Mike Delamont is someone who needs little introduction, especially in Victoria.
Whether you know him for his stand-up comedy or as one of his many characters — most stemming from his collaborations with local theatre company Atomic Vaudeville — you know one thing for certain, this guy is funny — really, really funny.
And now this ambitious entertainer is making history by being the first local comic to book an iconic local theatre for a solo comedy show, Mike Delamont Live! at the McPherson Playhouse, for one night only.
This M-Award winner and Just For Laughs Comedy Award nominee is part shock and awe, part observational humour combined with video and live sketches starring his many alter-egos. Needless to say, what Delamont has planned won’t be your average comedy show.
“I saw a comedy show there last year. It was $35 to get in. It was a stand-up show with a few comedians and I thought it wasn’t worth it,” says Delamont. “I want there to be a spectacle to the shows. Take a little effort — not just a stool, a mic and some lights. It really doesn’t take much.”
Delamont Live! will be a stand-up show with “one person playing six different people. Actually, when it’s all said and done, there will be around 20 characters making an appearance on both the stage and in video,” he says.
He’s also hired a chorus of local performers to accompany him on stage.
“There may or may not be a song and dance number,” he quips.
Delamont also recorded nine video sketches specifically for this show. “What was 130 hours of shooting and editing ended up to be about 20 minutes of video.”
That statement sums up the work that goes into putting on a one-man show in a 750-seat theatre where employees are paid union rates (Delamont's largest expense).
When it’s all said and done, it will take more than 50 people working behind the scenes to pull off this one-man show.
And on top of writing 90 minutes of material, Delamont has to take care of promotion, printing, and paying the bills.
“The banner of narcissism,” he says of a 12-by-12-foot banner draped on the wall outside the McPherson. (Delamont is also the proud owner of a 36-foot-long banner with his name on it that he used in his recent comedy special taping.)
“This is definitely on a larger scale than I normally do and I hope the audience is ready to take that next step with me. It’s a big step and a big risk.”
He’s produced two sold-out, stand-up shows, The One Night Stand with Mike Delamont (Victoria Event Centre, May 2010) and The One Night World Tour (Victoria Event Centre, April 2011); two critically acclaimed, one-man theatre shows with his irreverent character God the Scottish Drag Queen, filmed a TV special Husky Panda (in front of a live audience at the Metro Studio) and is the hostest with the mostest around town — PechaKucha, the M-Awards, and as Lando Rock at Rifflandia — plus guest spots on comedy and theatre shows as well. Out of the 150 shows he’s done, at least 40 have been sell-outs.
And he doesn’t have an agent.
“I take a lot of control in what I do, say what you will, it’s the quality I want it to be,” he says with a snicker.
He’s one hard working man. In fact, on top of the TV special, Delamont also had time to visit Montreal’s Mainline Theatre for a four-day run in November, featuring three shows — God is a Scottish Drag Queen, God is a Scottish Drag Queen: The Second Coming and Husky Panda — performed back-to-back-to-back.
“I can do the first one in my sleep,” he says. “The new [God] still has new car smell — vomit and regret.”
But getting through three-and-a-half-hours of material doesn’t phase Delamont. His problem on a night with three shows is more in the wardrobe department.
“The dress doesn’t dry,” he says with an uncomfortable look on his face. “It just stays moist all night.”
Delamont rocks a ladies’ ’80s floral power suit and a short black bob wig when he performs as God. Created six years ago by Delamont and Atomic Vaudeville’s Jacob Richmond, Delamont took over the writing of the character after the first episode.
Obnoxious host Jimmy Peekaboo, Italian winemaker Carlo Rossi, the Dr. of Theatre and Jurgen Muller are just a few of the other characters Delamont plans to conjure during the show — in front of his largest audience ever.
Delamont will only have been performing stand-up for two years in January, but with support from friends, he took the plunge and booked The Mac, where he works occasionally as an usher.
“I was with Howie Siegel, chatting about baseball and comedy. I asked if I should do it and he put $70 in my hand and said he wanted the best two seats. It’s scary. It’s a terrifying thought, but I think it will be worth it.”
And it’s a safe bet the show will be worth the $37 ticket price.
“I love that the Mac is so intimate. I can still see people’s faces and expressions even at the back of the room.”
It’s also a safe bet that if you sit close to the front there’s a good chance you’ll be the butt of one of his jokes.
“I like to call it the splash zone. I pick on people every show. I like it, it warms my heart,” he says. “Funny enough, if I go see a show and someone picks on me, I hate it.”
But just because he picks on you, doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you, or that he’s taking the audience for granted.
“I want the audience to be well aware of the fact that it’s appreciated — it’s something I get teased about by fellow comics, and reviewers as well. But I’m not going to just drop the mic and say ‘I’m out!’ I can afford my life and pay my bills because people come to my shows.” M
Mike Delamont Live! at the McPherson Playhouse
Wed., Dec. 12 (12/12/12) at 7:30pm
tickets are $37 at rmts.bc.ca or