||This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. (April 2013)|
|Birth name||Samir Khullar|
|Born||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Genres||Observational comedy, Improvisational comedy|
|Subject(s)||Race, Sex, Pop Culture|
|Influences||Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Don Rickles|
Samir Khullar, better known as Sugar Sammy, is a Canadian comedian, actor, writer and producer from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His irreverent style is what sets the tone for his brand of unique and off the wall comedy. He is known as much for his no holds barred style of comedy as he is for his charm, wit, fedora and improvisational abilities with audiences. He does comedy and is fluent in English, French, Punjabi and Hindi.
Sammy was born February 29, 1976 and raised in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal, Quebec. As a young and impressionable kid, his comedic inspirations came from watching Eddie Murphy's "Delirious." He was only 8-years-old when he got his first exposure to Murphy's racy material. He persuaded his mom to rent "Delirious," one of Murphy's stand-up comedy specials from an Indian movie store. Sammy credits Eddie Murphy's 1983 comedy special as being a defining moment in his life. From then on, he knew what he wanted to do. Also influenced by other Black-American stand-up comedians, Sammy names Martin Lawrence, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle as some of his other comedic influences. Even though Sammy knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in comedy, it wasn't until the age of 17 when he got his first taste of the limelight. While some of his friends organized a high school fundraiser for the black student association they asked that the young class clown be the night's entertainment. Soon after high school, Sammy earned a diploma at Marianopolis College while occasionally performing at open-mic nights at the Comedy Works and the Comedy Zone. Although Sammy struggled for almost a decade to gain recognition on the comedy circuit, he later continued his studies at McGill University in cultural studies while working as a night club promoter in Montreal. Here he received what would later become his stage name after letting many of the women into the parties for free. Sammy is a proud resident of the Town of Hampstead.
His comedy routines tackle everything from race, sex and pop culture from the perspective of an Indo-Canadian living in French Canada. His routines are a blend of well-polished material and improvisational comedy. Anyone sitting near the stage is a potential target for his razor-sharp wit.
Since 2004, he has performed on TV several times and is part of an exclusive club of Canadian comics who can draw people from all around the world. In the past year, Sugar Sammy has toured in the United States, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, China, India, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Lebanon, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Northern Ireland, Dubai, Haiti New Zealand and South Africa, where his one-man show sold an incredible 15,000 tickets.
Sugar Sammy has appeared at the Just For Laughs Festival seven years in a row and was the first comedian ever to perform in the English and French and Hindi, Toronto editions of the Festival. He has also appeared at the Sydney Comedy Festival, the Cape Town Comedy Festival, and has been invited to the inaugural Johannesburg Comedy Festival in 2009.
On August 21, 2006, Sammy opened for Dave Chappelle at Toronto's Massey Hall. In 2006, Sammy taped his "Comedy Now!" special which aired in Canada on The Comedy Network, CTV and A. The special also aired on Comedy Central in the United States. Sammy describes the special as going so well that he found himself spontaneously interacting with the audience; which in is Sammy's case is a surefire way of telling he was having a good time on stage. Sammy describes the TV Special as being one of his favorite shows of 2006.
Sugar Sammy's international TV credits include; his own 1 hour TV special on Showtime Arabia entitled " Sugar Sammy Live in Dubai" which aired in 14 countries, headlining two TV shows for Showtime respectively entitled "Minority Rules" and " Friday Night Live", appearances on CBC, Comedy Now on CTV, as well as appearances on The Comedy Network (Canada), The Comedy Channel (Australia), and on Dutch TV.
You're gonna rire – Bilingual show
In an unprecedented experiment, Sugar Sammy's 'You're Gonna Rire' is the first large-scale Anglo-Franco comedy show in the country. The comedian created a show in a language called Franglais – an ode to the Montrealer’s reality of switching between English and French throughout the day. Described as “50.5 per cent English, 49.5 per cent French” (another historical reference, this one to the 1995 referendum results). Initially conceived as a single night at the 1,300-seat Olympia theater, tickets sold so fast that it extended to 45 performances with a total of 53,000 tickets sold in Montreal alone. It expanded into shows that will run well into April 2013.
