Chatting With Comic Susan Carter

Since the 90’s, Susan Carter has been a stand-up comic and speaker. Susan’s jokes about her life’s experiences and does not shy away from sharing her embarrassing moments or stories. Her relatability makes her a fan-favourite undoubtedly. Along with stand-up shows, Susan also does shows for parties as well as fundraising.

Susan Carter

How would you describe your comedy style?

Storyteller who sees the comedy in life situations – I tell a story many times until the funny parts are apparent. The story usually comes from some embarrassing situation in my life, or from some rant my husband is on. He often says something funny in his rant and then he points out to anyone who will listen that all the jokes are his!

Who are some of your influences?

My Dad is the biggest influence in my comedy. My Dad repeated anything I said that was funny with pride in his voice when I was growing up… I figured out that being funny was a valuable thing. Dad was a product of HIS age; he had other peoples’ jokes in his head and could pull out appropriate ones for any situation. We would listen to comedy records together. My mom always maintained that someone in the house had to be serious, but that didn’t stop Dad from giving out points to anyone who could make Mom laugh! It was years before I realized that women my age were not generally encouraged to be funny growing up.

Who was your favourite comedian growing up?

Anyone on T.V. during the sixties! I liked Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers. I didn’t identify with any comic, but I listened and laughed with Dad.

Who is your favourite comedian now?

I don’t listen to many comics now. I went through a period of “studying other comics,” and I found myself copying some of them, so I quit trying to be someone else.

What is your pre-show ritual?

A week before the show, after consulting with a rep from the group that has hired me and deciding on a length to the show, I organize the topics I will perform. I always have more than enough material in case I get “deer in the headlights” looks over certain jokes… I can quickly change to a new topic. Three days before the show I start to rehearse. Three times through works for me. I don’t want to have a script, just a roadmap of where I’m going. I write the headings of each topic – in order – on a recipe card and have it in my pocket when I’m on stage. Just in case!

I have trained my husband/manager/driver to only talk about fun things on the drive to the show. I’m happy to get to the venue because I don’t worry about rehearsing anymore. I keep in a happy frame of mind. I go to the washroom at some point and sit in a stall to stare at the recipe card. I usually find my mind zinging around at this point and don’t absorb what’s written on the card! When my name is announced, I repeat the word “energy” to myself on the way to the stage…

What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?

I started doing stand-up when I was forty. I did free shows for Church groups in Fort Saskatchewan and Yuk Yuks in Edmonton. When I started doing paid shows, my favourite groups were Ladies Nights and Curling Clubs. Now, my favourite groups are seniors. I would choose a rural group over city people; I feel closer to small town people…

What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?

I’m most proud of a show I wrote for a Ladies’ Night in Erskin, Alberta. I had done two shows for them. The same seventy-two women came to “Mother’s Night Out” every year. I’d pretty much used all my tried-and-true jokes for the first two shows. The group approached me to do the third show, and reminded me that they needed all new material because it was the same seventy-two women… I had six weeks. I ate, slept and went through every napkin and piece of paper I’d written jokes on since show number two. Two weeks before the show I took my new topics to the Fort Saskatchewan Kinette club (where we lived at the time) and asked the women to listen to my new jokes. I sat and checked good jokes and threw out bad ones. One whole topic was literally thrown to the ground. The ladies said the topic had potential, but I told them I didn’t have time for potential! When I got to the Erskin Hall I knew it would be a good show when the mike didn’t work… All seventy-two ladies were yelling out suggestions! As I bantered with the crowd, I relaxed, believed in the new jokes and we all had a good show!

Tell us a joke about your city.

We moved to Leduc six months before the pandemic, as a result I don’t have anything about Leduc!

Do you have anything to promote right now?

Yes, thank you for asking. During the pandemic I spent time finding short stories that I’d written over the years. I made the decision to edit old stories and add new ones so that I had a total of sixty-nine. Why sixty-nine? Because I am sixty-nine years old! The book is now finished, it’s called I’m Fine; a bathroom book for seniors. It is available through in Edmonton and on Amazon.

Where can we follow you?

Youtube | Facebook

PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?

I trained as a comic at Yuk Yuks in Edmonton. Two of the comics I’ve stayed in touch with are Bob Beddows and Ken Valgardson.