Comedian chomps chili pepper at Edmonton public hearing while arguing climate change is ‘not a huge issue’

A local comedian stirred up laughter, confusion and condemnation Monday morning when he ate a spicy prop at a public hearing in Edmonton City Hall as he ranted about how climate change is “not the end of the world.”

He identified himself as “Arun Tysily” (aren’t I silly) before city councillors gave him the standard five minutes to speak his mind.

CTV News Edmonton has since identified him as Brendan Washbern, a standup comedian who also played the prank on councillors in November when he joined a virtual meeting to rant about a historic house.

“We have these goofballs on the internet gluing their hands to artwork trying to protest the oilfield,” Washbern said Monday.

“And I don’t think anybody is really standing up for the oilfield as they should because every time you hear an ambulance or siren that’s the oilfield right there doing their job.”

Washbern explained that he brought a chili pepper to make his point about climate change, while councillors watched on quietly.

The meeting was primarily about zoning bylaws so Washbern admitted he “could not find the appropriate meeting to come down to.”

“I kinda wanted to demonstrate that climate change is not a huge issue because I brought a chili pepper and I was gonna eat it and show that even if something does heat up a little bit, it’s not the end of the world,” he said.

Washbern could then be heard chomping loudly on the video feed, which is posted to YouTube in its entirety.

“The pepper is heating up a little bit but it’s not a big issue,” he said.

“I wanted to demonstrate that because a lot of people say that if Canada was to heat up, it’d be the end of the world. But South America is way warmer than Canada and people vacation there all the time.”

Councillors had no questions for him so the meeting moved on without comment.

Coun. Michael Janz later outed Washbern as a prankster on Twitter and Coun. Sarah Hamilton tweeted about “aspiring comedians” who need help with their punchlines.

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