Exclusive Interview with Comedienne Robby Hoffman

Funny lady Robby Hoffman talks to us about her big family, her first gig and what inspires her humour.

Published: March 17th 2011
in Culture » Stage

Montreal Comedienne Robby Hoffman

Up-and-coming Montreal comedienne Robby (Rivkah) Hoffman, 24, is witty, irreverent, thought-provoking… and oh yeah, did I mention FUNNY?


Robby was born in Brooklyn, NY, and was raised in a family with 10 children. The entire Hoffman clan was moved up to Montreal in her formative years where she has resided since.


She attended Jewish day school where she “enjoyed colouring pictures in Grade 10 Yiddish class and getting marked for them." She later graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce.


Hoffman lives to make others (and herself) laugh. She spends her evenings performing at comedy bars and clubs in Montreal, including Comedy Works and The Wheel Club. On Tuesday she hosted the “Somewhat Sacreligious Purim Party” at Ghetto Shul Café.


I spoke with Robby yesterday about her experience growing up in a huge family, her plans for the future and her comedic inspiration.




AB (Ashley Baylen): What was it like growing up in a family with 10 children?


RH (Robby Hoffman): Warfare. I mean, I went to bed daily with the fear that the top bunk would collapse on me during the night. I was also hungry a lot.




AB:  When did you move to Canada? Do you consider yourself American or Canadian?


RH: In the early '90s. I was a young girl. I’m both Canadian and American. Pretty good catch, no?




AB: How would you describe your sense of humour?


RH: Hilarious, obviously. Also, extremely hilarious.


AB: Where was your first gig? Were you terrified?


RH: The "Too Much" show at a comedy loft in Montreal. It was a pot room. There were also homeless people chain-smoking cigarettes in the front row which, for your information, was a couch. I got to the mic, told a joke (while holding the mic for dear life) and then excused myself because I was so dizzy from the nerves and smoke and vodka belly shots I had consumed earlier.


AB: You have a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University. Do you intend to begin a career in this field?


RH: Yes, comedy pays too much, so just for fun, I crunch numbers by day working in finance. I work in finance because women aren’t cheap but I intend to import groupies one day.


AB: When you have writer’s block, where do you go to get inspired?


RH: I don’t have a particular time when I write. I try to jot down ideas as they come to me and then rework them later. Montreal, the French, my family and women are big subjects.


AB: Have you been compared to any other comedians?


RH: No! I’m Robby Hoffman, for Christ’s sake. No one can compare, obviously!


AB: Any plans to come to Toronto in the near future?


RH: Yes, I was just there and love it more and more each time. Montrealers love to hate Toronto but I’m pretty sure it’s because we secretly envy it. (Don’t tell anyone I said that…)


AB: Tell me a joke.


RH: For my job, I get to go to a lot of neat places. I recently just got back from Ottawa.




For more info on Robby, go to www.robbyhoffman.com.

Related articles: (Robby Hoffman, Purim, Comedy, Stand-up, Montreal, McGill)
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