Betting man | Arts + Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Betting man

Brian Aylward gave Korea the gift of his sardonic-yet-likeable humour, now it’s Halifax’s turn.

Bald, contrary and off the market, Brian Aylward has made his most recent roots in Halifax. Originally from Newfoundland, Aylward has travelled and spewed jokes throughout Canada and a large portion of Asia. Delivering a brand of comedy that isn't necessarily angry, Aylward is far from content, as he mocks aspects of society, culture and himself, while somehow maintaining an undeniable likeability.

Over a bet shared with his future wife, Aylward began comedy in 2005, and he has been incessant in his pursuit for microphones ever since. Never one to turn down stage time, Aylward has frequented comedy rooms wherever he might find them, and he successfully began three of his own while living in Korea. Labeled Stand Up Seoul, Aylward's rooms garnered momentum during his three-year stint in Asia, and two of them are still running. He was also a humour columnist for Groove magazine at that time.

Returning to Canada in 2010, Aylward did a brief foray at home (where he won the Newfoundland tributary of the Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh-Off) before moving to Halifax. Since then, he was named Halifax's Funniest by Funny Factor (2011), and he reached the finals of XM Radio's Canada's Next Top Comic. He was runner-up in the Hong Kong International Comedy Festival, and performed at the Newfoundland and Hubcap festivals. This year he adds Halifax to the list---provided he survives until April 25---when the chaos begins.

With so many open mic rooms under his belt, Aylward has seen his share of newcomers in this intimidating industry. If he had to give advice to a new comic, he suggested that they "beware of healthy self-esteem." And when Aylward was asked if he believed he won the fateful bet that got him onstage in the first place, he replied, "Janice is now married to a full-time comic, and I have a gig in Sampson Cove next week. We both lost." --Paul Warford

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