Tragedy Plus Time Volume 10 – JANE STANTON


“Comedy is tragedy plus time.”
It’s been said many times by many comedians. I believe the original usage dates back to the great Carol Burnett. It’s a quote I have borrowed from to title this column about the wonderful talent in the comedy community right here in Vancouver.

Since I’ve lived in Vancouver, I’ve heard a lot of people say that they had a bad experience at a comedy show and never went back. This is as ridiculous as swearing off restaurants as a whole because of one case of food poisoning. It’s my hope, that the profiles here will bring back those who have turned away or open the door for those who have never seen live comedy.

Finally, for those out there that don’t like to laugh, they might be best served by a quote from another lady of show business, Julia Roberts:
“Show me a person who doesn’t like to laugh and I’ll show you a person with a toe tag.”

There are many bizarre and sometimes opposing attributes given to those with red hair. They are thought to be fiery, hot-tempered, lusty, and in some cultures they are even thought to be vampires.

I submit that if red heads are to be the target of another broad label, I would say that it should be that they are funny. Immediately, anyone who enjoys comedy would call me out and say, “Wrong again, I believe there is a certain comedian named Carrot Top.”  To which I would say, “Too bad you’re not writing this article.”

From Lucille Ball to Woody Allen, Conan O’ Brien to Louis CK, some of the people who have made me laugh most share that rare genetic trait.

This all brings me to Jane Stanton, a person who revels in the famous stereotypes and the one I just made up.

Stanton takes the stage with the revved up energy of someone who has just learned a big secret she isn’t supposed to tell but is dying to let you in on it. She flirts with the audience one second and the next tells you every reason you should run the other direction.

Jane Stanton hosted a show started by Sara Bynoe called “Teen Angst Poetry”. It was a night where people could read from their diaries and laugh at how melodramatic it was in those high school years. During readings from her own diary, Jane has a way of recreating her voice as a bratty teenager that instantly flashes you back to those awkward years.

Stanton uses her ability to conjure character in acting as well. If you’ve seen her in Jason Brydan’s production The Staffroom, you know what I’m talking about.

With an appearance at Just For Laughs this summer and several more planned for this year’s Vancouver Comedy Festival, Jane is destined to show that my new redhead/funny stereotype will continue to have some roots in truth.

If you want to learn more about Jane, you can go to

Jane was patient enough to answer some questions for Vancouver Is Awesome.

When was the last time you laughed until you cried?

I get a lot of pleasure out of scaring the shit out of my friends.  My “go to” move is jumping out of some dark corner when they aren’t expecting it and then laughing at them.
Also I went on the New York New York roller coast in Vegas (I’m scared of heights). The whole ride I thought I was going to die and I was crying.  It wasn’t until the end of the ride that I realized that my picture had been taken.  I knew it was going to be bad.  All my friends laughed when they saw the picture.  You know it’s a bad picture when the guy behind the counter asks you: “Why you are buying it?”

What would be your idea of a perfect venue?

Wendy’s drive-thru?  The Laugh Gallery at the Queen Elizabeth theatre, great sound, lighting and people that are actually there for comedy.

Is there anything you can get away with on stage that a man cannot?

Yes, touching my breasts.

What do you get out of acting that you cannot get out of stand up?

In acting I get to play a range of characters and say other peoples words.  Acting makes more money.

What is one myth about stand up comedy you’d like to dispel?

That anyone that thinks they’re funny can do it.  A comedy course does not equal funny!!

Why is Vancouver a good place for comedy?

There are lots of shows and the opportunity to get on stage.  I get to work stuff out and watch pros working stuff out.

Who is one performer/group of performers you think everyone should see at least once?

Louis CK, Noel Fielding, Kim Noble, A lot of British comics.

Every article about comedy has to have a pun in the title. What would you like yours to be?

Plain Jane brings the rain get ready for the pain!

What is a comedic premise you think needs to be retired?

I know what you guys are thinking I look like…should never be done again!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!