Comedian Derek Edwards is bringing his latest show – Baloney and Wine – to the City on Nov. 21st.
Described as an ‘uproarious romp through the increasingly strange quirks of our daily routines’, the show runs at the Memorial Centre starting at 7:30 p.m.
The performance has also been described as relentless and brazen, a tightly woven running commentary about human nature – ‘the thinking man’s coffee break.’
In an ever more chaotic world, Edwards remains an inimitable constant, the hilarious voice of reason.
As he says, “28 years in, it’s AAALLLL starting to click!”
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, this Just For Laughs veteran is considered to be among the comic elite.
Certainly his peers think so, as evidenced 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.
He also always tries to meld a local touch into his shows, and the best way to do that is chatting with folks in the hotel he happens to be staying at in a given community.
As for Baloney and Wine, he describes the process of putting the material together as sort of coming together in bits and pieces.
“You have some ideas and think of some jokes, and some of them start to work,” he explains during a chat from Toronto. “It’s fresh and new, and you think, well, maybe I can piece this together. I wish there was a more specific way of doing it, like building a lawn mower,” he laughs. “It’s just a lot of juggling and praying and trying out things – and if they don’t work, you think, can I make this work?
“There are also lots of little decisions about what you include and what you don’t.”
Of course, the show evolves over the course of a tour as well – things that strike communities funny in the east part of the country don’t always connect in the west for example.
But you never really know how a given show will go – and that’s part of the fun. “It’s a bit of a dance up there – sure. I won’t pretend it isn’t. It’s also not like doing improv,” he added, noting how scary that could be. “That’s what I find amazing and truly terrifying – someone giving you a topic and you just run with it,” he explained. “That to me is amazing – when it works,” he said.
Originally from Timmins, Ontario, he 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. “My folks are both funny, and my sister is way funnier than I am,” he explained. “So I’m the low man on the totem pole – maybe I’ve been trying to prove something all of these years,” he laughed. What helped him translate a talent into a career is his sense of tenacity. He just wouldn’t give up – even if early shows didn’t go particularly well.
“I remember guys if they had a rough show, that was it. You’ve got to take it on the chin once in a while, you know?”
Looking back at his formation for a career in comedy, one of the key moments 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.
“That’s what put the hook in me,” he said. “I was also quite shy, so it was a good way to get to know people by getting a few jokes in there.”
Meanwhile, other performance highlights over the years include his 60 city cross-Canada tour for ‘Sleepless in Gogoma’.
He’s also been featured everywhere from Raising The Roof in Halifax to The Improv in Los Angeles and Evening At The Improv at Harrah’s in Las Vegas.
His humour, which delves into the oddities of everyday situations, 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.
“Being able to dump off the yoke of whatever is dragging you down and leave your thinking cap under your seat – it’s like an escape hatch. That’s the idea. Some people find it good for the heart and good for the soul.”
For ticket information, call the Black Knight Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626.