With so many loopy topics to choose from on the Canadian news front, comedian Derek Edwards maintains he’s never at a loss for material.
For instance, Edwards was leafing through his Toronto newspaper one morning when he saw multiple pages exploring the impact of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau possibly legalizing marijuana.
“It was a six-page fold-out!” said Edwards — as if a national emergency was looming, with upright Canadians standing at the edge of a moral precipice.
But what would really change, aside from the pot laws, questioned Edwards.
“If you needed some (weed) you could always get some, if you conducted yourself with some decorum and subtlety … I’ve known politicians, doctors, dentists and many other people who would all have a little hoot now and again.”
Acting as if all Canadian cities will get red-light districts is ridiculous, said Edwards. “I’m not convinced things will have changed that much unless I see a hooker standing in a window …”
Although the comedian, who brings his Baloney and Wine Tour on Saturday, Nov. 21 to Red Deer’s Memorial Centre, can do a whole show based on the absurdities of national news, he likes to localize his jokes as much as possible.
This means the lucky desk clerk who checks him into a Red Deer hotel will likely be grilled about what’s going on around town.
“They are usually tickled to tell me things because they know I may put them into the show, so I get off to a good start,” said Edwards.
The observational comedian has a nose for funny. He’s the only Canadian winner of the prestigious Vail International Comedy Competition. Edwards is also a two-time Gemini nominee, and has been nominated numerous times as Best Stand-up Comic at the Canadian Comedy Awards. His numerous TV credits include The New Red Green Show, A & E’s Comedy on the Road, Just For Laughs, and CBC’s Comics.
Some 25 years ago, he developed his own stand-up act because he thought it seemed like more fun than working as jack-of-all-trades construction guy.
“I saw this comic on a TV show. He did his five-minute routine and made everyone laugh. Then he did his five-minute interview … with the host, and again, he’d make people laugh … I thought that seemed like a good way to make a living — I didn’t know then about all the road work that would be involved …”
Since Edwards is long-married, he occasionally refers to his spouse in his act “and I get the hairy eyeball from her.”
The best part of his job, he said, is volleying live energy back and forth with the audience. “Spontaneous laughter, contagious giggles … It’s good for your heart and soul.”
Tickets for his 7:30 p.m. show are $45.50 from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.