What exactly is the life of a comedian? Well, we’ve all seen at least one episode of Seinfeld, but let’s ask one anyway.
“I’ve got my little basement cubby-hole where most of my comedy living goes on,” said comedian Derek Edwards. “My pens and my desk, good place to curse things out when they don’t work.
“I’m just saying, it’s a crazy thing to want to do and why would you even want to call someone who does it for a living? I guess you’re under orders… but I really do appreciate it.”
But then, of course, there’s time on the road and the actual performing. Incidentally, Edwards will be spending time on the road with a show at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre in Pictou on Friday, March 24.
As for what he will have to say when he gets there, he’s tight-lippedly holding his cards close to his chest, largely in silence.
“I think it’s more of an attitude coming in that’s going to be changing,” Edwards said. “I want to be very, very positive because there’s too much dumb going on. There’s way too much dumb in the ether out there and some of it negative with that unhinged monkey that we hear about all the time tweeting his way into the media. I think we need more positive energy and that’s what I’m bringing with me. In terms of actual topics, I kind of like to keep these a little bit under wraps, if it’s alright, y’know?”
He added, “But this is going to be fun, whimsical, as many punchlines as I can cram in there without becoming annoying.”
As for the aforementioned “unhinged monkey”, Edwards said the challenge isn’t in topping the source material, but rather the steep competition.
“On a comparative level,” Edwards said, “you’re going up against the likes of John Oliver and his staff, and the ilk of like a Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, some of the greatest political comics out there in America, right? If you’re going to jump on board the Trump bandwagon, trying to knock him around a little, you’ve got some serious competition going on. You’ve got to watch every day what they’re saying that you don’t step on their material. That’s the true challenge with him, if you see what I’m saying. It’s all focused on him.
“The fact that he’s an idiot doesn’t detract from the fact that he’s an evil idiot. You don’t want to linger too long on that kind of angle either because then it gives a little bit of a dark cloud to the show. I don’t take people down that road, y’know?”
The late Mitch Hedberg used to joke that comedians in Hollywood were always asked to do other things – such as act or write – and likened it to a chef being asked “(but) can you farm?” While Edwards has dabbled in both – the Red Green Show, for example – “the opportunities aren’t quite so rampant, let’s say, in Canada.”
Rather than a shady agent presenting it as the next logical step in his career, Edward’s leap to sit-comery was more of an enthusiastic shrug.
“I just got a call at my desk in my cave and Steve (Smith) said, ‘You wanna come and play this goofy character? (Brian Jacobs, Possum Lake’s undertaker.)’ I said, ‘sure, why not’.”
And a legend was born.
The ever hysterical Derek Edwards and his all-new 90 minute show, Alls I’m Saying, will be at the deCoste Centre on Friday. For additional show information, contact the box office.
Tough Ask – the Hard Hitting Questions YOU Want to Know
If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?
I’ve always had a hankering for carpentry, I swear. I have a good buddy … he’s a carpenter by trade. The man works fast and he’s like on call. He has his own truck and goes place to place, like Superman fixing the needs of the, I think, school boards. Anyway, what a great gig. Helping people out all the time? The smell of fresh cut cedar in the morning? C’mon!
If you could endorse any product, what would it be and what would it be called?
I would make a coffee maker that also makes ramen noodles. So you’re never hungry or thirsty on the road again. I don’t know what you call it, Coffee Scrambler? … That’s what a working entertainer needs on the road – caffeine and cheap grub.
Bob MacKenzie or Doug MacKenzie?
To advertise my product?
Obviously Doug. Doug was the lovable one. Bob was obnoxious, pushy, pushy. Kept trickin’ Doug.
If and when there is a Derek Edwards film, who would you like to play you?
Is Danny Kaye alive? (Ed. note: He isn’t.) I don’t know… Oh! Chuck Norris. Or Jackie Chan. Does Jackie Chan have a younger brother? Either him or the guy with the tinted blonde hair who does the cooking shows. ‘From Rags to Slightly Nicer Rags’ I want it to be called.
And what part would you play?
Oh man, I’ll be the guy in the cockpit who just goes ‘I’m hit!’ I’d love to be that guy. And then they cut back and there’s an explosion. That’s my dream role.