There’s no shortage of great comedians working in Toronto and New York. While the amount of talent is undeniable, separating oneself from the pack can be challenging.
Every once in a while, the stars align and a comedian comes along with legit talent and a hustler’s mentality; Nathan Macintosh is one of those comedians. He’s a rare artist whose ability to light up a stage is only matched by his work ethic. He’s succeeded in comedy for a reason and has the respect of both industry and fellow comedians alike. He’s a beast. And he’s done it all on his own.
“Nathan is a comedian I quote on a daily basis,” says K. Trevor Wilson. Wilson and Macintosh are both products of Toronto’s vibrant stand up comedy scene. “He’s also way too humble,” the Letterkenny star added.
Whether speaking to Toronto comics or piers in his current city of New York, the sentiment is the same. “You know when you meet someone and your comedy chemistry immediately clicks? I have that with Nathan, but that’s Nathan with anyone,” comedian and SiriusXM host Andy Fiori told the Interrobang. “He’s a favorite on my radio show for a reason. Any topic – wind him up, let him go and you’ve got instant laughs. He makes other comedians better and is just a genuinely sweet guy. He’s an all-time favorite.”
While working in Toronto, Macintosh quickly established himself as one of Canada’s premiere comics earning multiple awards, performing multiple times at Just For Laughs and taping his first national TV special at the age of 24. After conquering the Canadian comedy scene, he moved on his own to New York and despite knowing no one, quickly earned a place in the community.
‘Nathan is a crowd and club favorite,” explains New York Comedy Club Owner, Emilio Savone. “He’s the kind of comic you can put anywhere in a show and he’ll crush. He leaves an indelible impression on all of our audiences.”
Nathan’s hard work and undeniable talent is starting to receive its deserved notice. Tonight (01/31/17) he’ll make his U.S. Network debut on CONAN. The Interrobang recently caught up with the Halifax native to discuss his comedic journey.
The Interrobang: Where and when did you begin stand up comedy?
Nathan Macintosh: I started doing stand up a year after high school in Halifax, Nova Scotia… Canada for anyone who thinks Nova Scotia is in Norway. And I’m not trying to be rude to Americans. I couldn’t pick out Wyoming on a map.
The Interrobang: Your first move was from Halifax to Toronto. What was that like and how did working in Toronto help get you to where you are today?
Nathan Macintosh: That move was huge. I was horrified of Toronto. Honestly scared of the city. I didn’t know how to get on a streetcar and I got lost on the TTC. Seriously. But Toronto has an amazing comedy scene, so many different types of rooms and audiences to perform for. So many different types of comedians and styles, which helped me find myself as a comic. I owe the city a lot.
The Interrobang: Most Canadian comedians choose New York or Los Angeles when moving to the U.S. Why did you choose New York?
Nathan Macintosh: I just always wanted to be in New York. As stupid as this sounds, sun and the beach never drew me in. I can’t really swim and the sun has never been my friend. I’ve always been into the comedy of New York as well. I just always knew this is where I wanted to be.
The Interrobang: How does the New York comedy scene compare to the Toronto comedy scene?
Nathan Macintosh: The Toronto scene is pretty similar, but there’s just more in New York. More comedians, more alt shows, more rooms to perform and more clubs. Also in New York at the clubs, a lot of times you are playing to tourists from all over the world. Toronto has some tourists too, but for the most part the tourists are people from small town Canada coming to check out the big city.
The Interrobang: What was the biggest challenge you faced moving from Toronto to New York?
Nathan Macintosh: Getting on stage as much as I was in Toronto. In Toronto, I was established and could get up. New York, I didn’t know anyone so I basically had to restart. And for anyone wondering, starting comedy over again in a new city is NOT FUN.
The Interrobang: Who are some comedians you enjoy working with?
Nathan Macintosh: From Canada, I love Dave Merheje, Arthur Simeon, Nick Beaton, Alex Pavone, and from New York I love doing shows with Akaash Singh, James Mattern, Andy Fiori, Kate Wolff and… I mean honestly, there’s a lot more I could add, but I don’t want to leave people out. I guess I, sort of, am with that answer, but here we are.
The Interrobang: What other goals have you set for yourself in comedy?
Nathan Macintosh: I want to release a special and would love to have a talk show one day. These are goals, right?
The Interrobang: You’ve done long and short TV performances before. What are the biggest challenges/advantages of doing a shorter set?
Nathan Macintosh: One advantage is there is less time to worry about. As for challenges, there’s less time. There can’t really be any dips or slow down like there could be in a half hour or so.
The Interrobang: Along with having a great sense of humor, you’ve also got a great sense of fashion. Any special plans for the Conan appearance?
Nathan Macintosh: Feathers. Lots of ‘em.