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About Jeff Leeson
Described as “a one of a kind performer” Canadian comic Jeff Leeson’s off the cuff, improvisational style leaves crowds not only wanting more, but stunned at what they had just witnessed. Known for creating a brand new show every time based solely on the audience in front of him, Jeff Leeson has garnered fans far and wide for his particular style of traditional stand up comedy and long-form improv. Fresh material comes easy to this master of crowd work, and Jeff Leeson’s signature end of show “wrap-up”, where he integrates all the audience members he has talked to, has been described as “human fireworks”.
Jeff Leeson began his journey into comedy at the tender age of 14. Over the past couple of decades, his stand up has been featured on Sirius/XM radio, The Bob & Tom Show (WGN), MTV, and the iChannel. His improvisational style made him the perfect fit to host “London Tonight with Jeff Leeson” (RogersTV) and “The Inside Joke” (iChannel). In 2018, Jeff Leeson released his highly anticipated Comedy Special entitled “Off The Cuff” giving his work an even wider reach and creating an archived example of one of his unique, never to be seen again shows.
WATCH JEFF LEESON: GRANDMA USED TO HECKLE ME
Jeff Leeson blends traditional stand up comedy and long form improv in order to take the audience on a journey with him while they witness the show being created right in front of their eyes. This is crowd work at its best.
WATCH JEFF LEESON: OFF THE CUFF
Reviews and Awards
‘Every single show is different; his ability to please any crowd is unmatched’Josh Hadden, Comedy Quarry
‘Jeff does a fantastic job of engaging his audience, making them comfortable and leaving them wanting more’Laura Hyundai, Port Hope
‘One of those true talents that come along only so often in this business’Kevin O’Keefe, iChannel
‘Jeff does an amazing job. I’ve never seen someone do an hour of crowd work and make me cry all the way through’Neil Griffin, Crack Me Up Comedy
Jeff Leeson Tickets
Latest information on Jeff Leeson’s live gigs and shows can be found here
At the young age of just eight, Jeff Leeson realised that he particularly enjoyed the yearly speech assignment at school. He told The Ontarion.com “[My speeches] were always humorous in nature. Even if it wasn’t necessarily the most hilarious topic, whatever my direction was, always was with comedy. […] I wasn’t the most confident kid or anything like that. It was just something where when I was on stage I felt even more confident, secure, or comfortable than I did even just at school or in public,”
While most people attend high school and take extra-curricular activities like dance or sports, as a teenager Jeff Leeson was going to school during the day and hitting comedy club stages at night. After a rocky start sending tapes to anyone who might help him on his path, he recalls a telephone exchange with the owner of his local comedy club, Yak Yaks, who told him his tape was one of the worst comedy shows he’d ever seen and strongly advised him to do something else with his life.
Nowadays, having come up through the the Toronto comedy scene, the 18 year comedy veteran is making a living touring all over North America with his unique brand of stand up. In 2015 he moved back to London, Ontario to host his self-titled web series “The Jeff Leeson Show.”
So how did he manage the trials and tribulations of living a comic’s life from such a young age? He tells the LondonComedyBlog: “The summer that I graduated (high-school) I booked myself on a tour. It was just me, I was doing 45-60 minutes of comedy at a time and making about a hundred bucks a show just on a Western Ontario tour and just never looked back from there… It was weird, well it was a different life, you know? I had nobody that really understood it because none of my friends were in comedy, they were all just students still figuring out what they wanted to do in life; they didn’t really have a dream like that or if they did it was very different. It was kind of a weird time in high-school because others never really understood that my goal was just to work and be paid to do stand-up…”
So how did Jeff Leeson hone his unique, improvisational comedy style for which he’s now known? He explains: “When I was really young, fourteen/fifteen, I had a lot of material, but it was material I had heard on T.V. I didn’t understand the rules of comedy yet, you know? Stealing material or whatever, I just thought ‘I’m gonna try this guy’s joke, I liked it so I’ll try it.’ Then little by little, as I grew and understood comedy and how it works, I thought ‘Oh shit, I’m just happy with my own stuff here.’ By the time I was doing these open mics, my material was very personal. Again, I couldn’t relate to people cause here I am talking about homework and my mom or grandparents, and the people I was talking to are as old as my mom and grandparents, all goin’, ‘we don’t give a shit… nobody cares…It wasn’t until I started really touring and I would go into the states a lot, I would do all these small town America shows, and they didn’t give a f**k about material at all – so I started doing crowd work. Once I started improvising and doing these bits of crowd work and making it personal, that’s really when it clicked for me. For whatever reason, I could just make it a personal show. When I started talking about them and their city, or the guy in the first row with a weird shirt, or whatever it might be, that was the point when it really started to click for me that maybe that was where I was at my best.”
More recently off stage, The Jeff Leeson Show has been taking up most of the comic’s time. After a meeting with a local talk radio station, Jeff was offered a deal to do a weekly podcast hour. With everything ready to go, the station suddenly made a u-turn deciding to put the project on the back burner. Never one to take no for an answer, Jeff Leeson began looking into what it would take to produce the show himself and post it on the internet. After researching the podcasts already out there, and looking into all the equipment needed, he soon realised it was going to be an expensive venture. So instead, using a video camera he already owned, Jeff Leeson called up his buddy Lars Classington and shot and uploaded the show that was intended for the podcast. They were soon approached by a local production company who came on board to film them around the community doing on-location material and allowing Jeff Leeson to do the improvisation work he is best known for. Hitting around thirty thousand views in the first month, The Jeff Leeson Show soon landed a sponsor and is being pitched to networks to take the show even further. Aside from his entrepreneurial projects in recent years, what about Jeff Leeson’s live stand up? Well, fans will be pleased to know that he’s still making shakes on the live circuit, most recently taping his latest show, Stand Up and Sit Down with Jeff Leeson.
Get More Jeff Leeson
Want more of Jeff Leeson? You’re in luck – his full stand-up comedy special is available to watch on NextUp – a digital comedy club where you can stream instantly over 120 comedy specials from some of the exciting names in comedy. Start watching free, no credit card needed.