Dan Taylor
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Dan Taylor

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Comedy Spoken Word




"Edmonton pastor wins city’s Top Comic title, will open for Russell Peters"

Edmonton’s Dan Taylor, a 36-year-old pastor at Disciples Church on 97th Street, never saw his standup comedy gig going much further than open-mike night at The Druid, until he was given the opportunity of a lifetime.

Taylor has been selected as one of eight finalists in SiriusXM Canada’s fifth annual Top Comic competition, after winning the most votes as Edmonton’s Top Comic.

Competing for a grand prize of $15,000, the finalists will each perform a set at Just For Laughs’ JFL42 Festival in Toronto on Sept. 25. The winner will be determined by a panel of celebrity judges and comedy insiders.

Each finalist also has the opportunity to do an opening set in their respective hometown on the Canadian leg of international comic star Russell Peters’ Almost Famous Tour. Taylor will be opening for Peters at Rexall Place on Sept. 18 (tickets available through).

“I’ve been doing comedy for about three years,” Prince Edward Island-raised Taylor says. “A lot of people go through their entire careers without doing an arena, so to enter a contest and then perform at Rexall is bizarre.”

Taylor describes his humour as observational, drawing most of his content from himself, his wife and three children, and everyday situations that are easily relatable.

“The set that I taped for Sirius XM was mostly a 600-word text message from my mother, because I figured out it was comedic and read it in a funny way. Parents of a certain age aren’t always concise with their text messages and that’s something people can identify with. Things like that are the things that make me laugh.”

As a pastor involved in full-time ministry, Taylor takes pride in being able to make people laugh while keeping his sets suitable for all kinds of audiences.

“I’m pretty PG-13, and Edmonton has a reputation for being a bit of a dirty town comically, so in comparison to your average Edmonton comic I’m pretty clean.”

Taylor says that even his PG-13 humour can be shocking to some people, though, in part because it is very rare for comedians to be open about their faith and Christianity.

“I have an extended bit that I do about Deuteronomy, and even mentioning the Bible at all shocks people. I have a degree in biblical studies so I’m dealing with my own material.”

Taylor says doing an opening set for Peters — whom he calls an old-school Canadian comedian — is absolutely mind-boggling.

“They told me that I was opening and one of my first thoughts was that they must mean I get to go around and open all the doors, like a Wal-Mart greeter. But then they said I get to do time onstage and I’m still wrapping my head around that.”

Taylor says the most rewarding part of being a Top Comic finalist is getting the chance to perform at the JFL42 Festival, because of its potential to bring awareness to Edmonton’s comedy scene.

“In some ways, doing comedy in Edmonton is like doing comedy on the dark side of the moon — there aren’t many show business people who pay attention to what happens here, even though there’s a really strong comedy scene. This is an opportunity to get in front of people in Toronto who would’ve never seen me otherwise.”

Even with the excitement of performing at Rexall and the possibility of winning the title of Canada’s Top Comic, Taylor is less concerned about the grand prize and more excited about getting to do what he loves.

“I love having a thought and being able to turn that thought into words. Using those words to make people laugh or to have some sort of human connection is a pretty powerful thing, so that’s what I love. My favourite thing about comedy is the next joke.” - Edmonton Journal

"Pastor named Edmonton’s top comic says he’s found the funny side of the Bible"

The Bible may not be most comics’ inspiration for wry wit, observational humour and off-colour jokes, but according to pastor and comic Dan Taylor, the Holy Book may, in fact, be an untapped comedic vein. Along with texts from his mother. Mr. Taylor was this week named Edmonton’s top comic by the Sirius XM satellite radio network; he’s won the chance to open for infamous comic Russell Peters in Edmonton Thursday, and will travel to Toronto at the end of the month to compete for the national prize. The Post’s Jen Gerson spoke to the full-time pastor about his newfound comedic success.

Q Tell me a bit about how you won this prize.

A It was a three-minute set that I had come up with, but one of the bits I did was to read from a long text from my mother. I asked her if she was going to go to Ontario for Christmas and I got a very, very long text in return.

Q Could you read me some of this text?

A I’d rather not. One, I’m driving. Two, it’s part of the bit and, three, you can find it online.

Q Well, fair enough. So tell me how you got into comedy.

A It started two-and-a-half, three years ago. I’m a pastor full time and before when I got into the ministry I found it was getting really easy to never be around anyone who didn’t believe exactly the same thing I believed, and I didn’t think that was a good idea. I was trying to find a hobby and I’m not good at building things and I’m not very athletic. I am decent at talking to people, so that’s where it came from.

Q How difficult is it to merge stand up comedy with being a pastor?

A My church gives me a lot of room to do it, but it’s the same skills in terms of actually talking to people. You still have to make connections to other humans, read the room, see where people are at.

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Q Do you ever incorporate spirituality into your comedy?

A I do. I have a bit about Deuteronomy — I have a degree in Bible studies.

Q Deuteronomy doesn’t strike me as the funniest of the Biblical books.

A No, you would think not. There was a law, Deuteronomy Chapter 25, if two men are involved in a conflict and the wife of one tries to help her husband by seizing the other man by the testicles, show her no mercy: cut off her hand. Which is a very odd law, but in the ancient world, that was going on so often that they have to make a law about it.

Q Well, how can you possibly resist grabbing the testicles of your husband’s enemy?

A I was a doorman for a long time and I didn’t see it happen that often, but maybe that’s a bit of ancient wisdom we should regain.

Q Let me tell you: As a woman, the threat of having my hand cut off is the only thing keeping me away.

A It is an odd law. - National Post


Dan Taylor - Excited To Be Here
available at http://noisetrade.com/dantaylortalks/a-different-era-live-from-red-deer



With the soul of a preacher tempered by self deprecating honesty, Dan Taylor has been speaking to whoever would listen for over a decade. Having recently decided to be intentionally funny, he has been moving audiences at comedy clubs, theatres and festivals, as well as corporate gatherings all over Western Canada in such venues as

Calgary's Funny Fest,

The Edmonton Comedy Festival's Young Guns,

Montreal’s Comedy Nest

Edmonton’s The Comic Strip

CTS Television's Comedy Tournament Season 2

Drawing on his experience as a husband, father, social worker, pastor, barista, and reformed carnie, Dan's unique background allows him to speak disarmingly and honestly about our small victories and failures, as well as the bizarre realities we confront daily. Dan's versatility is making him a sought after comic and communicator.

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