Ron Josol
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Ron Josol

New York, New York, United States

New York, New York, United States
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Music

The best kept secret in music

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Everyone thinks making people laugh is easy. A sarcastic comment here or there may make you the joker amongst your group of friends, but trying to make a living at it is hard work. Just ask Ontario-based comedian Ron Josol, who leapt into stand-up at the behest of his friends.

“I just went up one day and I wanted to see if it would work,” remembers Josol. “You realize quickly it’s more than just making your friends laugh. It’s harder. I got booed off my first time.”

Despite the initial humiliation, Josol remained committed to the craft. Weathering the storms of crowd apathy, and sometimes worse than apathy, Josol found his voice.

“What happened is I had to start writing actual jokes that would work,” says Josol. “Then when you’re comfortable doing that, your persona starts coming out and you can start making things up on the spot.”

Eventually fed up balancing his stand-up career with various day jobs, including graphic design, couriering and staffing a call centre, Josol finally quit to focus on comedy after starring in a CTV special. Josol admits that making his way as a comedian in Canada posed some challenges, so he often sought additional work in the U.S.

“Canada’s a weird thing,” remarks Josol. “Yuk Yuk’s is the biggest industry for comics, and if you’re not part of Yuk Yuk’s there’s not too many bigger venues. There’s nothing where you can just get paid on a regular basis—you’ve got to really hustle. In the States, there’s 10 versions of Yuk Yuk’s. So if you don’t like Yuk Yuk’s here and you’re in the States, you can go do another chain of comedy clubs. You don’t have to stick to one. You just go back and forth. Here, it’s kind of weird. It’s just Yuk Yuk’s, and they don’t want you to play outside of Yuk Yuk’s. You’re kind of stuck to them.”

Josol is best known for his appearances making fun of music videos on the hit Much Music program Video on Trial. In fact, Josol was the first person to tape segments for the show.

“One of my friends—who was a producer at Omni—just got a job at Much, and he called me up,” remembers Josol. “I was on regularly, and now they’ve changed producers and I’m not in Canada much these days. I’m here really two weeks out of a month, and whenever they ask me to come on I can’t. It’s just one of those things where I’m busy.”

Josol joins fellow Asian-Canadian comedians Jeffrey Yu and Paul Bae in MacEwan Hall on May 15 for the Asian-Canadian Comedy Night, presented as part of the annual ImaginASIAN Festival celebrating Asian Heritage Month. Despite the branding of the event as Asian, Josol insists the labeling reflects who’s on the show, not what it’s about.

“When I work in the States, there’s Asian comedy shows all the time and it’s not just for Asians,” he says. “It just happens to be Asians, and the crowds are black, Latino, white, Asian… Here it’s kind of like, ‘I don’t want to see three Asian comics, it must be boring, all the same thing.’ It’s not. It’s just exactly like a regular show. You’ll forget that we’re just all Asian. In the States, they’ll have 10 Asians on a show but they’re not all talking about the same thing. They all talk about their point of view of life, they’re all different people. That’s something that they got used to in the last 10 years in the States, where in Canada it’s something new.”

The Asian-Canadian Comedy Night takes over MacEwan Hall Tues., May 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 for students/seniors or $30 for adults. For tickets or info call 264-2778 or e-mail info@asianheritagecalgary.ca. - TheGauntlet.ca


Discography

Bootleg dvd

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Bio

Ron Josol represents the new generation of comedy. With his modish comedy style and commanding stage presence, he is one of the hottest acts today.

He performs regularly in Canada, U.S., Pacific Islands, Persian Gulf, Asia, central America, the Carribean and the middle east.

In his 2nd year as a comedian, Ron won the Craven As funniest home grown competition for the Just For Laughs comedy festival in 2000. Since then he has been performing in festivals such as the, Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Just for laughs festival, INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FEST 2k8, The Orange County Comedy Festival and the LOL Comedy Festival in Hollywood, California.

Indubitably, the most recognizable Asian comedian in Canada, Ron was profiled on the Comedy Network, ABS-CBN Asia, Showtime Dubai, CBC, Discovery channel, Echo, omni1&2, MTV Canada, and recently the Biography Channel Canada.

He has hosted his own television series on the new omni2 Network called, FLIP. He produced, co-wrote and starred as the lead of a short film based on his true story entitled, Rolling Longaniza, which aired on the CBC Zflicks. He has written and perform on the Much Music hit show Video on Trial and Much more music.

Ron has taped numerous stand-up comedy specials in his career. He first achieved his own comedy special in 2000, Comedy Now, on CTV/Comedy network. He has been featured in ABS-CBNs Slanted comedy taped at the San Jose Improv and recently recorded 2 comedy specials produced by SHOWTIME DUBAI. In January 2009, Hollywood producers have taken notice and gave him the opportunity to film his 1st US national spot in the LOL comedy festival on showtime USA.