Local comic Kyle Bottom pledges to give back $25,000 to fellow Canadian comedians

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      The SiriusXM Top Comic competition is a big deal. Every year, the contest scours the country for the next big Canadian comic and 2017's edition is now in the public voting stage.

      After the ballots have been counted, the eight finalists will then perform live at the SiriusXM Top Comic Comedy Finale during the JFL42 event in Toronto on September 28. There, a panel of judges will select one winner to be crowned SiriusXM’s Top Comic, a title that includes a $25,000 prize and guaranteed spots at comedy fetes such as JFL42 2018, Vancouver's JFL NorthWest, and the Just For Laughs Festival. He or she will also appear on the Comedy Network's JFL: All Access.

      This year's top 18 features a handful of Vancouverites, including Kyle Bottom, who, according to recent press release, isn't in it for the money. The local comic just wants to make it to the final show. "There’s no way to tell who’s in the lead," he said, "so I’m throwing all my cards down and pledging to give away the money if I get there."

      Regarding how he'd split the cash, Bottom stated, "I’m going to travel Canada, setting up pitch sessions for comedians with great ideas. It’ll be like Dragons' Den, but on a smaller scale, of course.

      "Standup isn’t taken very seriously," he added. "There isn’t an established government-granting system for comedians. Well, this will be my mini-version in its place."

      Bottom was a runner-up at the prestigious Seattle Comedy Competition in 2014. "For Seattle, I had to do eighteen shows in three weeks," he said, "and, trust me, that was easier than asking people to vote for me every day."

      If you’ve been to a local comedy show, you’ve probably seen Bottom perform. The 12-year comedy vet has been working hard at his craft and is a paid regular at the Comedy Mix (1015 Burrard Street). He’s also performed at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, and is a a regular on CBC Radio’s The Debaters.

      Voting for the SiriusXM Top Comic competition is open until August 18 online. Members of the public may vote once a day.