Comedian Ola Dada Brings the Laughs to Ottawa This Week

Canada is the birthplace of some of the world’s funniest people. From Jim Carrey, Norm Macdonald, Tom Green, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, and John Candy to all the others, too numerous to name, some of the greatest talents in comedy have come from our northern country.

Could the cold, or maybe a shared multicultural experience, has shaped Canadian comedians?

Comedian Angelo Tsarouchas hails from O-town, and Brampton, Ontario is home to Russel Peters, but neither have anything on Ola Dada, a hilarious comedian from… yup, no joke, Fort MacMurray!

We chatted with the Canadian comedian of Nigerian immigrants ahead of his upcoming shows in Ottawa and asked him about growing up in a northern Alberta oil town. “It was definitely a lot of culture clashing between growing up with two very traditional parents and Canadian values.” He says his upbringing put him between “Two worlds where I can find the funny spots between both.”

He describes his comedy as mainly observational humour, citing Dave Chapelle as a major influence. Chapelle's original show inspired Dada to try stand-up at university, where he realized that he might have a knack for making other people laugh.

Dada tries to avoid politics and divisive issues, focusing more on the absurdities and abnormalities of life. “I want stand-up to be a space that can take you away from the world.” He says people turn to comedy to escape reality, calling stand-up “Funny CNN,” a reflection of daily life without all the serious stuff.

He’s also a fan of comparative comedy. He likes to compare cultures looking at differences between Canadian cities, which he has had plenty of time to experience while on tour.

Dada has been doing standup for five years but hit his stride after being a semi-finalist on Canada’s Got Talent. He had the judges and audience alike in stitches after he joked about his t-shirt.

After appearing on the show, Dada returned to his day job as a financial advisor. He laughs when he recounts being greeted by a client who came in and said, “Wow, you really do work at a bank.” He has since put that job behind him and performs comedy full-time.

Dada says that after his upcoming Ottawa shows, he has a couple of stops as he works his way back out West, but after he returns home to Vancouver, he will marry his bride-to-be in late June. Dada boasts of his luck, noting that he’s unsure how he pulled off a major tour so close to the wedding. He laughs and says that his fiancée is Filipino, which has added another dynamic to his comedy.

After the tour and the wedding, Dada will focus on releasing his upcoming special.

If you want to catch the Canadian comedian who’s ‘got talent,’ you’re in luck. Dada is headlining at Absolute Comedy on Preston Street for six nights starting Tuesday, June 6th, performing his Mr. Funny Man routine.

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If you can’t make the shows or want to check out Ola's comedy album, The Dada Plan, on Spotify.