Darcy Michael performs with Victoria comic Shel Suzuki at the Victoria Pride Society’s first Comedy at Pride show June 30.

Comedy comes out

Darcy Michael and Shel Suzuki perform at the first Comedy at Pride show June 30

Sometimes it pays to have a nagging spouse.

Just ask Darcy Michael, who gives all the credit for his comedy career to his husband Jeremy.

“When we got married I gave this off-the-cuff speech and my husband Jer he just kept nagging at me to try it.”

Comedy was a natural progression for Michael. “I was always an ass, I guess,” he says.

He went to Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver and found a theatre program and inspirational teacher who motivated him. “He was just one of those teachers who stays with you. He provided an environment where you felt safe and secure but also pushed your artistic boundaries.”

Nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award in 2010 for his appearance at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, Michael’s career took off with his 2012 comedy special One Skinny Bitch. In 2014, he was a finalist in Sirius XM Canada’s Top Comic competition and received a second Canadian Comedy Award nomination as Best Breakout Artist. Last year, he was cast as a main character in CTV’s Spun Out with Dave Foley.

“We just finished filming the second season in December but it’s been suspended indefinitely,” says Michael.

On Jan. 26, his co-star J. P. Manoux was arrested on a voyeurism charge, the network put the show on hiatus indefinitely and pulled it from all CTV platforms, including online and on-demand.

Now Michael is back home in Ladner catching up with housework. “I’m cleaning up cat litter – the glamour never ends,” he quips.

His teenage daughter Grace just got a job at an aquarium and brought home some fish, he says. “I just spent half a day keeping the cats away from the fish. One, we call him Five Buck Chuck because he only cost $5, but I paid $180 for accessories – I’m pretty sure he’s gay.”

Grace is a gem, he adds. “She just got a boyfriend, so naturally I’m terrified every time I leave the house. I don’t want to be a grandfather before I’m 36 – but I’d never have to write a joke again.”

He’s enjoying being home for a change as the comedy circuit keeps him on the road much of the time. “In July it’s my 10th anniversary and I still think ‘what the fuck am I doing?’ It’s a stupid existence, I get paid to talk about my feelings which is very easy for me.”

After “10 years of slinging gay jokes” he says acceptance is rarely an issue. “In high school, seriously, I was so fucking naive to what was going on around me. … I never questioned deeply who I was, I would just go with the flow. I was lucky. I had a super hot boyfriend, cool friends.”

Michael usually “outs” himself during his routine. “I love to come out about halfway through my set and challenge everyone’s original thoughts on me. You can watch it change for some people. One lady, the second I came out she was done. Just done. I feel bad that people will let ignorance get in the way of having a good time.”

In September he embarks on an  across the US college tour. “I love our country. America scares the shit out of me. … I’ve worked hard in Canada, I love the people I’ve worked with, that I’d love to keep working with. Schitt’s Creek, have you seen it? Shows like that are rejuvenating Canadian TV, it’s done by the same people who did Spun Out. Some day I hope someone’s dumb enough to hire me so I can singlehandedly be responsible for the downfall of Canadian TV,” he says with a laugh.

 

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