Debra DiGiovanni loves laughing loudly

Deb & Trev sweeping the nation with comedy act

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Debra DiGiovanni and Trevor Boris

I DON'T REALLY THINK HE'S FUNNY, BUT APPARENTLY IT'S BAD PRESS IF I DON'T FAKE IT. Debra DiGiovanni is touring with her Video On Trial costar Trevor Boris, gracing many venues across Canada and offering viewers a much-needed dose of comedy.

“You can tell me to shut up whenever you like,” says comedian Debra DiGiovanni. “I really do like to talk a lot.”

Talking is what DiGiovanni does best. A regular on MuchMusic’s Video On Trial, DiGiovanni is one of Canada’s most promising standup comedians.

DiGiovanni recently teamed with fellow comedian and Video On Trial star Trevor Boris for The Debra and Trevor Comedy Tour.

DiGiovanni prefers live standup.

“The performances are so much better than TV,” DiGiovanni says. “With TV, it’s a lot slower and it has to be ‘nice comedy,’ whereas with a live performance, you can be who you want to be without worrying too much about what you say or do. TV automatically slaps a PG-rating on your performance.”

DiGiovanni’s quick wit, chattiness and honesty have led her to be labelled “the funniest woman working the Canadian comedy circuit.” She’s won numerous awards, including the Best Newcomer award at the 2003 Canadian Comedy Awards and Best Female Standup at the 2005 Canadian Comedy Awards.

“I beat out a whole bunch of boys, which was awesome,” DiGiovanni says. “It was like getting a good mark on a report card. Then people start recognizing you; that’s always nice.”

As well as earning numerous awards, DiGiovanni received the honour of opening for Canadian comedy icon Russell Peters on his 2005-06 Canadian tour.

“Peters is so awesome,” DiGiovanni says. “He’s the omen of comedy, a total rock star.

“I remember when we did three shows in Vancouver they were all sold out. Playing in front of so many people is quite the confidence boost. Performing with him was a great experience.”

DiGiovanni firmly believes time and dedication are crucial components for becoming a successful comedian.

“Every time you get up onstage, you’re consistently making yourself better,” DiGiovanni says. “You hone your skills and the transition gets easier.”

DiGiovanni developed her humour in Humber College’s renowned comedy writing program.

“It was a great experience,” she says. “For me, it was the jumping-off point that really made things feel official.”

However, DiGiovanni admits the program wasn’t always fun.

“I hated clown class. I really did. I hated all that weird acting. I just wanted to stand onstage by myself and talk.”

DiGiovanni believes Canadian comedy is on a “huge upswing.”

“Sitcoms today are very stale,” she says. “Canadian performers are bringing standup comedy back like it’s ’80s retro.”

The Debra & Trevor Comedy Tour hits The Grand Theatre Sunday, March 25. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29.95. Visit www.grandtheatre.com or call 1-800-265-1593 for more information.

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