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The Cream of Comedy

Out comedian Brandon Ash Mohammed is nominated for the Tim Sims Award

Out comedian Brandon Ash Mohammed is nominated for the Tim Sims Award in Toronto. Go, B! Credit: Dan Abramovici Photography

Brandon Ash Mohammed always knew he wanted to be a funny guy. Or at least he knew enough to find himself in funny company, because one thing led to another and he's now nominated for a prestigious comedy award with a $5,000 prize. Xtra writer Ryan Kerr had the pleasure of asking Brandon a few questions about the annual Cream of Comedy competition (taking place in Toronto on Monday, Oct 28), how he got where he got, and how he could better make Whoopi:

Xtra: Hello!  You’re gay and funny . . . presumably. Prove both:

Brandon: Two words: Megan Mullally.

Who?

She was Karen.

Karen . . . I don't know who that is. Oh wait, from Will & Grace?

Yeah.

Oh.

Well, I don't really understand the question. What do you mean by "prove both"?

Well, it's meant to be pretty open-ended. You're gay and you're funny, right? Show me. Or demonstrate or something . . . I don't know . . .

I like her because she's really talented. She is, like, one of my favourite people ever. She's a classically trained singer-dancer, used to be on Broadway . . .

Okay. How did you get here?

What do you mean by that question? For the award? Or how did I start in comedy? Are you asking me for my life story or something?

Maybe. I dunno. It's up to you — to answer how you want, I mean.

I don't really like these questions. Don't you have any other questions?

How did you get to be nominated?

Well, I went to Humber College for comedy, I graduated last year, lived in NYC . . .

Oh cool! Whereabouts?

Far Rockaway, Queens.

What did you do there?

To do comedy. Then I moved back . . .

Why'd you move back?

'Cause I was finished there. Then I met Catherine McCormick who has a night called Queer as Fuck at the Steady, and she nominated me for Fresh Meat [the precursor to Cream of Comedy].

What's it like, when you're up there competing?

You can't see the judges — they're at the back — and they take notes. It's like American Idol.

Really? Does the audience vote too?

No.

What would the Tim Sims Award mean to you?

What do you mean? It would mean I can do anything, because I do work hard . . . or something. I never imagined I would be able to make it.

In comedy?

Yeah.

How would the $5,000 help out your career?

I would use it to work on my one-person show, "The Most Critically Acclaimed Rap Bitch in the Game," my musical hip-opera. Maybe I'll have a one-person show, end up on Broadway, like Whoopi.

I love Whoopi Goldberg. I was thinking about her today, actually.

Cool.

Well good luck on Monday, Brandon. Nice chatting with you.

Bye, thanks.

Bye.