Without this blog I probably never would have gotten to see a great comedy act last Saturday. Plus I never would have made a new friend. And of course in some ways it was all connected with the Balkans.

„Hey, do you remember me?

I’m in Vienna, doing a show tonight? You should come!“ the e-mail read.

It was no other than Daniel-Ryan Spaulding, Canadian comedian with Croatian roots who’d sent it. I had asked him a couple of weeks ago whether I could use this video for the blog.

For a number of reasons something always came up so I didn’t get around for a while. Sorry to all my readers. And to Daniel, of course.

The Odds Were Stacked Against Daniel

As luck would have it, Daniel was fighting the probably greatest odds any comedian could have stacked against him that night in Vienna. He was performing in an Irish pub run by a Serb the very night of „El Classico“, Barca playing Real.

Still, he’d managed to gather up an audience of some fourty to fifty people which is remarkable for an English speaking comedian in a German speaking city on this night of all nights.

It was more than worth it (and not just in hindsight cause Barca lost in Barcelona).

Opening Up New Perspectives

Of course, I’m not gonna report his hilarious act here. A good comedy act is always more fun to watch than to read for one. Plus I was too busy laughing in order to take notes.

But to say that it opens up new perspectives certainly isn’t an exaggeration.

Daniel plays with his life experience and that’s plenty: Born in Canada to a Canadian mother and a Croatian father, living in Amsterdam for five years, travelling extensively for his job (yes, he is a comedian and yes, he can make a living off that), being openly gay in places where that’s not so well looked upon (including the Balkans) – that gives you quite a few stories to tell.

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It teaches you a lot about Canadians, Europeans, gay lovers and straight couples or the respective cliches thereof. And a lot in between.

Humor Against Homophobia

Although Daniel probably wouldn’t call himself a gay rights activist he does a lot to boost the self esteem of homosexuals and to annoy homophobes.

This video sparked a lot of angry comments in Croatia.

„Most of the hateful comments came from Dalmatia“, Daniel told us later on when we were enjoying a couple of beers after the show. „And you know what I did? This video.“

It’s All Connected to The Balkans

Another thing that makes the shows interesting is the international crowd they draw.

We had a couple of Canadians and US-Americans and a whole mix from the rest of the world (just no Australians).

There was Joe from London, in Vienna on a one year work contract, nursing his hangover and having a great time at it.

The young Danish guy doing Interrail who’s gonna work in Legoland during the summer.

The outgoing Spanish-American woman from New York living in Vienna who’d done Interrail in the 80’s and here on her first date with an Austrian guy from Styria. They were hitting it off pretty well, in case anyone’s interested.

The three scared girls who refused to sit in the first row: They were from Lebanon, Taiwan and Subotica in Serbia.

And last but not least John from Canada with his equally Canadian girlfriend Lidija who was born in Sarajevo to Croat parents who was later to be joined by her brother Lado who just happened to be celebrating a mutual friend’s birthday who had just happened to pick this place of all places for her party.

So, like I told you, it was somehow all connected to the Balkans.