Sugar Sammy poses in this undated promotional shot from his website. Sugar Sammy performs at Comedy Works Downtown on March 11-14. (Photo courtesy www.sugarsammy.com)
Face2Face with Sugar Sammy
Canadian draws comedy from his views on sex and dating to his Indian heritage to race relations
By Joe Nguyen, AsiaXpress.com
March 11, 2010
Photo courtesy www.sugarsammy.com
Sugar Sammy poses in this undated promotional shot from his website. Sugar Sammy performs at Comedy Works Downtown on March 11-14.
Sugar Sammy at Comedy Works
Comedy Works Downtown
1226 15th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Thursday, March 11 – 8 p.m.
Friday, March 12 – 8 and 10 p.m.
Saturday, March 13 – 6:30, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 14 – 7 p.m.
$12 on Thursday and Sunday; $20 on Friday and Saturday
21 and up
For more information, go to www.comedyworks.com/comedians/460.
On the web
• Sugar Sammy on "Comedy Now" (YouTube)
• Official Web site of Sugar Sammy
Sugar Sammy seemed destined to become a stand-up comedian.
Growing in Montreal, he was a consummate entertainer. Whether it was hosting local talent shows or making his classmates laugh on the bus during field trips, he loved the spotlight. It seemed only natural for him to take the mic and perform onstage.
"Stand-up, for me, is one of the best feelings in the world," he said. "Being in front of a crowd and just making them laugh every second, I mean, there's nothing that pleases me more than that."
Able to perform in English, French, Punjabi and Hindi, the Canadian's act has taken him all over the world. He will make his first appearance here in Denver from March 11 to 14 at Comedy Works.
He was named one of the top 10 rising comedy talents by The Hollywood Reporter in 2009. His brand of comedy draws from his views of sex and dating to his Indian heritage to race relations. He said nothing is untouchable in terms of comedy, but it's all about how he says it rather than what he says.
"I've always loved Don Rickles. I looked at him as an inspiration in terms of being able to get away with pretty much anything," he said. " ... He's so loving about what he's talking about that you know he's not serious about it. It's all in the tone.
"At the end of the day, people recognize if you're just messing around or (if) you're coming from a hateful place."
Born Samir Khullar to Indian immigrants, he said his introduction to stand-up was as an 8-year-old watching Eddie Murphy's "Delirious."
"That's the first time I'd seen it in that form and that I laughed that much on a per-second basis," he said. "It was the first time I'd laugh out loud that much and I didn't know what was happening to my body.
"It was like the best thing I'd ever seen in my life and I wanted to do that."
The die was cast and Khullar began his journey into entertainment. He said his hunger for the spotlight came early as he would often be the class clown, entertaining the other students on the bus during school trips and making announcements over the intercom.
"I would make sure that even though I was the class clown, I would never get in trouble at home about it," he said. "My parents let me be that guy as long as my grades were OK."
With his grades up, his family supported him with his endeavors.
"(My parents) were always my biggest champions," he said.
His first taste of stand-up came right after high school when he performed for his school's black student alliance's fundraiser. Since he had always been "that guy," he said his friends approached him to go on stage.
"For a kid that age at that school with all these other kids, it was fun," he said. "It was a half-hour, we made the front page of the paper at the school for all the wrong reasons – we offended everybody."
It was in college at McGill University where he earned his stage moniker. He said he would throw parties and let the women in for free because "the rule to every great party is if all the girls come, the guys will pay anything to get in."
"The girls started calling me their 'sugar daddy' because I was always taking care of them, but it turned into Sugar Sammy," he said.
When he made the turn to stand-up, many the party-goers became his audience.
"All my shows would be packed with hot girls from Montreal," he said.
He is currently in Los Angeles for pilot season – the period when new shows in development begin casting. While he wants to pursue acting, he said it's the lure of the mic that keeps him going.
"It's an addition," he said.