Thursday, March 29, 2007


With all the loafing I have been remiss in letting people know about my gigs, but here are the highlights cutting it pretty close to baby's drop time.

Friday, March 30, 2007; Time to Laugh in Kingston, Ontario; 394 Princess Street; 613-542-5233; 9:00pm; Me and Chris Quigley

Saturday, March 31, 2007; Time to Laugh in Kingston, Ontario; 394 Princess Street; 613-542-5233; TWO SHOWS, 7:30 and 10:00pm; Me and Chris Quigley

Sunday, April 1, 2007 (no joke); Chateau du Lac in Hudson, Quebec; 8:00pm; Me and Scott Faulconbridge, Freddy James and Mike Siscoe

Thursday, April 5, 2007; Mississauga Yukyuks; 5165 Dixie Road, Mississauga, Ontario; 905-624-6501; 8:00pm; Me and Scott Faulconbridge and Dylan Mandlsohn

Friday, April 6, 2007; Mississauga Yukyuks; 5165 Dixie Road, Mississauga, Ontario; 905-624-6501; 9:30pm; Me and Scott Faulconbridge and Dylan Mandlsohn

Saturday, April 7, 2007; Mississauga Yukyuks; 5165 Dixie Road, Mississauga, Ontario; 905-624-6501; TWO SHOWS, 7:30 and 10:30pm; Me and Scott Faulconbridge and Dylan Mandlsohn

Thursday, April 12, 2007; Jimbo's Comedyworks; 1238 Bishop Street, Montreal, Quebec; 514-398-9661; 9:00pm; Hosting for Mike Wilmot

OH MY GOD IT'S FRIDAY THE 13TH, Jimbo's Comedyworks; 1238 Bishop Street, Montreal, Quebec; 514-398-9661; TWO SHOWS, 9:00 and 11:15pm; Hosting for Mike Wilmot

Saturday, April 14, 2007, Jimbo's Comedyworks; 1238 Bishop Street, Montreal, Quebec; 514-398-9661; TWO SHOWS, 9:00 and 11:15pm; Hosting for Mike Wilmot

Saturday, April 21, 2007; Ramada Inn-Belleville; 11 Bayridge Road, Belleville, Ontario; 613-968-3411;
8:00 pm; Me and Joey Elias

Thursday, May 3, 2007; Ajax Yukyuks; 235 Bayly Road, Ajax, Ontario; 905-619-9857;
8:00 pm; Me and Chuck Byrn and Kyle Radke

Friday, May 4, 2007; Ajax Yukyuks; 235 Bayly Road, Ajax, Ontario; 905-619-9857;
TWO SHOWS, 8:00 and 10:30pm; Me and Chuck Byrn and Kyle Radke

Saturday, May 5, 2007; Ajax Yukyuks; 235 Bayly Road, Ajax, Ontario; 905-619-9857;
TWO SHOWS, 7:30 and 10:30pm; Me and Chuck Byrn and Kyle Radke

After that, I am laying in wait for the gig of all gigs!


Sunday, March 25, 2007


There’s an old saying that goes: “Evolve or die”. Actually that specific quote may not be very old. The idea was probably expressed in very different terms and then changed very gradually over time to adapt to the current colloquial climate, becoming the popular choice or, if you will, the “natural selection” as the surviving form of the phrase.

Funny how that works.

Anyway, I’ve always had trouble with change. When I was moving out of my bachelor hovel to move in with Michelle three and a half years ago I felt I was ending a major period of my life behind, leaving a womb of private space and independence. My last week in my own apartment I went out of my way to experience all the little qualities of living alone to which I was accustomed. I was watching tv late into the night, cooking myself intimate dinners of Swedish meatballs and Kraft dinner casseroles or simply basking in the silence and solitude. I was trying to imprint a state of living on my brain.

We’re now at EXACTLY t-minus two months before our baby arrives and anticipating an even more drastic life transition. As much as people may think of moving in with a girl as a big step, that’s nothing compared to the prophecies other folks are sharing with us about impending parenthood. Mostly it’s positive, with only the occasional guy visibly shuddering with that “your life is over” sort of look in their eyes. But the underlying conclusion is “Everything changes. Your decisions change. Your outlook changes. It’s not about you anymore.” People warn of loss of time, loss of leisure, and of course the outright denial of sleep.

So I’m trying to imprint my carefree existence during these remaining weeks, and I’m doing a damn good job of it. I am sleeping in like it’s the weekend every day. I’m re-reading comics I haven’t picked up in twenty years (currently in the middle of a 45-issue run of THOR that is most delightful). I am loafing with Olympic intensity. Michelle’s doing her share as well. Together we’re polishing off whole seasons of programs on DVD. I’ve even started taking “Lost” episodes to my mother’s house just to get her hooked on them so we can watch them together. Plus I’ve been going back and watching all those special features and audio commentaries that I’ve always been curious about. No time like the present, after all. At any rate, there won't be much longer.

