Bit Playas..." />“Bit Playas” Stars Kris Siddiqi & Nigel Downer On Their Excellent CBC Gem Series, Gaming & More – The Hype Magazine


Published on July 23rd, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz


“Bit Playas” Stars Kris Siddiqi & Nigel Downer On Their Excellent CBC Gem Series, Gaming & More

Bit Playas is an acclaimed CBC Gem series (now available for streaming in the United States via Amazon Prime) following best friends Ahmed (Kris Siddiqi) and Leon (Nigel Downer) as they spend their days hustling in the casting room, navigating the dating world and deflecting the occasional “soft racism” — all while dealing with their own identity crises. With strong emphasis on comics, movies and video games, the show goes thematically far beyond diversity, also incorporating plenty of reality.

Going beyond Bit Playas, co-star Kris Siddiqi is a Toronto-based actor, improviser, sketch performer, writer, director and producer. He has written multiple main stage revues, as performed on-stage via the Second City Toronto troupe, beyond appearing on MuchMusic and MTV Canada and co-creating the Canadian Comedy Award-nominated shows Dreadwood and Battleawesome Awesomestar.

Siddiqi’s co-star Nigel Downer is a Toronto-based improviser, actor, teacher, director, and Second City alumnus. Downer wrote and performed in 5 critically-acclaimed revues for Second City Toronto, beyond directing for the Second City National Touring Company and Family Company. He can be seen on Baroness von Sketch Show, Frankie Drake, and Netflix’s Titans, beyond extensive commercial work.

As embedded below, I had the pleasure of speaking with both Kris Siddiqi and Nigel Downer — two of the most personable interview subjects I have ever encountered in 20+ years of conducting interviews — on July 23, 2020 about Bit Playas, whether the show has a planned second season, how Canada’s comedy scene factors into the States, Detroiters, comics, video games, Second City, and even wrestling legend The Junkyard Dog. More on all things Bit Playas can be found online at

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.

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