Yuk Yuk's

Yuk Yuk's

Hailing from Sackville Estates trailer park in Nova Scotia (but half Newfoundlander – her father’s from Rocky Harbour), Nikki Payne has come a long way and has had one hell of a ride, or at least one hell of a time riding it! That can almost be taken literally as it relates to this interview even. Payne was delayed as a result of a fender bender the day of, but still she pulled through! She accredits the unforeseen as being what ultimately got her into her line of work and says herself that she’s “still not sure if it is a career,” as she laughs. “[It was] a total fluke! My whole career. I was a mascot for my college athletic teams; that led to all this.”

From mascot to Mercer, Payne got her big break on Rick Mercer’s Made in Canada. “He’s given me a lot of breaks,” Nikki admits. Just as recently as March 2009, Payne was back on the CBC show circuit as a guest of George Stroumboulopoulos on his show, The Hour. When she was asked about what she thought about The Hour experience, her only comment was, “George is HOT!!!! Such a big crush.”

Nikki Payne

Nikki Payne

Of course, Nikki and George share similar roots. Many are familiar with her signature delivery of humour on Much Music’s Video on Trial, but she’s enjoyed plenty of other network television success not to mention a few awards, nominations, and national comedy tours! With so much going on, there was just too much excitement to choose from, “they’ve all been highlights because I’m just so happy to be doing this. But, Just For Laughs was a big dream come true; Last Comic Standing on NBC was this out of the blue thing that was great and Comedy Inc. was like summer camp!! It was me just getting to hang out with people who I really I like and get paid for it!”

Every comic has their own approach. Their own style. With Nikki, her style cannot be missed. Unsure of how to really define her own style, Payne offers, “I hump things. There is Ethnic comedy, female comedy and alternative comedy. I think I’m observational, I observe an object; and then I hump it.”

Surprisingly, everyone is not a fan. Ever curious as to whether any spitfires created from Video on Trial commentaries? Nikki didn’t offer any examples but did reveal, “there is the “I Hate Nikki Payne” Facebook group. Maybe you could ask them…wait don’t!!”

But still, she keeps at it and the reason being is simply put. “Honestly, I have no skills. I know that’s a hack line but really, no skills.” But when asked for advice for emerging performers, the sensible and smart Nikki comes out, “do it because you love to make people laugh. Don’t let your ego ruin it.”

Nikki Payne at Yuk Yuk's

Nikki Payne at Yuk Yuk's

There is a serious side to her as well, like anyone. When world issues were brought up, she exclaimed, “Issues??? Like global warming??” and also shared that a real defining moment which only took place recently when she gave her father a kidney in 2008 elaborating, “that changed everything.”

She is currently at work on a one person show; in fact it is being called My Big Fat Donated Kidney; so from life experience comes inspiration, perhaps. Payne is an observer after all! Up next in Nikki Payne’s immediate future though, are two held over appearances at the St. John’s Yuk Yuk’s (April 23 – 25 / April 30 – May 2) which are not to be missed. In her words, up next for Nikki is “world domination… and a trip to Signal Hill!

Advertisements