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Archie and friends bring the laughs

L.A.-Vancouver comic Dino Archie performs at the GLC and Prospect Pub



Comedian and rising star Dino Archie is happy to hear the snow is flying in Whistler.

"Aw, nice. I haven't been in a while... I'm coming from where Christmas is 80 degrees, or as you say, 26 degrees, something like that," he says.

Archie is in Hawaii — a business trip, you understand — having his stand-up set filmed for Adam Devine's House Party on Comedy Central. There are a few sketches, too.

"I'm not a regular guest. They have three different stand-ups in each episode. It's a tough job," he laughs.

This is his first stand-up TV appearance. A Californian by birth, Archie first came to Vancouver in 2011 and has been living in the city, on and off, for the past two years. He hasn't gone for permanent residency yet.

"I don't stay long enough for that. I'm just a beloved diplomat," he says.

"There are a lot of the same things, but minus the traffic. It's a little more relaxed. Canadians, even in Vancouver, have a kind of hippie, leafy, do-your-own-thing vibe. I like that... and I'm on a beer-league softball team, so I have commitments."

And California is just a short flight away. This dual AmerCanadian perspective is very much part of Archie's act now, he says.

"All eyes are usually on the U.S., because of the good film and TV. So Canadians know about us," he says.

And Archie pays this country a compliment that could make many Canadians giddy — that we are unknown gems worth mining for comedy.

"I can talk about things that are happening in the States in Canada, and they know what I'm saying. And when I go back, I can talk about things happening in Canada that are pretty interesting, or funny, or cool that people might not know about," he says.

"It has opened up my subject matter and perspective a bit, so I've been able to talk about that, even for Adam Devine's show. I mention it in a joke about Kitsilano... and how I arrived there."

As an African-American, Archie agrees that things are a little different in terms of race relations, too.

"How do I say it? The racism is a little better here. It's a little sweeter, nicer. People are like, 'Oh, a black guy. Oh. Cool,'" Archie says.

"It doesn't really play a factor in my comedy a lot. That's what I like about Vancouver. Yeah, I could talk about it. I touch on it here and there. But because of the vibe here, it doesn't play a factor."He gets thoughtful about the difference.

"Also, the States are regional. Life is regional. If you look at news and see what's happening... it's hard to deny that there is a problem with race relations. The life of a comedian or clown is different. We go from city to city telling jokes and we get a different experience," he says.

"But if I lived in one city as a black male, yeah, it doesn't look good in the States. You shouldn't have to say 'Black Lives Matter.' That's a crazy thing to have to remind people in a country that you helped build."

Being more accepted in Canada "as anybody else, one of the citizens," feels good, he adds.

"I have appreciated it and taken advantage of this," Archie says.

"Once you acknowledge that there is a breakdown and miscommunication, then you can learn something. Talk about it. Look at what's funny about it, or whatever."

Archie's life is all about touring right now, he says. Last month he won the Seattle International Comedy Contest.

"I'm working on one show right now called Ryan and Dino v. the Internet. I get to use videos about what has happened that week... we go onstage and show them and talk about them," Archie says.

"It gives me motivation to fight through the bullshit and pay attention to the world. Take the Canadian election. Even the smear campaigns were not that bad. In the States it's crazy."

Archie is performing alongside Chris Griffin at the Prospect Pub in Pemberton on Monday, Dec. 21 and with Gavin Matts at the Garibaldi Lift Company in Whistler on Monday, Dec. 28. Whistler's Jonathan Baum hosts both nights.

Tickets at the GLC are $15, with doors at 8 p.m. In Pemberton, tickets at the Prospect Pub are $10, with doors at 7 p.m.


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