Comedy Here Often? Expands Label to Become Canada's Biggest Comedy Podcast Network

Including Toronto punks the OBGMs' podcast 'Band Practice,' plus Darcy Michael and Jane Stanton's 'High School Sucked'
Comedy Here Often? Expands Label to Become Canada's Biggest Comedy Podcast Network
There's a new hub for comedy on Canada's West Coast: Comedy Here Often?, a label and podcast network founded in 2016 by Jonathan Simkin (head of 604 Records) and Kevvy (of the band Fake Shark). In just five years, Comedy Here Often? has shined a light on the too-often overlooked local comedy scene, raking in Juno nominations and topping the iTunes comedy charts several times over.

CHO's comedy podcast network is the largest one in Canada, and it features a must-hear music podcast: The OGBMs: Band Practice. Featuring Polaris-short listed punk band the OBGMs, it reveals something fans might not know about the Toronto group: that they're hilarious.

The OBGMs join a thriving, artist-first podcast network that also includes: The 98%, about the experiences of being an actor with a day job; Sticks and Stones, a comedy-hockey crossover podcast hosted by country musician Dallas Smith and CHO?'s own Jonathan Simkin, with guests including Chad Kroeger of Nickelback; and The Generators Podcast, hosted by This Hour Has 22 Minutes star Trent McClellan and featuring big-name guests like Ron MacLean, Bob Saget and David Suzuki.

And then there's the hit High School Sucked, hosted by comics Darcy Michael and Jane Stanton. Guests like Lauren Ash (Superstoke), Nikki Glaser and several cast members of the Kids in the Hall (David Foley, Bruce McCulloch, and Scott Thompson) share their most embarrassing stories from their awkward adolescent years.

CHO? Podcast Network Director Dan Duvall said, "Every comedian has a podcast, I'm pretty sure it's illegal not to have one. Because it's such a wide market, it's incredibly difficult to gain any kind of traction if you're doing it on your own. We figured if we could all team up and do it together, we'd have a better chance of showcasing some of the amazing comedy podcast talent this country has to offer. And we've found that to be true so far." All told, there are more than 30 podcasts on the roster, ranging from film and TV to travel to sports — and, of course, comedy.

Before launching the podcast network, Comedy Here Often? was first and foremost a record label — and that's still a big part of what the company does. CHO? has released more than two-dozen albums, notably including Juno-nominated albums by Shirley Gnome (2020's Decoxification) and Charles Demers (2017's Fatherland), plus hysterical releases by Kyle Bottom, Andrea Jin, Randee Neumeyer, Yumi Nagashima and more.

The catalogue goes way beyond albums and podcasts: the label's TikTok account has gone viral multiple times, thanks to its exclusive comedy clips flamed at Vancouver's Hollywood Theatre and the 604 Records Soundstage. The account has amassed nearly 90,000 followers (as of this writing) in just a few months since launching earlier this year. The label also churns out laugh-out-loud content on YouTube, releasing dozens of videos including standup clips, sketches, cartoons and other hilarity.

CHO? even hosted a wildly successful comedy festival, Stop Going Viral, back in the spring. Featuring Will Arnett, Blink 182's Mark Hoppus, Nikki Glaser, Neal Brennan and more, the event raised funds for PAHO and WHO's COVID-19 relief efforts.

CHO? is continuing to expand its reach, which includes a partnership with iHeart Radio and an upcoming collaboration with SiriusXM. Comedy Here Often? has clearly accomplished its mission of serving the local comedy community, and it's still picking up momentum.

Get more information about CHO?'s podcast network here and the record label catalogue here.