Laugh Track: Dino Archie

Illustration by Serena Chan

“It’s nice to meet you, man,” Dino Archie smiles at me from across the table, then pauses before asking a follow-up, “I haven’t met you before, right?”

Archie and I are seated in the back patio of a Cambie Street bistro, the meeting place he suggested. Archie likes the restaurant, if only because it’s nearby his house and usually pretty empty, as he explains. We both skip the menu anyways; Archie orders an Americano and I order a pint of 1664 Blanc.

He’s right in that we’ve never met before (though I’ve been lucky enough to see a few of his live performances). His question seems like a valid one, considering a large part of breaking into comedy is a never-ending game of handshakes and getting to know the right people and promoters. But Archie’s introductory double-take stands out to me for a different reason: his potent combination of humour and a laid-back attitude make Archie such a relaxing person to be around, our interview runs nearly twice as long as most of the Laugh Track ones I’ve conducted so far. It’s a demeanour that inevitably translates nicely into Archie’s live performance as a comedian.

They say you can’t be in two places at once, but Archie proves to be a defier of physics: while born in Fresno, California, he has spent the last four years split between Vancouver and Los Angeles, simultaneously carving a niche for himself in both cities and both comedy scenes. As for local accolades, Archie’s been featured on Vancouverite Graham Clark’s popular podcast Stop Podcasting Yourself,  done sets at home-grown favourites like Talent Time and Kings Head Comedy, and even took over for a night of The Sunday Service while the rest of the troupe was away in New York this past June.

Wherever there’s comedy in Vancouver, there are traces of Archie.

But few local institutions are as intertwined with Archie as downtown’s The Comedy Mix, where Archie used to produce a monthly show called Simply Dope Comedy and even filmed five different shows for his debut comedy album, Choosy Lover. Recorded over three nights at the stand-up club, Archie recalls the experience as a mixed bag. Highlights included a packed show on Halloween night and having someone leaving the bathroom while dressed as Captain America asking Archie to “zip him up”; lowlights involved a show where Archie accidentally burned through his entire set’s worth of jokes in his first 10 minutes.

And while Archie’s content with the final product of Choosy Lover (which was released online this past February), he admits that some of the jokes don’t match up with the comedy he’s performing nearly a year after Choosy Lover was recorded. Archie doesn’t get as “turnt” as he used to, but that doesn’t mean his comedy’s suffered because of it. It just means he’s less likely now to make jokes about being someone’s prison girlfriend than he might have been back in 2014.

Regardless, his relentless performing and craft-honing seem to be paying off; the week of our interview in particular seems to be a busy one for him. In addition to headlining three consecutive nights at The Comedy Mix (July 16–18), Archie is sharing a time slot with fellow Vancouver comedians Ivan Decker and Levi McCachen at this year’s Pemberton Music Festival. Because of the time delay between The Peak’s editorial cutoff and when the article comes out, I ask Archie to brazenly predict the future and name for me three things that will happen during his time at Pemberton:

“Festivals are weird, so I’ll probably say something extreme just to see if the audience is paying attention, maybe drop an n-word or the r-word,” Archie anticipates the limited attention of a crowd who’s spent the last several days taking in way too much sun, among other things. “I’ll also run into Missy Elliot and get to hang out with Kendrick Lamar. Probably.”

So whether it’s bouncing back and forth across the 49th parallel or prophesying an encounter with Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, Dino Archie’s a welcome comedic presence to any scene he comes upon.

To stay up to date on all things Dino Archie, check out his website www.dinoarchie.com. His debut live album, Choosy Lover, is also available on iTunes and Soundcloud.