Meet a Comedian: Christina Walkinshaw
By Brianne Hogan
Without a doubt, local comedian Christina Walkinshaw puts Joseph Gorden-Levitt's recent comments about how pretty girls can't be funny to shame. The tow-headed looker's jokes have been featured in the coffee table book She's So Funny — along with the likes of Wanda Sykes and Ellen Degeneres — and she also has a Comedy Now special under her belt. This weekend, she's up for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-Up.
We chatted with Walkinshaw about Woody Allen, waitressing and The Young and The Restless.
Were you funny growing up?
No, but I was in a The Young and The Restless fan club.
What made you decide to pursue a career in comedy?
A cute fraternity guy in university told me I should.
What was your big break?
Taping my Comedy Now special. It was the best night ever.
What odd jobs did you have before pursuing comedy full-time?
Waitress, waitress and more waitress. (Hence my Twitter profile pic.)
Describe your first-ever stand up gig. Where were you? How did you feel? How did it go?
My first gig ever was at Yuk Yuk's in Ottawa, on amateur night. I was still a student at Carleton, and thanks to being a fun frosh leader that year, a shitload of people came down to watch. As nervous as I was, I think my best friend was more nervous than me. Nobody wants to be friends with the comedian on the show who totally bombed. The host that night was the drunkest man I've ever met. His intro for me was super pervy, emphasizing that it was my "first time" and basically made it sound like I was losing my real virginity (which I believe I did that year too, for the record). I got on stage, dropped a quick line making fun of how drunk he was, and got a laugh. The crowd was on my side. That was the moment I knew I was going to keep doing stand-up.
What's the most memorable moment experienced onstage?
I had butterflies for two straight weeks before I taped Comedy Now. Five minutes into my set that night, they magically disappeared. I had a huge realization that I had no reason to be so nervous. This was the best crowd in the world. I wish I got to do shows like that all the time. I still do.
What is your favourite city to perform in?
I love performing in any small town. The crowds are (usually) so grateful that you came all the way to them. (Plus they give you more free drinks than other shows.)
Who or what makes you laugh the most?
Farts. They still get me every time.
What is your favourite funny movie?
I love all Woody Allen movies. Whenever I watch one of his movies, I have a permanent grin on my face, the same way my mom used to when she watched Moonlighting.
If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
Probably Chelsea Handler. She seems like an epic drinking buddy.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who wants to break into the comedy business?
Don't take unsolicited advice from comics. (Except mine here, of course.)
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Shopping at Reitmans.
Year started: 1999
Influences: Heidi Foss, Irwin Barker and Wendy Liebman