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Liam Rado connecting new comedians with Ruckus Productions

Two years ago, Liam Rado was lying on a sofa wondering what they were going to do with their life.

Liam Rado knows how important a sense of humour is to a healthy life.

It kind of saved theirs.

When they aren't bartending, working the pot shop, or performing live, the 26-year-old Rado, aka 'Big Nasty L' is one of the four horsemen of local comedians Kia 'Highballer' Mazar, Logan 'Boogie' Brown, Danny 'Da Foreigner' Meyer running Ruckus Productions.

They weren't always so ambitious.

Two years ago, the Ottawa native was living in his family's basement, smoking pot and struggling with their mental health. Their father had just died of cancer and they were struggling to come out as a bisexual man. Their life was going around in circles.

Then, in June 2020, Rado finally decided to get up off the sofa, get a job and get a life.

“I used to be really angry,” Rado says. “My apartment was in disarray. The only thing missing was rotting food in the fridge. I was in a bad place. But I started taking small steps to have a life. Clean my apartment, then I got a job. One thing lead to another.”

Working at a pot paraphernalia shop, they realized they were a natural salesman who liked people, liked to talk. They reclaimed some self esteem, enough at least to try the thing at the top of their bucket list, standup comedy. Like his favourite comedian Dave Chapelle. They liked it.

The more Rado did, the more they realized they had a voracious appetite for life. They met another comedian Danny Meyer. Together, they shared a dream of creating a safe place where new standup comedians could break the rules, try new material, fall on their face, and succeed. In 2021, they started doing shows at the Glebe Central Pub.

“We had no idea what we were doing,” Rado says laughing. “It didn't matter, we got the ball rolling. When we started, comedy was a bit like a dying art. No one I knew had ever seen live comedy, but they came to our shows.

“When the Wu-Tang Clan came into the hip-hop world, they did things that none had ever done. That's what we're trying to do with comedy,” Rado explains why they named the venture “Ruckus”. “We want to do comedy differently. We want to be loud and fast and be ourselves hard.”

Rado and company's current plan is to continue booking shows with up-and-comers like Emmett Morrison, Logan Brown, Abdullah Uzman and Jeff Davis and add live concerts. Follow them on Instagram and Youtube at ruckuscomedy and on Tik Tok at ruckusproductions, and their website www.ruckusproductions.ca

“Comedians are like trapeze artists,” they add. “The way things are today, you don't want to be too woke of a comedian, nor do you want to be too edgy. You want to walk the line. It's a hard thing to do, and it's easy to get into trouble. Sometimes I'm too edgy, sometimes I'm too woke, but there's humour in everything. You need to push for the fences.”

“This Live on Elgin room is going to be bumpin' tonight,” they assure me. “We're sold out because people need to be together. They need to have a shared experience you only get at a live show. That's what it's all about.”

So far, Rado's found an audience once again for live comedy. After a couple years of COVID pandemic lifestyle, people, they conclude, are very happy to be out and about together again.

“My life started during COVID,” he says. “The only reason I got vaccinated was so that I could keep doing comedy. What started as a sick hobby, has turned into my life's purpose.”

 

 

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