Montreal Comedian James Mancini Coming To Ottawa on July 2

James Mancini’s path to being a professional comedy has not been linear, which is probably why his comedy resonates so well with his audience. The Montreal-born comic, who is coming to Ottawa’s Absolute Comedy on July 2nd, will compete in the venues ‘Prove Your Comic Competition’. 

He brings with him an interesting path to the stage. Born in the West Island of Montreal, James grew up with a vibrant cultural mix—an Italian father and a French Canadian Irish mother. “I was extremely hyperactive,” he says. “I had done some acting, but I much rather enjoyed playing hockey.”

James began wrestling in high school and, despite initial reluctance, quickly fell in love with the sport’s competitive nature. After he didn’t qualify for the 2012 Olympics, a teammate suggested mixed martial arts–a perfect fit for James, who signed a pro contract within the same week. “I wouldn’t say I achieved success at a young age. My true dream was hockey, but being a 110-pound wrestler against 200-pound hockey players made the decision for me.”

James transitioned to commentary, covering the 2016 Olympics in Rio for Radio Canada. He also ventured into comedy, encouraged by a friend in Montreal. “Comedy and fighting are both very difficult. They take a lot of discipline, love, and determination. At least when you have a bad night fighting, you’re completely unconscious.”



The pandemic reignited his passion for comedy. “Performing on Zoom was excruciatingly painful when you bomb, but performing in front of a crowd is much more satisfying. If you don’t like rejection, comedy is the worst thing for you, but if you can get past it, the sky is the limit.”

James also invested in the restaurant Resto Mauvais Garçons, appreciating the support from its owner, Rob Goldberg, during his fighting career. “I keep my supporters and my team very close, very tight-knit, which is always important to me.”

Ottawa holds a special place in James’s heart. “It’s literally become my second home. The crowds are great. The first time I drove out to Absolute for an open mic, I knew I’d be driving here often. The crowd gives you such honest feedback.”

And now, James is preparing to return to the Capital on July 2nd for Absolute Comedy’s Prove Your Comic competition, with his first round at 8:30 PM. “I need all my Ottawa people to come out and cheer me on.”

To aspiring comedians, James advises: “Don’t listen to anybody, but also listen to everybody. Be nice to the host and producer, and always take the free meal.”

Catch James at Absolute Comedy in Ottawa for a night of laughs and support a versatile talent who has seamlessly transitioned from the ring to the stage. Tickets can be purchased here.

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