HBO Canada special
Sugar Sammy’s biggest TV credit is his 72 minute HBO Canada special which became one the network's highest rated TV specials and a first for any Canadian. The special was eventually acquired by Air Canada and was aired on all international and domestic flights. Due to popular demand, the special was eventually released on DVD; where it went straight to # 1 on the stand-up comedy bestseller's list on Amazon Canada.
Sammy's French career has also taken off at lightning speed. In 2007 he made a remarkable TV appearance at "Le Show Raisonnable" which garnered rave reviews. Then in 2009, he made headlines and front pages all over the country for a new appearance at the French edition of the Just for Laughs Festival. His point of view at Quebec politics and culture from the perspective of a minority earned him a standing ovation and "The Revelation of the Year" award. In 2010 he made headlines again by presenting an award alongside Quebec political leader Pauline Marois. He teased her incessantly about sovereignty and the language debate.
- Voted by the readers of the Montreal Mirror "funniest comedian" for three years in a row.
- Winner of 2009 COCA (Canadian Organization for College Activities) Awards for Best Comedian.
- Voted by the readers of the Montreal Mirror as one of the top ten "most desirable men".
- HBO special premieres on June 14, 2009 across Canada and will run continuously throughout summer.
- Named one of the top 25 "Sexy and Successful" Indian artists by Anokhi Magazine.
- Askmen.com named him "Comedy's New Rock Star".
- Rumour's Restaurant & Comedy Club in Winnipeg has named a sandwich in Sugar's honour, The Sugar Sammy Sammie (Butter Chicken on a Bun)
- Nominated for Best Male Stand-up at the 2009 Canadian Comedy Awards
- Nominated for the category of Favorite Comedian by Masala! Mehndi! Masti!
- Recipient of the 2009 'La Revelation de Juste Pour Rire' ( The 2009 French discovery of The Just For Laughs Festival )
- Named One of the top Ten Rising Comedy Talents on the planet by The Hollywood Reporter
- Awarded the 2010 COCA awards
- Ranked No. 58 in the annual list of the Top 100 Men of 2009 by Divine magazine
- Featured in the 27th edition of the 'Juste le meilleur des galas 2009' DVD; a greatest hits compilations by the French version of the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival
- Nominated in the categories; 'Discovery of the Year' and 'Best Comedic Act' for his routine entitled ' les Quebecquois' for the 12th annual ' Le Gala Les Olivier', a ceremony which honors Quebec's top comedians.
- Recipient of the 2010 'Prix québécois de la citoyenneté' which honors individuals, enterprises and organizations for their commitmment and contribution to making Quebec a more pluralistic and inclusive society.
- Recipient of the 2010 ' Le Prix Umayyad'ambassadeur et rayonnement' presented by the ' Societe des Grands Citoyens' for his contribution as an international ambassador for Canada.
- The first Canadian to have a special on HBO Canada. Which consequently ended up being one of the top rated specials on that channel.
- His HBO special is set to be released on DVD on January 18, 2011.
- Sugar Sammy's HBO Special is the #1 bestselling DVD on Amazon.ca
- Air Canada has picked up Sugar Sammy's HBO Special; which aired on all domestic and international Air Canada Flight
- Sugar Sammy's stand-up videos have had over 3 million views on YouTube.
- Has multiple international TV specials and appearances including in Canada, Dubai, Australia & the Netherlands.
- First comedian to perform at Just for Laughs in English, French, Hindi & Punjabi.
- Performed at Just for Laughs 7 years in a row since 2004.
- Signed a major endorsement deal with Videotron for a 2011 campaign.
