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.
She was Karen.
Karen . . . I don't know who that is. Oh wait, from Will & Grace?
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?
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.
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.
Well good luck on Monday, Brandon. Nice chatting with you.