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Stand-up Guy

Stand-up Guy

Cambridge Bay’s David Ohokannoak makes audiences laugh at home and down south. But the same material doesn’t work for both
By Elaine Anselmi
Dec 11
From the December 2017 Issue

Name: David Ohokannoak
Age: 29
Hometown: Cambridge Bay
Occupation: Full-time heavy equipment operator. Part-time comedian

I’m hoping you’ll say something funny in this interview. Most of my jokes are Northern exclusive. You kind of have to live here to get it.

What kind of jokes might someone from the south not get? In my native language, Inuinnaqtun, there’s no word for hi or hello. Everyone here would get this—I listened to my elders and I learned there actually is a word for hi in Inuinnaqtun. It’s ‘heeeee.’ Because when you see an elder in the store, that’s what they do—they smile really big and go ‘heeeee.’ At the community hall, everyone roared when I did that but I don’t think it would go so well down south.

What’s a joke that kills at your shows down south?  I don’t want to give my best to you or no one will come see me.

Fair enough. But you’ve been well received down there? The best I’ve felt was at Gus’ Pub [in Halifax] because I kept feeling like this is the big time and maybe I’ll start to get my name out there after this.

There must have been some rougher shows along the way? At the New Year’s Ball last year [in Cambridge Bay], they put a bunch of kazoos on the table. Halfway through my performance people were getting restless maybe and just started picking up their kazoos and blaring on them. That was brutal.