Toronto comedian Robert Watson is Gay AF. Find out why on his new album, “Homo Say What?”
Robert Watson is an award-winning playwright, performer, fragrance aficionado extraordinaire, and producer and host of Gay AF Comedy in Toronto, amplifying the voices of Queer comedians from the many intersections of the LGBTQ+ community.
Showcased as the flagship show at Buddies In Bad Times Queer Pride Festival, Gay AF Comedy was also featured as part of Just For Laughs Toronto in 2022. Robert’s debut comedy special Out For Laughs, recorded in 2021, can be found on Amazon Prime and OutTV. Robert is also the creator of the super gay web series A Gay Victorian Affair, winner of four Canadian Comedy Awards and Best LGBTQ Web Series. With over 3 million views on its YouTube Channel, A Gay Victorian Affair can be viewed at agayvictorianaffair.com
He now turns his sights to his debut stand-up comedy album “Homo Say What?” which will be released on January 27, 2023 as both a digital download and also available on various streaming platforms. Recorded at The Rivoli in Toronto, Homo Say What? serves the hilarious tea on a wealth of topics including rainbow crosswalks, straight people weddings and the shocking truth about Will & Grace star Debra Messing. In an unabashed display of Queer joy, Watson charms with witty critiques of gay culture and a disarming energy that makes both queer and straight audiences cheer in approval.
“Releasing a stand-up album is such a landmark event for a comedian,” says Watson. “Growing up I didn’t have any LGBTQ stand-up comedians to look up to, I honestly didn’t think there was a space for me. But so much has changed in the past decade, I’m so thrilled to be able to share my twisted and very gay sense of humour with the world.”
Homo Say What? is the premiere release by Gay AF Comedy Records, available on Apple Itunes, Spotify and most audio streaming platforms Friday January 27th. Presale and Preview here
Launch Party at Mandy’s Bistro, 123 Danforth Ave – January 21, 2023 @ 9:30 pm
Comedy On The D* always brings the naughty fun to the Danforth, and the first show of 2023 is going to be a banger of a party! Come celebrate the launch of Gay AF Comedy’s debut album HOMO SAY WHAT? with some of the city’s favourite comedians doing extended sets of their best jokes!
HEATHER MARIKO (JFL, Sunny Side Up)
CLIF KNIGHT (OutTV, Heatwave Comedy)
VONG SHOW (Crazy Woke Asians Festival, OutTV, Comedy Cares)
Hosted by ROBERT WATSON (OutTV, JFL Toronto)
Doors 9pm / Show 9:30pm. Free Karaoke after party at 11pm.
Q&A with Robert Watson
Describe your style of stand-up?
I’m the person you want to stand next to at the party – I’ll tell you some secrets, share some hot takes and dish out just a little bit of gossip. As a Queer comedian sharing my point of view to a mostly LGBTQ+ audience I of course want to make people laugh, but I also want them to have an affirming and uplifting experience as well. There’s already so much negative energy out there, especially toward our Queer community, I just want to invite people into my world and share in my Queer joy. I’m not afraid to tell the truth about subjects that matter to me, but I always make sure we’re all laughing along the way.
You say you want to share your “Queer joy”. What do you mean by that?
Queer joy has a double meaning for me: it’s the joy felt at seeing progress and increased representation and acceptance for our community. More personally Queer joy is the feeling I get from being able to embody my truth, casting out shame and being seen as the vibrant gay man I was always meant to be.
What made you choose “Homo Say What?” as your album title?
The album title is reclamation of a schoolyard taunt that followed me around me when I was younger. Remember someone coming up to you and blurting out a barely intelligible “Homo say what?” And if they got the response “what?”, they would joyously yell “You’re a homo, you said ‘what’!”. That happened to me a lot, before I even knew what it meant to be homosexual. The album title is intended to turn the phrase on its ear, meaning more like “What did he just say?”.
Who are your stand-up comedy idols?
I love all sorts of comedians, but the first one I saw that made me feel like maybe I could do this too was Eddie Izzard. She dressed however she wanted, found humour in some heady topics, and had a lovely self deprecating streak in amongst her societal critiques. I definitely see her influence in what I do. Also I am inspired by the warmth and humour of DeAnne Smith, their ability to take you on a journey that is both hilarious and life affirming is exactly the kind of effect I want to have on an audience.
What’s your favourite joke on the album?
Oh it fluctuates depending on my mood, but anytime I lead up to a big misdirect I feel pretty happy. The final bit of my “Rules For Inviting Me To Your Wedding” is perhaps my favourite surprise that creates a great release in most audiences.
You’ve been producing and hosting Gay AF Comedy since 2019, what is the most satisfying thing about the shows success?
In the beginning I really viewed Gay AF as the vehicle to get me more stage time and to make more of a name for myself. While that has thankfully happened, I’ve come to recognize that there is an important visibility element to having Gay AF Comedy as part of the wider comedy community. I love the mixed audience that Gay AF brings in, and I’ve really learned how hosting sets the tone for how an audience is going to enjoy their night (and hopefully come back!) I’m a better comedian because of it.
What’s next for you and Gay AF Comedy?
A lot of things are in process that I can’t talk about yet! Literally everything for 2023 is still in the development stages. Gay AF is going on the road to Stratford for their Winter Pride comedy show on February 9th, and so many things are in the works for June, I’m hoping you’ll see Gay AF have a bigger presence at Pride this year. We did JFL Toronto in 2022, maybe we can make it to Montreal this year? I literally have no leads on that so just putting that out into the universe! And while I’m manifesting I wouldn’t mind a Lotto Max win as well!
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.