A comedian with impressive range, Danish Anwar is just as funny with his material as he is improvising off the cuff, moving effortlessly from heavy topics like gender equality and racial discrimination to the holy grail of sex, relationships and impersonating people on the internet…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
My job is to get hundreds of strangers to reach the same conclusion about various topics every 15 to 30 seconds.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
There was no single inspiration as it’s just my nature to pursue what I want. I’ve always enjoyed stand-up comedy, I don’t like being told what to do, and the thought of being paid to broadcast my thoughts was extremely appealing. So one day I just made the plunge and never looked back.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
You’d think it would be my TV gala at the CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival, or my set on opening night of JFL42 (Just For Laughs Toronto), or multiple appearances on The Debaters. But my most memorable milestone was matching with a super hot girl on Tinder and seeing Toronto Comedy All Stars (my comedy label) as one of our mutual interests. That was truly momentous.
FYI: it didn’t work out between us.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
5 years: Telling jokes on HBO about the impending apocalypse.
10 years: Surviving said apocalypse.
20 years: Rebuilding civilization in my image.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
It sounds cliché, but you can always work harder. It boggles my mind how many talented individuals – no matter the career – eventually plateau, burn out, or simply give up because they lack discipline and work ethic. The ability to keep going separates winners from losers.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Does fundraising for the NDP count? It should, given their abysmal performance last election. I donate primarily to animal shelters or animal rescue networks such as the Animal Alliance. I honestly care way more about dogs than I do for people.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was being pigeonholed because of my race, thereby having limited access to better stages, shows and opportunities. I overcome it by producing my own shows and creating my own opportunities.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
To me it means to be bold, take risks and stand out.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/dine in your city and why?
I’m more of a wake & brunch kind of person, so my fave spots in Toronto are Lola’s (Church St), Insomnia (Bathurst/Bloor) and Fat Pasha (Dupont/Bathurst). If you’re at brunch, you’re probably having a really good day.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
Assuming my own Facebook/Twitter/Insta don’t count (all tied for first place) it’s The Guardian. Yes, I am a nerd.
The most played song on my phone is “Marooned” by Pink Floyd.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Me. But also Donald Trump, so you can feel better about yourself daily.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Japan, no contest. They somehow live 50 years in the future and 100 years in the past simultaneously. Next on my list is Iceland, because I want to see first-hand the country that actually puts bankers in jail for committing crimes.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Nothing really. I’m great company, have a great dog, and the internet. I give others FOMO.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
NUTELLA. My best friend and greatest enemy.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
I’ve spent serious cash on Nutella. Enough for a personal trainer or a month long trip to Iceland.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
To me it’s all about making my own hours and being my own boss, and to that end I’m already there.