Central Alberta comedian wrings laughs out of personal experiences

Paul Myrehaug to perform Feb. 24 at Snowed In Comedy Tour in Red Deer

Comedian Paul Myrehaug once got into an after-hours brawl with some Red Deer cowboys …

As he tells it in his stand-up routine, Myrehaug didn’t want to start swinging fists, so he swings his Subway sandwich instead.

His meatball sub sails through the air, misses the boozed-up patrons who just left Billy Bob’s bar, and brains a police officer — who hauls Myrehaug off to the drunk tank.

The Camrose native, who performs with fellow comedians Paul Quinn, Pete Zedlacher, and MC Damonde Tschitter on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Snowed In Comedy Tour at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre, says he always spins his tales from a nugget of truth.

Although the sandwich swinging “was a bit of an exaggeration,” he actually did get into a fight after leaving a Red Deer bar — and, yes, the debacle ended with him in the drunk tank.

“Where I find my funniest material, usually comes from personal experience,” says Myrehaug — “then there’s no doubt the jokes are original …

“Also, I think the audience can tell that I’m more personally invested in the story.”

The comedian is best known for winning the top $25,000 prize in the 2009 Great Canadian Laugh-off competition out of a field of 800 comedians — but still maintains he’s not the funniest guy in the room when he gets together with the hockey players he grew up with.

It was their competitive humour that taught him some basic rules of comedy: “If my story wasn’t funny within the first 10 seconds, then forget it …” says Myrehaug, “My friends were a really hard audience.”

Right after turning 18, he was trying out jokes at open-mic nights at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club in Edmonton. Before you know it he was touring Western Canada and accompanying other comedians to shows in Toronto.

After winning the Laugh Off, which aired on The Comedy Network, Myrehaug began “headlining at clubs and doing the press junkets.” He entertained troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and performed in countless countries around the world.

“This will be my third time in Estonia, so now I can do tons of jokes about Estonia …”

A few years ago he relocated to England, which has “about 7,000 times more job opportunities.” But it’s always wise to announce you’re Canadian, so British audiences don’t mistake you for a less-popular breed of North American, he says. “You get a better reception.”

The 34-year-old next contemplates moving to southern France, figuring he can perform for ex-pat audiences across Europe.

Meanwhile, he looks forward to returning to Central Alberta to entertain supportive fans, friends and family.

Tickets for the show are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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