Montreal comic Daniel Tirado riding the road to a successful comedy career

Daniel Tirado

Daniel Tirado from Ville St. Laurent, with stops in Dollard des Ormeaux and NDG, to studying literature at McGill, to studying theatre in New York City, to working as a successful stand-up comic who has performed at comedy clubs and comedy festivals across North America, and just recently premiered his first film in nearly two years, comedian Daniel Tirado is truly part of the group of fortunate people who can be placed under the category of “local-boy-makes-good”.

Daniel Tirado

The film in question is a short called “The Yellow Bicycle”, which recently premiered at a film festival in Martha’s Vineyard, and will be screened at two other film festivals before the end of the summer. “It’s a rom com (romantic comedy) and a lighthearted happy film, a summer love story,” said Tirado during a recent phone interview. “Although rom coms are not my type of movie genre – I’m a fan of dramas and mysteries – doing ‘The Yellow Bicycle’ has re-energized me and has created a lot of positive, happy vibes, which couldn’t have come at a better time.”

“The Yellow Bicycle” is another addition to Tirado’s growing resume as a comedian and performer. He debuted at Just For Laughs in 2005, six months after he started his career as a stand-up. This led to performing at the highly regarded comedy festival numerous times since 2010 not only in English and French, but in Spanish, too. He made his U.S. TV debut on Gotham Comedy Live, which aired on AXS TV, and participated in the NBC Stand Up for Diversity competition, and ended up being selected as one of the top 10 comics from that competition out of a field of 650 participating comics. He also acted in seven major motion pictures.

The road to a career comedy sparked Tirado’s interest after studying literature at McGill University. “I had a choice of either going to pursue a Ph.D or pursue what I want to do,” he said. So at the age of 21, he moved to New York City and enrolled at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, where one of his teachers there encouraged him to pursue a more proactive path. 

“I was inspired to choose that path from my teacher at the theatre school, as well as reading a biography of Robin Williams. That’s when I realized stand-up comedy was like theatre, with many parallels between the two. You work with the audience through dialogue, you can take charge of your career, you get the opportunity to create and write your own material, perform it as much as you can, and you don’t have to depend on anyone,” he stated.

As to what kind of material goes into his stand-up routine, Tirado admits it takes a different approach to what a comedian typically utilizes. “I talk about things that most comedians don’t usually talk about; basically things that I have just experienced and want to share with the audience, like the water birth of my second child. It’s edgier, but I managed to keep it clean,” he said.

Plus Tirado is one of those comics who have the rare capability to work in more than one language; in his case it’s English, French and Spanish. “When I write jokes, I try to make it as universally-oriented as possible,” he said. “However, the French style of humour is very different. It has its own different kind of rhythm. When it comes to Spanish, the Latino comes out of me, so I make my material Latino-oriented, because it’s a different kind of energy, and the audience gets to discover new things about what it’s like being part of the Latino community.”

Although he hasn’t worked in stand-up during the first year of the pandemic, Tirado gradually returned to live performances earlier this year by doing a number of corporate gigs this past January and February; however, with restrictions starting to ease up, he is ready to hit the road to perform on the club circuit again, aside from promoting “The Yellow Bicycle”. “I am feeling very optimistic about this, and feel amazing that everything’s starting to pick up again,” he said. “It’s wonderful to go back to performing stand-up again.”

Stuart Nulman
By: Stuart Nulman – info@mtltimes.ca

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