Comics stump for votes to decide 'Vancouver’s Next Top Mayor’

Mayor McCheese? There’s more than meets the bun, says Graham Clark

If nothing else, a good comic knows to strike when the iron is hot.

Graham Clark will capitalize on that point Jan. 27 when he rolls out his latest comedy show, Vancouver’s Next Top Mayor.

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Taking place at Little Mountain Gallery off Main Street, the show’s format will see Clark and fellow comics taking interactive stabs at who’s going to run the civic political scene come October. The comics will also canvas audience members for potential platforms the city’s next mayor should pursue.

“I’m looking at Mayor McCheese,” said the comedian, podcaster and noted beard painter. “He’s been the successful mayor of McDonaldland for many, many years. You don’t see him around as much anymore, so I’m thinking he might be looking for a job. Mayor McCheese is someone I’ve got my eye on.”

Clark’s inspiration, of course, comes from news earlier this month that Mayor Gregor Robertson won’t seek re-election Oct. 20 after 10 years at the helm of the city. Turning that announcement into a comedic fodder came by way of good timing and a bit of happenstance.

Clark mounts themed comedy nights on a semi-regular basis alongside co-conspirators from Hot Art Wet City. Next week’s show was booked long before a theme was established, so he took to the Twittersphere for suggestions and offered a $50 reward for the best idea. His missive to the masses happened hours after Robertson’s announcement and the plan was hatched.

“I was like ‘this is perfect,’ because it’s in the news and it’s going to be a fun, silly thing to do,” Clark said.

A veteran in comedic circles and stages, Clark is not typically one to incorporate politics into his routine. For starters, it’s takes too much time and upkeep. The 24-hour news cycle is such that jokes need to be constantly tweaked, refreshed and re-packaged.

“Besides that, there’s not much else to do with that topic, otherwise it’s too tragic to handle,” Clark said. “So, it’s that release valve with a topic that’s omnipresent in everybody’s life. It’s better to have a laugh at it than let it grind you to bits.”

Clark isn’t all funny business on the topic of civic life and civic duties. He takes voting seriously, as he does educating himself on platforms and issues. And he’s not blind to the fact the city he lives in is becoming increasingly unaffordable for him and other artist types in particular.

“Vancouver is a city that changed a lot in the past 10 years. You can’t ignore it, even if you’re completely apolitical,” Clark said. “Some cities you go to, and you think, ‘It’s always been this way.’ We’ve seen Vancouver transform from one place to another in a short amount of time.”

Vancouver’s Next Top Mayor kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 27 at Little Mountain Gallery, 195 East 26th Ave. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For info, see hotartwetcity.com.

@JohnKurucz

jkurucz@vancourier.com

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