Some may think we should really be using these last moments of “freedom” to take that trip to Mexico or sail around the world or what have you, but I’m quite happy to do the little things that have made my life the ball of contentment it’s been for the last couple of decades. If it really is “the end of the world as we know it” then I’d just as soon do the things that I’m actually going to miss.

And yet, I wonder how much I’ll really miss those things. Okay, I’ll miss sleep, I’m fairly certain. But the comic books, tv and all around lazing about? Seems that those activities will evolve, but not really die out. I’ll probably still read fantastic tales of daring-do, it’s just that I’ll be reading them out loud to a wide-eyed little whipper-snapper plopped on my lap. There will no doubt be videos being watched, they just might have more talking animals than I’m used to. As for lazing about, well, it may feel less lazy when you’re generally exhausted, but I foresee some time spent in a comfy chair, rocking a little pudge-bomb and just enjoying another special state of living. It’s not exactly loafing, but it seems to share at least some of the benefits.

It reminds me of another old saying: “The more things change, the more they say the same.” Of course I think that was originally a French expression that has undergone numerous translations and phrasings, probably quite different from the original version. But I’m sure the gist of it remains true.

Funny how that works.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Recently a stand-up superstar, Richard Jeni, passed away after apparently committing suicide. I don’t know much about him besides the fact that he was about as successful and respected as a stand-up can be. I don’t know his medical history or details of his death. But people are citing him as another example of the “sad clown”, someone who brought laughter to millions while happiness somehow eluded him. It’s hardly unprecedented. Being a comedian can be hard on the soul.

Last Saturday about two hundred comedy hopefuls lined up in Montreal to audition for NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, the “American Idol” of stand-up comics. At last Monday’s open mike I heard several comics sharing tales of unceremonious rejection. The experience was made worse by judges who were essentially there to play for the cameras, amping up their ruthlessness to maximize the drama ‘cause, you know, that’s good tv. I didn’t participate in the process and I must say, I don’t regret that decision one bit.

It was sad to hear some of the guys feeling really down after their day of judgment. But it’s the most natural thing in the world. Comedians are hit with negativity on a regular basis. There are lots of positive aspects as well, but we don’t absorb them in the same way. If good feedback is a bowl of scrumptious pudding that we enjoy as a pleasant treat, an unkind word can act as a single shard of glass in that same pudding. So tiny, and yet damaging enough that it’s the one part of dessert that we remember, and may leave scars long after the pudding is just a memory.

(My thanks to the writers of the prison-drama “Oz” for inspiring a frankly bizarre analogy).

Fact is, over the last year, I have found that all it takes is one guy with his arms crossed and his face indifferent, a guy I don’t know, someone whom I don’t even want to know. Just one of those people can trump the praises of a dozen comedy masters (and I’ve received support from several of the best acts in the country). Furthermore, if one of those arm-crossers actually says something to me, well, those encounters stay with me long after the laughter and applause has died away in my mind.

It shouldn’t be this way. Because those individuals shouldn’t matter, certainly not to the extent that they do in my head. Because there have been more people applauding what I do than I can count. Which is a real problem with so many comics. We don’t count the happy faces. We just notice the negative ones, so that at the end of the night, that’s all we’re remembering.

I’d never advise comics to strap on rose-colored goggles and forget about the bad shows outright, to never acknowledge when we hit a rough patch. We need to critique ourselves, to look for concrete reasons why a joke or a set didn’t work that night. But when we let some stranger’s judgment of a single point in time and space override the cumulative experience of years of shows, then we’re selling ourselves short. I’ve done over 1800 shows. I still have bad ones. But when you see it as 1/1800th of your career, it takes some of the edge off.

Lately I’ve been making a more concentrated effort to remember the positive faces in the crowd. The pregnant couple that lit up as I recounted my “Who” bits, the gentleman who approvingly confided, “I like smart comedy”, the people who have stopped me in the street to compliment my CTV special, the ones who bought my cd, all the folks who have shaken my hands and thanked me after a show. As globs of pudding, they are much less distinct in my mind than the bits of glass, but remembering enough of them makes those hard bits a little easier to swallow.

It’s possible that I’m just getting too soft on myself. Maybe the suffering and self-loathing is what makes a good comic great. Maybe that’s what made Richard Jeni great. But when that suffering is trumping all that’s good in your life, well, greatness doesn’t sound so great. Goodness, by comparison, seems really good.

I know many of those people dejected by Saturday’s auditions have had crowds laughing and cheering in the past. I’ve seen them do it firsthand (as recently as last Monday). Only a fraction of people in the universe can do that. And those comics shouldn’t doubt that they’ll do it again. The proof is in the pudding. Eat it up.

Just put it through a strainer first.

Friday, March 09, 2007


I had a really nice time doing a show for the students at Bialik High School last Thursday night. Besides there being a fun line-up (actually the poster for the show is a couple of posts below), the show was kicked off by several students and one teacher doing a few minutes of stand-up each.

