries, performed his new controversial act, shocking the audience with his explicit, satirical comedy.

“I think that in entertaining myself it entertains other people,” Berg says. “Now more than ever, I’m finding that the comedy club is a place to experiment.

“I know people want to see some jokes and people want to laugh, but at the same time I think it’s the comic’s job to push the unexpected and be able to come up with stuff and craft something. It’s the last sacred place where nothing is sacred.”

Berg pushes boundaries with his stripper stories and semen-fight discussions, causing some people to leave during his set or complain after the show. However, Berg says he’s become more palatable recently.

“It’s like the first time you have sex with somebody,” Berg says. “Either it’s really good or it sucks, but there’s always in the back of your mind that maybe he’s going to fuck me good again. Like there’s still that possibility that I’ll come back around and give them something that they like so they don’t walk out as much anymore.

“Some people have gotten angry; some have come up onstage and wanted to fight, but I usually talk them down.”

It’s hard to believe Berg was raised in a wholesome, upper-class Jewish family. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a school teacher.

“I wasn’t like a kid from the bad side of the tracks that had to beat off in front of men to eat steak,” Berg says. “[I became a comedian] because it seemed like something I wouldn’t have lived otherwise. I made a choice to do that.

“I studied philosophy [at the University of New Brunswick] and what I learned was that the unexamined life was not worth living.

“I had this great teacher who told me if everyone likes what you’re doing, you’re doing something wrong, so it really kind of inspired me to be controversial and not really care if people like me.”

Berg says performing is therapeutic for him, adding he rarely drinks onstage because he wants to get to “heightened states of consciousness by just being so present that the performance becomes a high.”

“It’s totally an amazing thing, because it just purges everything out,” he says. “Whatever bad thoughts you have, you can translate it. There’s other comics that make everything up and I have a respect for that, but I just can’t do it. I know I’ll always close with [a particular] story, but I have no idea what’s gonna come out of my mouth [while telling it].”

Though his uncensored stories, graphic gestures and crude language have already shocked and disgusted many people, Berg wants to push limits further.

“There’s a part of my mind that thinks that if I play it safe, I would be more ahead in terms of a career, but I don’t think that’s what I want,” Berg says. “I don’t want to do standup on TV. I’m very happy doing what I do. I want to really push it further.”

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