Former Bronco Aims To Be Named Canada's Top Comic

by Jamie Shinkewski

A former Kamloops Broncos defensive lineman is vying for the title of Canada’s Top Comic.

Ryan Williams who played on the inaugural 2007 team has taken his talents from the gridiron to the stage, and is among the 18 semi-finalists in the SiriusXM Top Comic contest.

Known for his high intensity on the football field, the 29-year-old expectedly takes a high-energy approach on the stage as well.

“Not as intense as football that’s for sure, I was super intense in football. In comedy, I’m definitely not like a Mitch Hedberg type who’s laid back. I definitely sell my jokes,” Williams said. “I definitely don’t bring the same intensity that I would do to a pre-game warmup, I was known for going pretty ham during those.”

Williams played through four losing years for the Broncos before embarking on an injury-shortened stint with the UBC Thunderbirds.

He said his memories playing for the Broncos are overall positive despite the losing records.

“Competing with established programs, so every victory was that much sweeter just like sunlight in Vancouver is beautiful because it’s been raining for so long. That was really amazing, the wins because you’ll remember every one specifically,” he recalled. “As soon as I left they made the playoffs.”

The biggest thing that came to mind recalling his time playing at Hillside Stadium was the crowd, especially for a defensive player.

“Every victory at Hillside Stadium was amazing with those aluminum stands, the Broncos stomp, it’s fun and on defense they do it the whole time every time you get a stop,” he said. “For sure the best crowd in the BCFC, not that I’m biased.”

Williams was back in Kamloops during Broncos training camp and reminiscing about the practices in temperatures exceeding 30⁰C?

“I don’t miss that at all,” he said with a laugh.

Much like football, comedy requires a short memory as he’s forever moving to the next joke or the next show.

“It’s one of the few art forms where you’re essentially chasing a high so you feel as good as your last show,” Williams said. “You could be doing a theatre for 1,000 people and just the sound of their laughter you can feel it in your chest, just the vibrations of it and the next night just bomb and feel like I’m terrible I’ve got no talent.”

For now, Williams is asking for support. He needs to garner votes on the SiriusXM contest page to advance to the final stage.

“This is the worst part of this competition,” he said. “It’s really fun but it’s quite gross because especially older relatives are like I voted for you and you have to send them a nice note that says you can vote every 24 hours from any device ever.”

Finalists will be invited to perform at JFL42 in Toronto where a panel of judges will pick the winner. The winner will take home $25,000, a solo show at JFL42 and JFL NorthWest 2019, a spot at Just For Laughs Montreal 2019 including a TV taping, a booking at JFL Sydney 2018.

So, pull out your devices and help our former defensive lineman to advance. Semi-final voting closes on Aug. 17.