(The teacher in question was none other than Joey Elias's mother. She was charming and funny and, most notably, owned the stage just like her son, same stance, feet planted behind the mike stand; very fun to watch AND she works clean!).

I have to say it was wild watching high school kids ranging from, I'm guessing, 14 to 17 years old, doing their stand-up. They showed a lot of confidence, really delivered the stuff well, and structured the material in a way that really shows they get how it works. Most kids (and adults) would tell rambling stories or question-and-answer street jokes. These guys thought up some neat premises, set them up well, then sealed the deal with a nice punchline.

I just think back to high school and know I would never have had the stones to get up on stage in that situation. Mixing in the natural fear of bombing and factoring in an audience of classmates that you'll have to face for the rest of the year, and there is no way in Hades I'd want to risk it.

Nice testament to the courage of these students that they had the nerve to step up. And I must mention, it was cool to see the audience, made up mostly of their peers, being so supportive.

I often wonder how life would be different if I had taken that bold first step into the spotlight before the age of 25. Maybe I'd be further along in my career, maybe I would have bombed so bad I'd never set foot on a stage again. But whatever happens to these junior comics-in-waiting, whether they end up dentists or accountants or (heaven help them) professional stand-ups, at least they won't have to look back at 2007 and wonder "what if..?"

Nice job, guys. Keep carping that diem.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Just an apologetic note to those who have clicked on to join the mailing list at I'm not sure what's wrong, but several people have told me they joined whom I did not receive addresses from. After a couple of trial joinings, it looks like the mechanism has not been working for I-don't-know how long. So we're trying to fix it.

Sorry for those who have tried to join and have heard nothing back. I'll try to keep folks informed when the list is working again.

In the meantime, news items you've missed have included touring Alberta and conceiving a baby, not necessarily in that order.


After my happy little post-Halifax hiatus I am back on the stand-up train. Besides a spot at Jimbo's open mike night tonight I will be performing at this Thursday's benefit at Bialik High School (details on the little poster here).

Also, this week, I'm at Ernie Butler's Comedynest (3rd floor, Pepsi Forum) opening for Wayne Flemming:

Friday, March 9th at 8:30 pm
Saturday, March 10th at 8:30 and 10:30 pm

Enjoy the comedy!

Friday, March 02, 2007


[Optimism warning: This post contains pontificating of an upbeat nature that may irritate people in a cruddy mood. Or not.].

Nothing like a jolt of depressing homesickness to put things in perspective.

For the most part, I would peg my recent maritime visit as an unqualified success. I did a stint at the Moncton Yukyuks that was very fun, and another at the Halifax Yuks that was even better. The shows were very nice, the audiences friendly, and I managed to squeeze in some visits with family and friends.

But there were moments when I really wanted to get back to Montreal. I’m no stranger to these feelings when I’m touring around, but for some reason the sentiment crystallized quite clearly with this realization:

“Everything I want is back home.”

It’s little moments like that that tell you life is going pretty well.

It’s odd how we’re sometimes too busy rushing around to notice, but once in a while it’s good to remind yourself when you’re happy. Sure, we experience joyous moments, whether they’re Christmas mornings or finished swim-a-thons or Just for Laughs shows. But we don’t often spot it when life, in general, is pretty good.

I can only remember a handful of times when it hit me that I liked where I was in the space-time continuum. Once it was while I was skimming the wading pool at my first summer job. I had sun, friends, income and even a sense of responsibility to boot. Another time was sitting up late at night in my residence at Mount A. I had food, shelter and as much freedom as I’d ever known. And I’ll admit, not a whole lot of responsibility being felt there. Living in a one-bedroom apartment in Halifax, working at a group home, paying rent and bills on time, I remember feeling like a productive cog in society’s machine, while still enjoying the life and luxuries to which I was accustomed.

The neat part is I remember these happy times with fondness, but not with any particular longing. In each case, I wouldn’t trade spots with the “me” back then. Residence Dave wouldn’t have traded with Wading pool Dave, and One-bedroom Dave wouldn’t have traded with either of them. And as for Modest-house, Scruffy-dog, Knocked-up-lady Dave, well, there’s no other Dave I’d rather be right now. Which is nice. Gives a feeling of forward motion.

Sometimes it’s scary to acknowledge happiness, because things can change in an instant. An acquaintance of ours just suffered a miscarriage which would be heart-breaking in any event but especially given our current status quo. Another person I know just lost his mother in a car accident which seems too awful to imagine. Like most rarities, happiness is delicate.

It’s very saddening. But sometimes it feels like it’s all the more reason to quietly recognize when our own lives are good, and be thankful, and enjoy it while it lasts.

So, not knowing what the future will bring, I find myself appreciating that this is a good time right now. And if I’m very, very lucky, in a few months this good time will be fondly remembered by Modest-house, Scruffy-dog, New-mom, Baby-bundle, Proud-Daddy Dave…

…and he won’t want to trade places either.