Local Comic Battles for Whitehorse on CBC’s The Debaters

Comedian Anthony Trombetta
Comedian Anthony Trombetta

Watch out, Whitehorse — you’re going to have to defend your place in Northern society. CBC Radio’s The Debaters is set to take the stage at the Yukon Arts Centre for a live taping with a local audience Sept. 28, and with it comes a very topical question: is Whitehorse the real Yukon?

Local stand-up comedian Anthony Trombetta will defend Whitehorse’s place against fellow local funnyman Al Macleod. Macleod will be breaking out his popular character “Jim from Dawson” to argue the con side.

“I’m not sure how my name got sent to CBC producers, but I’m very excited and pumped for this opportunity,” says Trombetta.

Fresh from two years away from Whitehorse, Trombetta practised his stand-up skills with audiences in Winnipeg, Edmonton and finally Saskatoon.

“I think it’s important that I got outside experience and perspective, and then am able to bring it back to Whitehorse and show them what I’ve learned,” says Trombetta.

He knows his Debaters appearance is a huge opportunity for a local comedian.

“I can’t wait. The networking opportunities alone are so big for me, as a lot of names in Canadian comedy are coming up to the Yukon. When would they ever come otherwise? I hope they like it and want to return.”

And Trombetta is ready to strut his stuff.

“To prepare for the show, we get the questions in advance and really get slick,” says Trombetta. “I review my material, go over their guidelines and try to cram [in] as many jokes per capita [as possible].”

Not that he isn’t already very familiar with Whitehorse jokes — he, George Maratos and other local funnymen are practically responsible for creating the comedy scene in Whitehorse.

“I’m very familiar with the material for my Debaters gig because I’ve been here for over 10 years, and saw the growth of the comedy scene from the ground up,” says Trombetta. “We realized that if we wanted to see comedy onstage, we’d have to do it ourselves.”

Trombetta, who recently had a successful stint touring comedy gigs throughout Alberta and B.C., sees the Whitehorse comedic scene growing, and he’s back just in time to join in the expansion.

“It’s a great thing to see how our original group has grown. I’m back in on comedy nights at Foxy’s Cabaret, which was formerly at Coasters, and sharing the emcee duties,” he says. You can catch Trombetta at Foxy’s every second Monday at 9:00 p.m.

The Sept. 28 live show at the Yukon Arts Centre is sold out, but listen for The Debaters on CBC Radio Saturdays at 1:00 pm, and see if Dawson Jim or Anthony Trombetta can wrangle out the truth about where Whitehorse stands in the real Yukon.

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