Mark Clairmont |

BRACEBRIDGE — Comedy’s about “how you tell it and sell it.”

That’ll will win you a Juno — hopes Bracebridge-based comedian Tyler Morrison.

The comedic producer and talent has his second nomination up this week for comedy album of the year with Hisham Kelati’s Tigre King.

The 38-year-old creative director of the Cottage Country Comedy Festival — now in its 16th year this summer — says timing is important and anyone can tell a good joke.

But the winner, May 15, will be the one with the “most original stories,” says Morrison, whose retired dad, Tim, now “works for me,” and Tyler’s business partner, Wade Dabrowski.

“It’s how they “tell it and sell it,” says Morrison. “If you kill it they love it.”

Tyler Morrison, creative director of the Muskoka’s Cottage Country Comedy Festival, has produced his second Juno nomination with Hisham Kelati, entitled Tigre King.

He and Kelati, who has a co-writing credit on the CBC TV show TallBoyz — and recently won an April episode of CBC’s The Debaters — are up against Andrea Jin (Grandma’s Girl); Gavin Stephen (All Inclusive Coma); Keith Pedro (Trillipino) and Sean Devlin (Airports, Animals).

SPOILER ALERT MONDAY: Jin ended up winning the Juno.

All of them know each other either from within the small fraternity of funny men and women or by reputation on the Canadian comedy circuit and by performing in clubs together north and south of the border.

Morrison has even hired some of them in the past for his Muskoka Cottage Country Comedy Festival.

They’ll be at the first live Juno awards show since COVID on Sunday, which airs on all of CBC’s multiple TV, radio and streaming platforms and is hosted by Simon Liu of Kim’s Convenience and Marvel superhero fame.

Morrison was here two years ago, before the pandemic, when he produced Jarrett Campbell’s album Straight White Fail.

Tigre King, which Morrison released a year ago — on May 18, 2021 — has done well the past year, he says, receiving “high rotation” on Sirius FM’s online and radio satellite comedy channel. As well as via other comedy platforms, which result in the lucrative royalties from downloads every comic craves.

Morrison says Kelati’s Eritrean roots offer him a unique take on life that gives him “it factor” that makes him stand out in crowded comedic field.

Morrison, who performs regularly at Yuk Yuks — and was in Parry Sound this past weekend —  has been on several stages recently from L.A.’s Comedy Store to afar a field as Timmins.

Awhile back he was on the same bill with Kelati and immediately knew he was a “hot prospect.”

“I can tell when someone has the ‘got it factor.’ He’s super funny, charismatic and magnetic.”

Tigre King was recorded at one of Kenny Robinson’s famed shows at Yuk Yuks, where he headlined the bill for the first time.

Kelati’s comedy is born out of his Eritrea-born roots, a background Morrison says gives him his unique takes on life.

The Bracebridge comedian, who has a wife and two daughters, says it’s easy for a comedian to fall back on family for laughs.

But it’s how Kelati “tells it and sells it” is what makes that big difference.

His humorous cultural takes is what is helping him “break through” in a crowded comedic field and to be “relatable” says Morrison.

But it’s the “collaboration” between artist and producer that has the album up for a Juno.

“I love the creative and editing side,” said Morrison, who came up with the Tigre King album name and cover design — which is a take on Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America movies.

And while a Juno can only help the album’s sales and play with individual downloads, Morrison says the nomination has already paid off with more bookings for 2022 as clubs and festivals resume openings.

He says he’s already planning the line-up for this August’s Cottage Country Comedy Festival, which could include his friend Tisham Kelati

And a Juno win would certainly help tell it and sell it.

Hisham Kelati is up for Comedy Album of the Year, produced by Country Comedy, Sunday night all over CBC.


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