On top of running a podcast, doing stand-up comedy and growing an online presence of more than 77,000 Instagram followers, comedian Ben Bankas also ran for mayor of Toronto in June.
“Why shouldn’t I,” he has said. “Everyone else is.”
In fact, there were about 100 people who had announced their candidacy for Toronto’s mayoral office so his sarcasm may well have been warranted.
The seriousness of his campaign, though, was open to debate as his platform included what he called “anti-woke” planks.
“If people are offended by my platform, then they can refer to my comedy on Twitter and Instagram. Politics has become a joke and I’m great at telling jokes, so I would be good at running the city. Right now, it’s a clown show, so making it a comedy show is a step in the right direction,” Bankas said.
Bankas acknowledged that his humour has been criticized at times for what some see as offensive or inappropriate, but it doesn’t seem to deter him from doubling down on his sardonic style.
And, in a self-authored bio on his web page, Bankas describes himself as the best up-and-coming Canadian stand-up comedian, citing his infectious charm and hilarious content.
Bankas hails from Toronto and his sometimes-brash approach to comedy is designed to make people laugh, without resorting to pandering to befriend an audience.
Much of Bankas’ popularity is generated by his online presence, where he’s released a plethora of videos and posts, each, it seems, more outrageous than the last.
He also hosts his own podcast, The Bankas Show, where his candid, outspoken, often brash nature is applied to current events, his experiences while touring, his often unflattering observations about the cities he’s visited, and any one of dozens of social issues.
Bankas has certainly made his mark on the Canadian comedy scene, and his popularity seems to be growing daily. Folks in Victoria will have their chance to judge that style for themselves as Bankas will be appearing at Hermann’s Upstairs on Nov. 15 as part of his cross-country Do Better Tour. Tickets are available at hermannsupstairs.com but walk-ins are welcome if space is available.