Ron Sparks (comedian)

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Ron Sparks
YYC 2013 - Ron Sparks.jpg
Ron Sparks performing at the 2013 YYComedy Festival in Calgary.
Born (1977-05-20) May 20, 1977 (age 39)
Canada
Website myspace.com/sparksnation

Ron Sparks is a Canadian comedian, actor, writer and producer. He was born in Chatham-Kent, Ontario and lives in Toronto, Ontario. He is best known as an alternative comedian and frequent guest on CBC Radio 1's The Debaters, and on TV as a regular and favourite juror on MuchMusic's highest-rated show, Video on Trial, also starring as The Judge in the Stars on Trial Christmas special and various other VOT spin-offs.

Comedian[edit]

Improv and sketch[edit]

Sparks first began performing with York University's Vanier Improv Company as a student. His sketch troupe, The Minnesota Wrecking Crew, were nominated four straight years (2003–2006) for Best Sketch Troupe Canadian Comedy Awards, winning in 2003 and 2004. In 2006 they won again for Best Taped Live Performance for the CBC special Sketch with Kevin McDonald.[1]

Stand-up[edit]

He began performing stand-up in 2003 at The ALTdot COMedy Lounge and other venues around Toronto, and won that year's Tim Sims Award, given to Toronto's most promising new comedy act with less than two years of experience.[2] He then also won the 2004 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Stand-up Newcomer, becoming the first person to win both. Frank Magazine described him as "the next stand-up wunderkind".
Stand-up credits include the Halifax, Winnipeg and Just for Laughs Comedy Festivals. He was JFL's Toronto Homegrown Champion in 2007 and has performed in various JFL and JFL-42 shows, including Set List, The Alternative Show with Andy Kindler, The Debaters, and opening for such acts as Kyle Kinane, Moshe Kasher, Tom Green, Russell Peters and Kevin Pollak.

Acting[edit]

On television he starred in MuchMusic's highest rated show Video on Trial and its spin-off, Stars on Trial. He plays Chris Christie in the 2016 series You Got Trumped. He was also a regular panelist on the Super Channel series Too Much Information. His CTV Comedy Now! stand-up special aired in 2008 and won a WorldFest International Film Festival Award and two Canadian Comedy Awards. He has also been a regular on various Ed the Sock series (including the cult hit This Movie Sucks!) and The Toronto Show.
Other TV credits include NBC's The Firm, The Beaverton, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Meet the Family, Straight Man, Clumsy & Shy, Dark Rising: The Savage Tales of Summer Vale, The Jon Dore Television Show, Sox in a Box and The Invasion Report.
He has also appeared in such films as Medium Raw, Dark Rising, By George, Sweetener and Ham & Cheese.

Radio[edit]

Sparks is a regular and favourite juror on CBC Radio's The Debaters (which he also writes for), and has also appeared on Brave New Waves and Out Front. He had his own weekly segment The Newsdesk with Ron Sparks on 102.1 The Edge, based on his live news show.

Writing[edit]

Ron has written for such series as This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Little Mosque on the Prairie, You Got Trumped, Meet the Family, Still Standing, Spun Out, Life's a Zoo, Satisfaction, Crash Canyon, The Debaters, This Movie Sucks and Really Me. He also wrote his own series of shorts for The Comedy Network, From the Desk of Ron Sparks.
Before working in television he was an award-winning playwright, with titles including Home to Mother, A Thanksgiving That Would Even Make Great Aunt Gladys Proud, Chuck Sent Me, My Favourite Aunt and Richard Keats' Apartment of Doom.

Trivia[edit]

He is not related to fellow comedian Hal Sparks. He is the subject of The Essential Actor's Guide: Spotlight on Ron Sparks, part of a series of 32 books about actors; other subjects in the series include Javier Bardem, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Tommy Lee Jones, Heath Ledger, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet.

Uwe Boll[edit]

In 2006 Sparks offered to fight Uwe Boll, who had challenged his critics to a series of boxing matches leading up to the release of his movie Postal. After exchanging several emails Boll ultimately declined after finding out about Sparks's size advantage, due to the fact he would be fighting five boxers back-to-back.

Canadian Comedy Awards[edit]

At the 2007 Awards' "State of the Industry" event, Ron was unofficially voted "North America's Sexiest Comedian" after host Harry Doupe ran his name against Nicole Arbour. This was in response to Arbour having billed herself with that title despite never actually having won it anywhere. Neither comedian was in attendance.

Video on Trial[edit]

Fake credits[edit]

On Video on Trial he began listing himself as having fake occupations instead of just "comedian", which became a regular joke on the show. He has been billed as such things as (in order of use):

Stunt double[edit]

In one episode Sean Cullen appeared briefly, credited as "Ron Sparks", after Ron said the video was too bad to watch and brought Cullen in as a "stunt double".

