So busy in fact, he set a world record for stand-up during the HBC Fest, when he performed 21 different 10-minute sets at 21 different venues … and no joke: it was all different material.
Aylward spent the last three months of 2014 on a 9-country tour of Korea, and if that wasn’t relentless enough, he took on a 10-city tour of South Korea in March. It’s his relentless touring and record-breaking pace of shows that he credits for his successes. Any artist gets better by doing and doing and doing, and he agrees it’s the only way to hone one’s humour. “The first few years are about just getting comfortable on stage. Then, you begin to try and find your voice up there. I’ve been performing hundreds of times a year for the past decade, and I feel I only hit my stride on stage about a year ago.”
Despite such a busy schedule in the East this past year, conquering Korea is nothing new for this Newfoundlander. He spent six of ten years there between 2000-2010, and for his impact on the Korean comedy scene, he’s been named a “Top 100 Most Influence Expat” by Groove Magazine. He is also the founder of a very popular series called Stand Up Seoul, which Groove called “[a] comedy institution … with a number of awesome international headliners who have flown in to perform [it].”
Like many Canadians, he went to Korea to teach English. But a bet with his girlfriend changed everything. “I always wanted to do stand-up and talked about it all the time. We made a bet that if she quit smoking for a month, I would get up on stage and give it a go. She did it. So on November 11th, 2005, I got up on stage at a rowdy expat open-mic in Anyang, South Korea, and did 14 minutes of hacky jokes and ranting. I haven’t stopped since. Out of desperation to be a part of a comedy scene, I pioneered English speaking stand-up comedy in Korea a few years later, and started Stand Up Seoul, which regularly hosts top international acts and has a thriving open-mic circuit that stretches across the country.”
His accolades here at home also speak highly of his career choice. He’s showcased at numerous festivals, and he’s a 2-time top-8 finalist for SiriusXM Radio’s popular comedy contest, Canada’s Next Top Comic. Aylward was also a finalist for Yuk Yuk’s Great Canadian Laugh-Off. He’s back in the province this month for a cross-island tour. The St. John’s portion of the tour will take place at Yuk Yuk’s May 14th, 15th, and 16th, at 8 PM each night. He’ll be supported by his funny friends Shaun Burton and Paul Warford – two comedians with impressive bios.
Like most good comedy, Aylward’s stand-up mocks the things he observes about modern society, culture, and himself, and in doing so, he pumps out punchlines universal in their shocking hilarity.