Ladies and gentlemen, it has happened. The call that every comedian in the world dreams they will get has come. Pack your bags readers, because we are going to Just For Laughs. Last week I got a message from the world’s largest comedy festival asking if I would like to be a part of the festival this year and perform on a televised gala. Would I like to? Well … let me check my schedule.
For a kid who grew up in a small town and has watched the gala performances on TV for almost 20 years, to think that I will be able to stand on that stage is overwhelming. And because it’s Canadian TV, to know that the eight minutes I film for them will be replayed ad nauseum on Canadian television well past my untimely death, makes me smile a little as well.
While this news has surely brightened my strange day to day life, I will say that I still want to go home. Right now we are approaching the end of week nine of 10 on the road.
A week ago today, I got a sun burn while sitting pool-side in 40 degree heat in Florida. Three days ago today, I was on a boat in sub zero temperatures holding a piece of an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland. I think my body is confused. On the downside, I think the moment I get home I will find myself as sick as a dog. The upside to that is that I will have something to write about in my next column because – between you and me – I take cough syrup as well as a little girl mid tantrum.
Something that I love about what I do is that I get to see so many places. I have been to almost 40 cities in the last year and most of them I had never been to before. I’ve learned that driving through Saskatchewan is about as exciting as watching a screen saver for eight hours. I’ve learned that if you jump off a stage in Sudbury – that stage is taller than you think, and you will hurt yourself. And I’ve also learned that the kind and generous people from Newfoundland are some of the strangest in the world.
The other night we went for dinner at a cozy little Italian restaurant in Corner Brook NL. (As an Italian I have to say that this was no Italian food.) When you say ‘Italian restaurant’ in Newfoundland, it likely just means that one of the line cooks ate at an Olive Garden once. If you didn’t laugh at that last sentence, you’re not Italian.)
At this restaurant it was the first time that I had trouble with that world famous newfie accent. I ordered the chicken dish and when I asked what the side was, the girl sweetly said, “Vegibles n’ Walrus.” My brain went: nope … nope … that can’t be right. So I asked again. “Vegibles n’ Walrus.” I asked her to say it slower. “VEG-I-BLES AN WAL RUS.” I gave up.
Twenty minutes later my chicken arrived on a lovely bed of vegetables and WILD RICE. I just quietly sat and smiled to myself.
It’s been an odd tour. Half of it has been my regular stand up and half of it has been runs of my one-man show God Is A Scottish Drag Queen, both parts one and two (Yea, there’s a sequel). Right now I am in London Ont. with one God show left and then I pack my bags for a 6am flight to a new city.
I will tell you this, as we have been talking about strange encounters. I do meet and greets after my shows so people can say hi and take pictures. The other day after a show of God Is A Scottish Drag Queen I am happy to say that it finally happened. In one night I autographed a boob and a Bible! Same night! Boob and a Bible! Wanna know the best part? Same guy!.