Before he picked up his bundle and headed down the 401, Kris Bonaparte had his place well staked out on the Montreal comedy scene: he was a regular at the various clubs across the city and he was well respected by those club owners and other comedians on the circuit.
For those who know him, his popularity is understandable: laid back, smart, eloquent and not one to miss an opportunity to tell audiences who he really is.
“Kris Bonaparte is the truth.”
In a telephone conversation with the CONTACT recently, the Montreal-born comedian and a former columnist for this paper, attributes whatever success he has achieved in the business to his ability “to tell stories.”
“I think audiences see it for what it is,” he states. “Just wordplay from one of Canada’s finest comedic storytellers. I’ve been rockin’ the mike since I was an adult.”
He remembers the first time he hit the stage for real at a show he organized together with iconic Quebec comedian Sugar Sammy at Marianopolis College in 1995.
In T.O since 2004, Bonaparte has settled in with his wife and three children and has been taking his comedy routine to different venues around the 416 and 905, steadily building a following, although he will be the first to tell you that it’s not full-time as yet.
He has been a regular at The Corner, a spot in mid-town Toronto, but he has also been to bars and legion halls outside of the city telling his stories to all different types of audiences and cracking them up.
And he hardly ever makes fun of his hometown or province.
“Nah… don’t think a lot of people get the politics. But I might tell them about our roads and they find that’s funny.”
As it is for most who have cut their teeth in this city, Montreal will always be home to Bonaparte.
That’s why he’s so excited about coming back.
Early in the New Year, he is slated to headline at the ComedyWorks, a stage that helped him launch his career more than two decades ago when he was a regular at the Open Mic Mondays there.
So it’s a big-time gig that he is coming back to.
“You don’t feel like a real headliner until you headline your home club” he says.
Kris Bonaparte will be at The Comedyworks, 1238 Bishop Street, on Thursday, January 4, at 8:30 and 10:30 on January 5 and 6 at 8:30pm. Tickets can be reserved by calling (514) 876-8777.