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
1999 Yellow Jacket The Suit
1999 Let's Get Real! Captain Amazing
2000 Fangs of My Heart Voice
2002 Sweetener Businessman
2002 Frequency Zero Oke
2003 The Toronto Show Ron the Hollywood Correspondent
2003 Ed & Red's Night Party Himself
2003 Cream of Comedy Nominee/Winner
2004 Ham & Cheese Comedy Club Patron
2005 From the Desk of Ron Sparks Various Characters
2005 Ed's Nite In Park Ranger Ron
2005 Canadian Comedy Shorts Various Characters
2005 – present Video on Trial Himself
2005 Reel Review Correspondent
2005 Stars on Trial The Judge
2006 The Ha!ifax Comedy Festival Himself (Stand-up)
2006 Sketch with Kevin McDonald Various Characters
2006 2006 MuchMusic Video Awards Presenter
2006 Video on Trial: Holiday Crap Juror
2006 Video on Trial: 80s Videos Special Juror
2007 Canadian Comedy Awards: Nice Special Stand-up
2007 Dark Rising Soldier
2008 The Jon Dore Television Show Farting Writer
2008 Comedy Now! Stand-up
2008 Sox in a Box Beans
2008 Crazy Hobo Hobo Expert/Narrator
2008 Other People's Stuff: Jan & Wayne Skylar from Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job! Dr. Steve Brule
2009 The Newsdesk with Ron Sparks News Anchor Ron Sparks
2009 Snuff: The Film Snuff
2009 Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf Greg
2010 How to Fry a Turkey The Chef
2010 This Movie Sucks! Co-host
2010 The Desk Vice Principal Rucker
2011 The Debaters Himself
2011 The Invasion Report Blirn!
2011 The Trial Mr. Testman
2011 iMobiles Gary the Penguin (voice)
2011 Dark Rising: The Savage Tales of Summer Vale Cartright
2011 Flu Bathrobed Dancer
2012 The Firm Bailiff
2012 The L.A. Complex Patient (one episode)
2012 By George Alan Ladd, III / Chewbacco / Nien Nund
2012 The Train Alfred
2013 Straight Man The Doctor
2014 Flickers! Various (6 episodes)
2014 Satisfaction Lawn Tractor Customer (1 episode)
2014-2015 Meet the Family Various (3 episodes)
2015 Captain Blast! The Vice President
2016 The Beaverton Food Scientist
2016 You Got Trumped Chris Christie

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Event Award Result
2003 Ron Sparks Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award Tim Sims Award Won
2003 The Minnesota Wrecking Crew Canadian Comedy Awards Best Sketch Troupe Won
2003 Laughing Matters Canadian Comedy Awards Best Writing – TV Special or Episode Nominated
2004 Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best Stand-up Newcomer Won
2004 The Minnesota Wrecking Crew Canadian Comedy Awards Best Sketch Troupe Won
2005 The Minnesota Wrecking Crew Canadian Comedy Awards Best Sketch Troupe Nominated
2005 From the Desk of Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best One Person Show Won
2006 The Minnesota Wrecking Crew, Sketch with Kevin McDonald Canadian Comedy Awards Best Taped Live Performance Won
2006 The Minnesota Wrecking Crew Canadian Comedy Awards Best Sketch Troupe Nominated
2006 The Newsdesk with Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best One Person Show Nominated
2007 Plan LIVE from Outer Space Canadian Comedy Awards Best Play Won
2008 The Newsdesk with Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best One Person Show Nominated
2009 Life's A Zoo Banff Rockie Award Best Music or Variety Program Nominated
2009 Ron Sparks, Comedy Now! Canadian Comedy Awards Best Taped Live Performance Won
2009 Ron Sparks, Comedy Now! Canadian Comedy Awards Best Writing – TV Won
2009 Himself, Comedy Now! Worldfest Bronze Award Best TV Special, Comedy Won
2010 Debaters, Monotheism vs. Polytheism (Ron Sparks vs. Sean Cullen)[3] Canadian Comedy Awards Best Radio Program Won
2011 This Movie Sucks! Canadian Comedy Awards Best TV Show Won
2012 The Trial Canadian Comedy Awards Best Film Nominated
2012 The Trial (Kevin MacDonald & Ron Sparks) Canadian Comedy Awards Best Direction – Film Nominated
2012 The Newsdesk with Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best One Person Show Nominated
2012 Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Stand-up Won
2012 Ron Sparks' Celebrity Roasts Canadian Comedy Awards Best Comedic Play, Revue or Series Nominated
2012 Debaters, Fast Food is Evil (Alan Park vs. Ron Sparks) Canadian Comedy Awards Best Radio Program or Clip Nominated
2013 The Newsdesk on The Edge 102.1, shared with Fearless Fred Kennedy Canadian Comedy Awards Best Radio Program or Clip Nominated
2013 Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Stand-up Nominated
2014 This Hour Has 22 Minutes WGC Awards Best Television Series – Comedy Nominated
2014 Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Stand-up Nominated
2014 Meet the Family Canadian Comedy Awards Best Writing – Television Nominated
2014 This Hour Has 22 Minutes Canadian Comedy Awards Best Writing – Television Nominated
2014 Meet the Family Canadian Comedy Awards Best TV Series Nominated
2015 Ron Sparks Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Stand-up Nominated
2015 Meet the Family Canadian Comedy Awards Best Writing – Television Nominated
2015 This Hour Has 22 Minutes Canadian Comedy Awards Best Writing – Television Won
2015 Meet the Family Canadian Comedy Awards Best TV Series Nominated
2015 This Hour Has 22 Minutes WGC Awards Best Television Series - Comedy Nominated

Other awards:

  • Winner of York University competition for playwrights, 2000 and 2001. 2nd place in 1999. 3rd place in 2001.
  • Grand Theatre Stage Presence Competition winner for young playwrights in 1997.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier Comedy". liveact.ca. December 30, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Meet a Comedian: Ron Sparks". postcity.com. July 30, 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "Comedy awards pick Less Than Kind, Trotsky". CBC. October 19, 2010. 

External links[edit]