When Shaun Majumder answers the phone in the backyard of his Los Angeles home, he’s in the middle of something very important: setting up a trampoline for his two-year-old daughter, Mattis. Somewhere in the house, her second daughter, four-month-old Eslyn, is fast asleep, perhaps waiting for her father to wake her up and make her laugh, something he has proven to be good at over the years. .
Majumder’s current state of domestic bliss will provide most of the material for his upcoming comedy trek, The Love Tour, which includes a stop in New Westminster on May 13. Things are definitely going to be a little different than the last time he was on the road, doing the rounds with The Hate Tour.
“The Hate Tour really came about when the world was experiencing something, I wouldn’t say ‘unique,’ because there had been ebbs and flows,” he says. “But with social media and with the amount of vitriol that was going on, I mean 2015 to 2019, obviously 2020. He was mainly talking about news, current affairs stuff, things happening on Twitter and Facebook, people caught on video saying horrible things. .
“So that tour really focused on a lot of those external things that people were experiencing,” he adds, “and this has gone inward now. I’m talking about things that are happening to me personally on a deeper level, and that it’s all centered around using parenting as a kind of theme that talks about love, everything good, everything bad, and especially being an elderly parent, starting late. I’m 50 now, had my first child at 47. I hope to build using things similar to the way I did The Hate Tour, with some photos, videos and making it a bit more of a one-man show instead of just a stand-up show.”
In addition to developing a career as a traveling comedian, Majumder has made a name for himself through a wide variety of film and television work, including 14 years on the iconic CBC show. This hour has 22 minutes. He believes that part of what started his fruitful comedy career was simply growing up in the small Newfoundland town of Burlington.
“In places like Newfoundland, where I grew up, everyone has a story to tell,” he says, “and everyone has some kind of zingy sense of humor; it’s the way of the place. You have to have a sense of humor based on weather and, you know, based on a lot of economic situations. When you grow up in a small town where people throw out one-liners of all ages, you just get the ability to joke around; your brain develops in a way where you put your thoughts together in a different way.
“So you catch the wave and you ride the wave and you are that,” he continues. “As a person, growing up, I always had a sense of humor, and I found that making people laugh helped me along the way, in many circumstances, whether it was when I was being bullied at school or with a girl. Humor was a Pretty good coin, you know, to spend.”
“But more than that, for me, it wasn’t just comedy, it was also being free to be creative. And acting was something that I loved doing from a very young age. Little did I know there was a career in it, but there is. And then when you start to see, ‘Oh wait a minute, you can make money and be exactly who you’re meant to be,’ that’s something special. It’s not the safest career, but it’s definitely driven by passion and that’s what I love the most. it matters to me”.
Early on Majumder, who currently plays Father Khatri in the EPIX TV horror drama filmed in Halifax. From–was inspired by the comedy styles of Canadian acts like CODCO, Wonderful Grand Band and SCTV. He recalls how, when he was young, he and a cousin would pretend to be SCTV’s Bob and Doug McKenzie and record their own “Great White North” sketches on a small tape recorder. Eventually, Majumder would create his own memorable characters, one of which would be Raj Binder, the bumbling, sweat-soaked reporter with a thick Indian accent, who grew out of an experience Majumder once had at a tennis tournament.
“That was when cigarettes sponsored tennis tournaments,” he recalls with a smile. “It was the DuMaurier Open, I’ll never forget it. I mean, what the fuck! Tennis athletes. Great. So I went to this tennis tournament, and it was one of those muggy Toronto days, like 40 degrees Celsius.” , and I was sitting in the bleachers and my friend Chris and I were talking about the fact that it’s so hot. I started to say to him, ‘Dude, what must this be like for sportscasters in places like India?’
“I started doing riffs and being an Indian guy doing this, and then that evolved into when I was doing comedy sketches with a group called The Bobroom. I started doing it as a voiceover in the back, like a radio broadcast, and then someone was like, ‘Dude, we need to see that guy! I want to see what he looks like. And then I came up with Raj, the character. He was born and then he was in 22 Minutes and he was in Cedric the Entertainer Presents. You know, he was celebrating New Year’s, he was at the Olympics, sneaking into hockey photos. Raj has been everywhere.”
Looking back on his entertainment career, Majumder cites his time in This hour has 22 minutes as particularly rewarding. “I had my teeth pulled in a lot of ways on that show,” she says. But he also has fond memories of his first role as Slime Master Shaun on YTV’s wacky game show. uh oh!
“I would say they are equally valuable,” he says. “It’s funny, man, you do different jobs, especially when you’re starting out, and then the thing that makes me laugh is what people recognize me for, you know. Because as a Canadian celebrity I’ve done everything, I’ve featured stuff, I’ve I’ve done comedy, I’ve done drama, I’ve done all these random things, and people see me and say, ‘Hey, I think I went to school with your sister.’ Or they say, ‘Wait, I know you. Are you that guy? , Jian Ghomeshi?’
“And then when they realize it was uh oh! either Brainwash or this old school YTV stuff, then they freak out. So I’m not famous enough to be ‘famous’. I’m just a bit familiar. sort of. And I’m very proud of that.”
Shaun Majumder performs on The Love Tour at New Westminster’s Massey Theater on May 13.