Peter Cender first got up on the stage to do stand-up comedy in 2016 when he was in college in Michigan.
He’s the first to admit he bombed.
“I didn’t get a lot of laughs,” said Cender. “The written material, I just wrote a story with, at the time, I thought it had punchlines. But was zero punchlines. I didn’t get a single laugh.”
But it didn’t stop him. Cender said it was a powerful feeling being on stage and that intrigued him enough to try again.
“In an interviewing setting I’m definitely not funny,” said Cender. “But I don’t know, on stage, I’m kind of like a different person up there.”
Ontario-born Cender was selected by the Esks in the fourth round of 2019 draft class picks. He had previously played three seasons at Grand Valley State in Michigan.
He started doing gigs regularly once he moved to Edmonton.
Since September of last year, he guesses he’s been on stage roughly 100 times
“Edmonton’s definitely the best community I was a part of,” Cender said, who added there’s a lot of open mic nights in the city that give comics a chance to get on stage to practice material. “Doing it daily, it’s definitely improved.”
A lot of his comedy can focus on his teammates, and football.
“I take angles I don’t think you’d expect a football player to take,” Cender said.
In Edmonton, bars and comedy clubs remain closed through May due to COVID-19 restrictions.
On Tuesday, CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the league’s 2020 football season would not start until September at the earliest and could be cancelled entirely.