Fernie driven to hysterics
By Phil McLachlan
The Snowed-In Comedy Tour left Fernie with many sore sides, last Sunday night. Four international comedians took the Stage at The Northern Bar and Grill, welcomed by a sold-out show of cheering Fernie locals.
Great Canadian Laugh-off winner, Paul Myrehaug leapt onto the stage to start the show off, and served as the MC for the evening. Myrehaug has seen many stages, some being CBC’s The Debaters which has taken him across Canada, as well as a rather large stage in Seattle, Washington where he took second place in the International Comedy Competition.
Craig Campbell and his goofy personality were next to stand in the spotlight, and delivered so much comedic gold, people were left holding their stomachs while moaning in pain. In the past few years, Campbell has been received on some of the largest international stages, including supporting Frankie Boyle on his 120-date nationwide tour.
Winner of The Canadian comedy competition at Just for Laughs, Dan Quinn was next, and his sarcastic view on his weeks-old engagement fueled his humor throughout the show. Quinn has opened for the best of the best in North-American comedy including Tracey Morgan, Tom Green and Russell Peters.
Five-time winner of the Canadian Comedy Award, as well as Just For Laughs legend, Pete Zedlacher, used his Canadian background as a lever for his jokes, referencing the differences between provinces and more specifically the people who reside there.
For the un-apologetically Canadian and newest addition to the Snowed-In group, touring in a group of four has given him a sense of collective pride, which he doesn’t feel in a solo act.
Starting out in the open-mic comedy scene in Toronto, Zedlacher became obsessed with comedy over the next few years. Soon at 10-15 sets a week, Zedlacher started opening for headliners on weekends. He believes he took off extremely fast in the industry, as soon as he committed himself to comedy, it revved the engines of life and he was off to the races.
Within a year and a half, Zedlacher went from amateur night to full headliner himself.
Zedlacher was always fascinated with the idea of becoming a stand-up comic. Watching The Muppet Show as a little boy, the young soon-to-be comedian took a fancy to Fozzy Bear, who plays a comedian in the show.
“I sat there for a second and thought, yeah, that’s what I’m going to do; I’m going to become a comedian,” said Zedlacher.
Fast-forward 35 years, Zedlacher is performing at a Just For Laughs gala, and the Muppets were the hosts for the evening. Fozzy Bear was on right before him; this was an extremely surreal moment for the then-established comedian.
“It never gets boring though, this is still exciting. This is the third time performing this venue and I’m itching to hit that stage,” said Zedlacher with a smile.
Just before the Snowed-In tour started, Campbell got into a car accident, and also welcomed his first-born child into the world two weeks before that. Quinn recently got engaged, and Zedlacher also had some recent memorable experiences that made their way into his set.
“We all take stories from our lives and make them funny,” said Dan Quinn. “But what makes it different is that we’re very different people.”
Winning Funniest Canadian Comic at Just For Laughs was amazing for Quinn, but he likes to think of Snowed-In as his greatest accomplishment, because it went from something he created out of nothing, to being a successful national tour with endless sold-out shows.
One of their best shows in the Snowed-In Comedy Tour so far was in Victoria when the four comedians were greeted by a standing ovation of over 1200.
The tour started in northern B.C. in Prince Rupert. From there Terrace, Smithers, Prince George, Quesnel, five shows on Vancouver Island, four sold-out shows in Whistler, two sold-out shows in Kamloops, sold-out in Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, Golden, and Banff. Next came Lethbridge, Cranbrook, and Fernie. The next two weeks will be filled with shows in Nelson, Castlegar and Penticton, as well as Vernon, Sun Peaks, Big White Resort, Silverstar Resort, Kelowna and finally Vancouver.