- Worked with French comedian Gad Elmaleh
|2009||COCA ( Canadian Organization for College Activities)||Best Comedian 2009||Won|
|Montreal Mirror||top ten "most desirable man"||Won|
|Anokhi Magazine||top 25 "Sexy and Successful" Indian artists||Won|
|Canadian Comedy Awards||Best Male Stand-up||Nominated|
|Masala! Mehndi! Masti!||Favorite Comedian||Nominated|
|The Just For Laughs Festival||The 2009 French discovery of The Just For Laughs Festival||Won|
|The Hollywood Reporter||Ten Rising Comedy Talents From Around||Won|
|Divine magazine||Ranked#58 in the annual list of the Top 100 Men of 2009||Won|
|2010||Le Gala Les Olivier||Discovery of the Year||Nominated|
|Le Gala Les Olivier||Best Comedic Act||Nominated|
|Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles||Prix québécois de la citoyenneté||Won|
|Societe des Grands Citoyens||Le Prix Umayyad'ambassadeur et rayonnement||Won|
|COCA ( Canadian Organization for College Activities)||Best Comedian 2010||Won|
|Montreal Mirror||Best Comedian 2010||Won|
|Canadian Comedy Awards||Best Television Performance||Nominated|
|2011||Montreal Mirror||Best Montreal Comedian 2011||Won|
|2012||Gala Les Oliviers||Olivier de l'année||Won|
|Gala Les Oliviers||Spectacle de l'année||Won|
|Gala Les Oliviers||Auteur de l'année||Nominated|
Down With the Brown
In 2008, Sammy released his debut comedy album, Down With the Brown. His CD tackles everything from life in Quebec to his take on sex and race from the perspective of an Indo-Canadian. It was released on January 15, 2008 and coincided with a Canadian tour.
Sugar Sammy Signs With Gersh
In the summer of 2009, The Gersh Agency signed Sugar Sammy following a strong showing at the Just For Laughs Festival. After a competitive pursuit – thanks in part to his worldwide fanbase – Gersh reached a deal with Sugar Sammy. The Gersh Talent Agency also represents Jamie Foxx, Dave Chappelle and Drew Carey. Gersh and Sammy are currently collaborating on tours and various theatrical projects.
Endorsement & Sponsorship deals
In March 2011, Sugar Sammy signed a deal to be to the new face of Videotron in English Canada. The campaign, complete with television and internet ads, premieres on April 20, 2011. Sugar Sammy is dressed by designer labels Diesel & M0851
Videotron launched an English and French television and Internet advertising campaign on May 2, 2011 in which Sugar Sammy put Videotron customer service reps to the test. The campaign features Sugar Sammy testing a dozen Videotron customer service and technical support advisers. The commercials yield entertaining candid reactions while underscoring some of the differentiating characteristics of Videotron service, such as evening and Sunday installation, one-stop installations, a heads-up call to tell customers the technician is on his way, 30-day guarantee and the Infinite Zone plan. According to Claude Foisy, Vice President, Brand Management, of Videotron. "These are actual calls answered by real employees, who demonstrate their dedication to their mission of providing their customers with the best possible experience". Advertising Age also noted the resounding success of the advertising campaign in which comics Sugar Sammy put Videotron customer service to the test during the moving season rush. The commercials used humour to demonstrate Videotron’s efficient customer service and differentiate it from the competition.
The 2012 Grand Prix Créa, which recognizes Quebec's best advertisement of the year, has been awarded to the Sid Lee agency for Vidéotron's English-language Prank Calls campaign featuring Sugar Sammy. Sugar Sammy also won the best actor award for his performance.The campaign aimed at showing its customer-service employees' patience and efficiency, while also mentioning the company's various services. In each spot, Sammy called Videotron's customer service with a bizarre problem designed to test the employees' abilities while highlighting a particular aspect of Vidéotron's services. "The writing and direction are perfect," the jury explained. "Because Sugar Sammy delivers the goods so masterfully, viewers understand everything and laugh a lot."
- Nguyen, Joe (March 11, 2010). "Face2Face with Sugar Sammy". AsiaXpress.com. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- MacPherson, Guy (January 3, 2008). "Slick, savvy stand-up Sugar Sammy takes on the world". Straight.com.
- Durai, Melvin (March 6, 2008). "Sugar Sammy returns for encore performance". South Asian Post.
- Posner, Michael. "How sweet it is for Sugar Sammy". The Globe and Mail.
- Cohen, Mike (March 31, 2012). "Some behind the scenes stuff from Sugar Sammy" The Suburban.
- Radsch, Courtney (February 16, 2009). "Stand-up comedy takes the Arab world by storm". Al Arabiya (AlArabiya.net/English). Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- "Dining at Rumor's? Take my advice – please!". Winnipeg Sun. December 16, 2009.
- 9 http://corpo.videotron.com/site/press-room/press-release/608