Canadian comic Derek Edwards brings his keen observations on life to the Mary Winspear Centre for a May 30 show. Photo by Leif Norman

Canadian comic Derek Edwards brings his keen observations on life to the Mary Winspear Centre for a May 30 show. Photo by Leif Norman

Making a career out of poking fun at life’s frustrating moments

Respected comic Derek Edwards brings homegrown Canadian act to Sidney on May 30

By Joseph Blake

Monday Magazine contributor

Critics call Derek Edwards “the king of Canadian comedy” and “a comedian’s comedian.” Canadian comedy star Rick Mercer says “Everyone knows Derek is the funniest man in Canada.”

Edwards brings that reputation and his act to Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre Thursday, May 30.

A Just For Laughs veteran and stand-up comedy great who tours almost 220 shows a year from St. John’s to Las Vegas, Edwards has multiple Gemini Award nominations and won a Canadian Comedy Award as Best Stand-up Comedian.

Talking by phone from his home in Toronto before launching the upcoming All’s I’m Saying tour in Sidney, Edwards describes the tour title as a common expression used in his northern Ontario youth, a tagline to almost any sentence, “all’s I’m saying.”

The veteran comedian riffs on his roots in Timmins, Shania Twain, Las Vegas, and an elderly fan in Cochrane, Ont. who handed him a handful of homegrown joints after a show, then moves on to a hockey talk joke and his beloved Leafs.

“Maybe I’ll get some time on a golf course during my visit to Vancouver Island in late May … maybe meet some Leafs out there.”

Edwards doesn’t actually say “all’s I’m saying,” but I imagine his catchphrase after his subtle hockey joke. Instead he says, ‘Every part of the country is a little different, but you can’t miss with a joke about Toronto.”

He began his comedy career at a Toronto amateur night when he was 28, after working numerous jobs including as a waiter, miner, and tree planter.

“I bombed that first night,” Edwards laments, “but my second show did great. I had a good job with a painting company at the time, and I started working the comedy circuit on weekends.”

He names George Carlin as his comedic hero and Norm Macdonald as his favourite Canadian funnyman. Edwards’ twisted observational bits about Mad Cow Disease (told from the herd’s point of view) and his darkly funny fear of dogs remind me of Carlin and Macdonald’s work, as does my favourite Derek Edwards riff on bank tellers timing their lunch breaks with their clients’ lunch hour banking. He compares the inherent frustration in this scene with an imaginary restaurant staff’s similar lunch break scheduling.

We talk about his performance preparation, Edwards describing pre-show walks and “hopefully chats with somebody to get an idea about the sensibilities of the local community.”

When I ask about political comedy, he says “during the last couple of tours I’ve had to vent a little about the orange man to the south. It’s so much fun, but my show is basically an escape hatch from all that. It’s a chance for my audience to forget their cares and worries for 90 minutes.”

Tickets for Derek Edwards’ show at the Mary Winspear Centre are $47.50. Visit marywinspear.ca/events-and-programs for more information or to buy tickets online, or call 250-656-0275.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

comedy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Gettin’ Higher Choir will be performing alongside Wavelengths Community Choir and special guests during an online concert Jan. 30. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria choirs team up for online concert fundraiser

Valdy among performers for free concert

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Juno-winning Toronto dub poet Lillian Allen is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet for 2021. (Photo courtesy Karen Lee)
Juno-winning dub poet is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet this year

Lillian Allen will present online lecture, reading and Q-and-A

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

Most Read