Published on October 26th, 2016 | by Padraic Coffey0
My Favourite Things – Kevin Banner
Kevin Banner is a stand up comedian based in Vancouver, Canada. He is regular at The Comedy Mix, and has performed at The Northwest Comedy Fest, Just For Laughs Northwest and Bumbershoot.
His comedy album, Dreamboat, was released on 21 October 2016, and is currently available on Google Play, Spotify, 604 Records and iTunes, where it debuted at #1 on the Canadian Comedy charts.
Slap Shot (1977, George Roy Hill)
Slap Shot is my favourite movie. It’s also the best sports movie by far, which is not necessarily the highest bar that you have to clear. Nowadays, you couldn’t make a movie like Slap Shot the way they did back then. It’s just too politically incorrect. It’s one of those old, R-rated comedies that doesn’t exist anymore, because studios don’t think that there is a market for them. It’s such a perfect, hilarious ‘guy movie’, and it was written by a woman. I know it’s sexist to say, but it surprised me when I learned that. Nancy Dowd wrote the movie, and her brother Ned Dowd plays the legendary goon Ogie Ogilthorpe in the movie. I knew that she had written it, but only in the last year did I learn that Ogie was played by her brother.
The first time I saw it was when I befriended a professional wrestler who exposed me to a lot of great music and movies that I just hadn’t seen. As a kid, Slap Shot wasn’t a movie that my dad watched, so it wasn’t as if he had turned me on to it. I watched it for the first time on VHS, and I’ve purchased it over the years on VHS, DVD, Blu-ray and watched it streaming. I remember watching it the first time and thinking, “they don’t make movies like this anymore”.
It has a little bit of everything I like. Sports, violence, sex and comedy. I watch it once a year, at least, and I had my girlfriend watch it with me the last time, and she enjoyed it too. As far as hockey movies go, it’s absolutely the pinnacle, but I think as far as sports movies in general go it’s also the best one, and it holds up. It was shot in the late ’70s and it still, to this day, is hilarious.
Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (1999, Mick Foley)
The year that Have a Nice Day by Mick Foley came out, I got it for Christmas. When I was a kid, we always got one gift to open on Christmas Eve, and for me, that year, I knew what it was. You could tell by the shape of it that it was the book that I had asked for. The book starts with the story of Mick losing his ear in a match. That’s how it starts! I was hooked. I think I stayed up until 4:00am that night, laying in bed, reading it.
Up to that point, as a professional wrestling fan, there hadn’t been behind the scenes looks at that world like there was in Have a Nice Day. It really pulled the curtain back. It was pre-internet, or at least pre-my access to the internet, so it was the first time that I got to learn about things that Mick Foley had done prior to being in the WWF, which was the only wrestling that I had access to at the time. I learned his whole life story, this guy who didn’t look like he belonged in the industry he was in, necessarily. When you compare him to all the other big musclemen, he was an average looking guy who made it to the top of the business.
I’ve probably read it five times since then, and three or four years ago, I had the pleasure of doing five shows with Mick Foley, which was the greatest thing. Teenage Kevin Banner would have never believed that he would get to meet Mick Foley, let alone work with him.
I just love that it’s a success story of a man who was told by everybody that he wouldn’t succeed. It’s an overcoming-the-odds story about believing in yourself – which I don’t do! It’s not like it taught me to do that. But it’s still a fantastic book.
…Like Clockwork (2013, Queens of the Stone Age)
…Like Clockwork is my favourite album from my favourite band, and with Queens of the Stone Age, as long as I’ve been a fan, every new album has been my new favourite album. They’ve somehow managed to keep their sound while sounding different – and I know that sounds like an idiotic thing. I’m sure when I read it, I’ll say that I sound like a dummy, but there is an element of the original sound still in there, even though now there’s a totally different band than when they began.
The mood of each song is different on the album, and the sound is different. One song is really heavily piano-driven, and then the next sounds like two robots having sex. They had this English artist named Boneface make these trippy, creepy videos, and set the mood for how you were supposed to feel when you heard the songs. That album didn’t leave the CD player in my car for months.
It’s tough to pick a favourite song on the album. I love Keep Your Eyes Peeled, which is the opening track. It’s got this ominous, deep-sounding bass, and a scratchy little riff to it, and it’s a great driving song, which is one of my favourite things about Queens of the Stone Age. They make great music to listen to while you’re driving. As a comedian, driving from city to city, sometimes alone, sometimes not, they make great chugging-along beats that help a trip go by a little bit quicker.