Comedy writer highlight: Gabriel Omassi
Gabriel (Gab) Omassi (YouTube here, Tik Tok here, Instagram here) is a Montreal-based comedian and Off-JFL's Zoofest performer who has created comedy in all forms: video, photography, stage, live-streaming, and animals. Once called “methodically unhinged”, Gabriel has five years of comedy under his belt and was part of the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As a bagel sandwich pusher, he seeks out the best sandwich wherever he goes.
Below, we made him answer five short questions.
Introduce yourself in a haiku.
I am hairy man
beneath is a big ass heart
beneath that, more hair
As a bird-lover, I have to ask for more details about your parrot and parakeet. I have a black-capped conure named Buddy and a Budgie named Arnold. They are my brightly-colored winged
children. What they lack in intelligence, they make up for in the ability to bite my ears whenever I sit anywhere in my home ever.
Do you consider yourself an influencer? Why or why not?
No, I am not an influencer. Influencers portray themselves dishonestly. They exploit their own essence in order to advertise a product and they are also super hot. The persona I attempt to portray online is of an honest man trying to make it in the world.
That being said, if any tech companies or large automotive retailers want to give a young up-and-coming Comic an iPad and a Jeep Grand Cherokee: You bet your God-damned ass I'll whore myself out for you.
How did you come up with your best joke?
My favorite joke is the one that I come up with just moments before going in front of an audience. The joke lives in the moment and dies when I get off stage. Developing material and having the tried-and-tested jokes work feels good too. But, there's nothing like riffing up a storm and behaving like a jackass while the audience is digging it. There's risk involved, and it feels as though I am surfing a dangerous wave, where I am allowed and rewarded for behaving like an idiot. Even the bombs are fun because it was a spectacular disaster that I entirely put upon myself!
Describe your comedy writing process.
A kernel of something funny usually strikes me. I'm never really in control of when it happens, but if you pay attention, a few funny things happen or cross your path throughout each day. Whether it is something that happened to me, something I've observed, a phrase that gets stuck in my head, or some sort of fantasy scenario that I daydream about. It's usually up to me and how lazy or productive I am to focus on it.
I formulate whatever the thought was into an idea in my head and bring it to the stage at an open mic. I try to kind of riff on it until I get any level of laugh. I have every set audio recorded on my phone and if that idea gets some chuckles, I try to flesh it out by thinking about it throughout the night, usually in bed. The next time I try the idea again, it's usually got more elements playing in it. If the riffing continues going down the path I like, I take the recording of that joke and transcribe it onto my computer. I then edit it and play around with the writing, while generating more material through performing and riffing around the joke.
I continue adding and editing the joke until it is ruined, un-funny, and my computer is in shambles in my garbage bin.
Photography: Comedy at the Art Loft