Comic Derek Edwards hits the Memorial Centre’s mainstage May 25th as part of his ‘Alls I’m Saying’ tour.
As his web site puts it so well, taking in an Edwards’ show provides a, “Riotous evening of homegrown comedy — like taking a ride in an open golf cart with a good friend and a six pack.”
Edwards has been making his mark on the comedic landscape of this country for decades – and has loads of accolades collected along the way.
From Vegas to St. John’s, Edwards, who is also a Just For Laughs veteran, is universally considered to be among the comic elite.
Certainly his peers think so as shown by the fact that he’s a four-time nominee and winner of Best Standup Comic - Canadian Comedy Awards, as well as a multiple Gemini nominee for Best Performance in a Comedy.
He explains the joy of performing in Canada is that most of us don’t take ourselves too seriously – as individuals or as a country.
“I have some nice, warm recollections of a fun crowd out in Red Deer,” he explained during a recent chat.
As to the show, variety is indeed the defining word.
“There will be reflections on political correctness, law enforcement and more ruminations of the magic that is marriage - plus random observations, one-liners. You know me, I’m not changing the world - I’m just going for cheap laughs - as many as I can get,” he says, chuckling.
Originally from Timmins, Ontario, Edwards has credited his supportive folks with part of why he took to humour from a young age. He recalls family reunions with lots of laughs. Both parents sported great humour sensibilities.
“When you are starting out, that’s what you have for influence,” he explained.
“Then there is your gang of buddies - the jock guys and the guys who would really rather sit and listen to Monty Python or some such thing. That was my group of pals, and those were my formative years.
“These are your buddies, and they are cracking you up. And that’s the way to the top of this hierarchy - getting these guys to laugh!”
Another key moment in his early years that would prove defining came in high school when he was asked to read announcements because the valedictorian couldn’t show up. Just reading the material didn’t seem like much fun, he recalled. Edwards opted to throw a funny spin on things and the audiences quickly appreciated his approach.
These days, inspiration springs from pretty much anything.
Everyday life is packed with all kinds of humourous sparks that set his imagination flying. This happens in particular when he’s on the road.
“You see something that is unique and interesting specific to a certain geography,” he said. “It will just bubble away in the back of my subconscious.
“Also, the best way for me to remember - because I’m a bit scatterbrained - is to have an over-arching topic and I can throw a whole bunch of jokes in there. Then I’m less likely to forget one - leave it wounded and dying by the roadside. I can scoop them all up and put them under that canopy. Basically, it’s like having all these pictures in my head.”
It all goes towards crafting fresh, engaging stuff for his tours, and there is no end to what this clever guy can come up with.
As to touring Canada, he says humour sensibilities alter from place to place, but the east coast is in particular a jolly crowd. “You best come prepared, as when the heckler’s line is funnier than your line,” he laughs.
Meanwhile, other performance highlights over the years include his 60 city cross-Canada tour for ‘Sleepless in Gogoma’.
His humour has also been showcased on A&E’s Comedy Hits the Road, CTV’s Comedy Now, CBC’s Comics, The Multi-Cultural Show, The Prime Minister’s Show, Sleeping With The Elephant and The Halifax Comedy Festival.
These days, there really isn’t much better in life than hitting the road every few years and connecting with loyal fans.
“The only thing you have on the road is the next show. So whatever you can do that entire day that leads you to have a slightly better show is immediately and existentially beneficial to you - you feel it.
“As long as you can hone it down and chisel it down to something that is working - that’s the glory of it.”
For tickets, call the Black Knight Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626 or check out www.blackknightinn.ca.