Charles Demers

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Charles Demers (born 1980), sometimes credited as Charlie Demers, is a Canadian writer, comedian and political activist. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Writing[edit]

Demers has published four books: two novels and two collections of essays. His first essay collection, Vancouver Special, was nominated for a Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.[1] He has also co-written two further books.

Stand Up Comedy and Voice Acting[edit]

He frequently performs stand up comedy at live venues across Canada and on CBC Radio One, where he often appears on the comedy panel show The Debaters.[2] Demers was one of the hosts of the CityNews show The List.

Demers has provided voices for several episodes of CBC Radio show and podcast This Is That.[3]

He is the voice of Walter from the 2016 Netflix original series Beat Bugs. Demers also voices Night Light in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic season seven episode "Once Upon a Zeppelin".

In 2017, he released the comedy album Fatherland.[4] At the Juno Awards of 2018, the album was nominated for the Juno Award for Comedy Album of the Year.[5]

Political Activism and Beliefs[edit]

Demers used to be the membership secretary for the Coalition of Progressive Electors.[6]

On 8 October 2018, Demers was the guest on the popular interview based podcast WTF with Marc Maron.[7] Maron mentioned that Demers has opened for him at stand up comedy shows in Canada.

In the Marc Maron podcast Demers talks about his political beliefs and his early affiliation as a teenager with a small Marxist activist group in Vancouver. His commitment to the group was such that he initially decided to forgo going to university and instead get a job in a lighting factory where he hoped to increase the political consciousness of his fellow workers. He admitted however that the aims of the organization were somewhat vague and that the efforts to raise the consciousness of fellow workers were mostly met with bemusement. Nevertheless, Demers retains left wing political views and hosts a monthly podcast "Well Reds A Left Book Podcast"[1].

In Maron's interview with Demers, Maron describes himself politically as "a Lefty to a degree"[8] and suggests that Demers is further to the left. Maron notes the struggle in the US Democratic Party between the more Leftist section of the party and the centrist section, with the latter considering the Leftists to be in danger of making the party unelectable. Demers responds by stating that "the problem is that the Left and the centre often have to work together but the Left understands the anger that is on the Right and the centre just doesn't understand anger, they think that anger always has to be ugly."[9]

Demers lost his mother to cancer when he was ten years old.[10] He describes the trauma of the experience in the Maron podcast but also describes it as "an early political lesson" in the importance of free healthcare that was embedded in him by that experience and by his father's words at the time.[11] Another such lesson in the benefit of living in Canada came with the experience of Demers' mother in law who is originally from Hong-Kong and moved to Canada from Chicago as a result of Pierre Trudeau's stated policy of multiculturalism. Demers recounts that on his wedding night his mother in law demanded that he acknowledged the part that Pierre Trudeau played in bringing Demers and his wife together.[12] Despite these Canadian advantages however Demers suggests "in Canada in general there is a tendency towards smugness" because Canadians believe their country has far fewer problems than the US but that this leads to "people putting off dealing with Canada's very real problems."[13] He goes on to mention environmental issues, inequality and unclean drinking water on indigenous reserves as examples.

In March 2019 an article by Demers about the rebranding of the SiriusXM Canada satellite radio station Canada Laughs as Just for Laughs Radio and the station's shelved plan to sideline independently-produced Canadian content in favour of audio recordings of sets from the Just for Laughs comedy festival from mostly American comedians was published in the socialist magazine Jacobin.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Demers is married and has a daughter. His experience as a father inspired his co-writing the book The Dad Dialogues.

Bibliography[edit]

Fiction[edit]

  • The Prescription Errors (2009)
  • Property Values (2018)

Essays[edit]

  • Vancouver Special (2009)
  • The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things (2015)[15]
  • The Dad Dialogues: A Correspondence on Fatherhood (and the Universe) (2016) (Co-written with George Bowering)
  • City on Edge : A Rebellious Century of Vancouver Protests, Riots and Strikes (2017) (Co-written with Kate Bird).

References[edit]

  1. ^ BC Book Prizes
  2. ^ "Vancouver Olympics & Positive Thinking"
  3. ^ Lederman, Marsha (21 June 2011). "CBC Radio Satirical Show 'This is That' sparks as much outrage as laughs". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Comedian Charlie Demers tackles fascism and fatherhood with new album". The Georgia Straight, December 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "Arcade Fire and Daniel Caesar lead 2018 Juno Award nominations". CBC Music, February 6, 2018.
  6. ^ COPE
  7. ^ "Charles Demers" 8 October 2018 WTF with Marc Maron Podcast http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-957-charles-demers
  8. ^ "Charles Demers" 8 October 2018 WTF with Marc Maron Podcasthttp://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-957-charles-demers At 31 Minutes.
  9. ^ "Charles Demers" 8 October 2018 WTF with Marc Maron Podcasthttp://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-957-charles-demers At 32 minutes.
  10. ^ "Charles Demers" 8 October 2018 WTF with Marc Maron Podcasthttp://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-957-charles-demers At 19 minutes.
  11. ^ "Charles Demers" 8 October 2018 WTF with Marc Maron Podcasthttp://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-957-charles-demers At 22 minutes.
  12. ^ "Charles Demers" 8 October 2018 WTF with Marc Maron Podcasthttp://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-957-charles-demers At 23 minutes.
  13. ^ "Charles Demers" 8 October 2018 WTF with Marc Maron Podcasthttp://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-957-charles-demers At 24 minutes.
  14. ^ Demers, Charles (12 March 2019). "Class Struggle at the Comedy Club". Jacobin (magazine). Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  15. ^ "The Horrors - Douglas & McIntyre". www.douglas-mcintyre.com. Retrieved 2015-11-03.

External links[edit]