FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Ottawa author to publish bio of late, great comedian, Greg Giraldo


OTTAWA, December 12, 2018 – Ottawa-based author Wayne Jones has co-authored a biography of American comedian Greg Giraldo, who died in 2010. Jones and co-author Matt Balaker wanted to tell the lesser-known stories of Giraldo’s life, and to illustrate the impact he had on the comedy world. The Kickstarter-born book entitled Greg Giraldo: A Comedian’s Story, will be available in January 2019 on Amazon, in e-book, audio, and print formats.

In what they call a “labour of love,” the writers have assembled Giraldo’s story through more than 60 interviews with managers, his former wife, fellow comedians, friends, producers, and entertainment journalists and writers. Many fans know the surface details of Giraldo’s life through his comedy material, but readers will take a deeper dive into his days after Harvard Law School, ascension to cult comic icon, and premature demise from addiction.

The comedy world has already taken notice of Balaker and Jones’ book.

“I love this book because it’s another thing to carry on Greg’s legacy,” says comedian and actor Nick Swardson. “[Giraldo was] one of the best, honest comics of our time.”


Originally from Queens, NY, Giraldo got his start in stand-up comedy in 1992. He performed at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montréal where he was discovered by an agent, and his career began to boom. Though Giraldo may be best known for his participation in the Comedy Central roast series, he could often be seen on late night television programs such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Show with David Letterman, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He was a regular at the popular Comedy Cellar club in Manhattan and made many appearances on the Howard Stern Show.

Throughout his career in comedy, he spoke candidly about his struggles with addiction and often incorporated themes of substance abuse and the accompanying challenges into his act. He died on September 29,  2010, at the age of forty-four, from an accidental overdose on prescription medications.


mattbalakerMatt Balaker grew up in Carlsbad, California before moving to Los Angeles. He has worked in investment funds, independent movies, and has been performing stand-up comedy for 15 years. He currently lives in Orange County with his wife and two sons.

waynejonesWayne Jones was born in Newfoundland but has moved around for education and work. He’s lived in Ottawa twice for a total of almost twenty years and is currently living minutes from the Experimental Farm. He has a master’s degree in English and is currently the head of a university library in the city. Jones has published two novels as well as a book about the psychology of personal minimalism, and is currently at work on a biography of the 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson.

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Angie Sauvé


An Ottawa 2017 Promo Fail

For those of you who aren’t aware, 2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday! Some pretty big celebrations are taking place in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, and the city is busy promoting the hell out of the coming festivities.

I gotta say, when I saw the above ad on a city bus today, I was pretty disappointed in my hometown’s marketing and comms department.

At first glance, the ad (above) looks fine, but let me tell you what I see that’s going wrong here.

Here’s the first thing that’s failing.

YOWTTAWA? Yeesh. Ottawa’s airport code is YOW so this is some kind of redundant Frankensteined combo of two words that mean the same thing.

Not to mention this text is floating to the side, all alone, with no context. Is this the name of some event? A band?

“Ahh of course!” The realization hit me. “This is the Ottawa 2017 social media username, I’ll bet!”

A quick search told me I was wrong. No twitter handle @YOWTTAWA.

But Twitter did have some references to this promotional campaign. And I’m not the only person who hated it. It just sounds… well… dumb.

It seems like the promoters are trying to get the term YOWTTAWA trending, and yet they left out the most important thing! THE HASHTAG! That one symbol tells us the entire purpose its inclusion on the poster and how to find more information about it. Let’s all remember the golden internet comms rule – if people can’t find the info in two clicks, they’ll bail. And for this reason, YOWTTAWA is a fail. Hey that rhymed.

Locals with social media savvy are already using #YOW when talking about the city, and so even if the intention was to make YOWTTAWA a hashtag, it was completely unnecessary.

Secondly, we have this.

“Hey Angie, those are the social media icons for each platform! Of course they included that, silly!” This is what you’re saying to me right now, isn’t it?

Well, yes. They want people to know they’re on Facebook and Twitter and so on. But you know where putting a tiny icon works best? ON THE INTERNET.

When looking at a real-life poster on a bus, I can’t click on it. I can’t go straight to your account and follow you. These icons work great on a website. In fact, it’s imperative that you have those on your website. But all this poster makes me do is search for the accounts myself. And yes – that sounds lazy, but let’s circle back to the golden internet comms rule, which you definitely know by now.

How could this ad have been more efficient? Well, this campaign struggled from the get go with continuity in its setup. The official site is, you can find them easily enough on Facebook as Ottawa 2017 (although they  really need to use the custom URL feature), the Twitter handle is @2017ottawa (ooh so close!) and on Instagram they’re @ottawa_2017. They’re as consistent as they could get, I think, considering other users have snagged the account names they no doubt had in mind as their first choices. While it’s easiest, and certainly best practice, to say your brand is present on the Big Three (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) all with the same exact handle, it looks as though they did the best they could.

All to say, in analog format where I can’t click a link, just tell me exactly how to find you on each platform. QR codes are a failed technology that tried to solve this problem by allowing users to scan the image and be taken straight to a website or app download page. While you might still see them here and there, QR codes don’t usually have much pick-up, and are usually a waste of time and space in your ad. They’re like laser discs. They seemed super high-tech at first, but the public was kinda just like “Meh.”

I recommend that the Ottawa 2017 campaign bail on the use of YOWTTAWA. Although I have no stats/metrics/data/whatever-you-wanna-call-it on the success of the term within this campaign, all I know is that my gut feeling was ICK and HUH? Not to mention I found that other people on Twitter also found it unappealing. First impressions are everything and a product or company that’s advertising to us has mere seconds to make it a good one. That’s usually what the success of marketing and branding hinges upon – instinct and gut feeling of the consumer.