Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy can leave them laughing in the aisles — but claims he can’t tell a joke.
“I don’t do jokes. I don’t know any jokes,” said Bhoy, who’s coming to Red Deer’s Memorial Centre on Tuesday with the Capitol One — Just for Laughs Comedy Tour.
He is perfectly serious. Bhoy explained his humour is really rooted in storytelling — usually in observational tales about his own experiences.
For instance, the other day he got a letter from his bank in the U.K. “They were asking me for money because I was overdrawn,” he recalled.
Bhoy became incensed: “I thought, you’ve gone overdrawn too — by some £500 million! The cheek for them to call me up because they want my £6!
“For me, it was the hypocrisy of the situation that made it funny.”
Some might think the economy is nothing to joke about, but Bhoy begs to differ. Because the financial downturn is a worldwide issue, he believes it’s prime fodder for humour, because everyone can relate to it. “The good thing about comedy is that it offers a big relief for people in these times. It’s a worthy cause.”
Like many comedians, Bhoy found his funny side in a dark place. Growing up in Scotland with an East Indian father and a Scottish mother wasn’t always easy, he admitted.
“We were one of the first half-Asian families in our town,” added Bhoy, who was harassed by kids for being different. “I used comedy as a self-defence, to get people on my side by using my wits.”
Unfortunately some teachers didn’t appreciate his cutting wit — he got turfed from a couple of boarding schools. “Actually, it was more of a mutual decision that it was best if I moved on,” recalled Bhoy, who eventually got what he wanted — to live at home and go to a day school.
Bhoy is considered one of the top international comedians working today since becoming a standout hit at the 2005 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal (he was nominated for a Gemini Award).
Being successful means spending much of his life on the road — which makes it hard to sustain personal relationships, he said, but on the other hand, gives him plenty of perspective for his act.
During his Atlantic to Pacific tours of this country, Bhoy — who will perform in Red Deer with U.S. comedians Alonzo Boddey, Pete Correale and Godfrey, as well as Canadian host Sugar Sammy — has gotten a good sense of what makes Canadians so funny.
The nation that gave the world Kids in the Hall and the SCTV gang excels at producing humour that’s halfway between sophisticated British comedy and broader American humour.
“It’s a refreshing market to come to,” said Bhoy, who looks forward to entertaining in Red Deer.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. show are $39.50 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.