Snowed In Comedy Tour founder Dan Quinn returns to Smithers Jan. 4. Chris Gareau photo

Comedy tour blows in Jan. 4

A flurry of funny blows in to Smithers Friday with Snowed In Comedy Tour.

Way up here in the middle of nowhere, lots to do inside and out. We live in a great place.

‘Nuff said. Once in a while we like to have a little entertainment. We do get a good range of musical talent on our doorstep from time to time. We have the latest movies.

But just think about who many consider Canadians best talents might be: comedians.

We have seen and enjoyed many of them over the years and it doesn’t seem to be ending. We just don’t see many live ones up here to tickle our fancies.

Never would be too strong a word. We do get to see some of the best on occasion and we are going to see a few in the near future.

In its 10th year, the Snowed In Comedy Tour will making us laugh Jan. 4 at the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge.

The tour has been to Australia, The U.S., France and Switzerland. They’ve had more than a few standing ovations, and it has grown into one of the largest comedy tours in Canada.

This year’s version will include Dan Quinn, Paul Myrehaug, Pete Zedlacher, and Debra DiGiovanni — all celebrated and award-winning acts on their own.

Quinn says he does not get up here often but has been here before. He is a winner of the Canadian Competition at Just for Laughs, was the Best of Fest at Moncton Comedy Festival, has had a special on a comedy network, a special on Check TV and has opened for Rob Schneider and Russell Peters.

Quinn has been doing comedy for 25 years. He says he went to University of Alberta for a few years and got his feet wet with comedy stand-up and decided he wanted to try it as a career.

He likes stand-up comedy because it’s one of the best jobs you can have.

“I work 30 minutes a night and get to pick my own schedule. Making people laugh is pretty good, too,” he said.

He thinks that Canada has produced so many great comedians because of a combination of having British and American sensibilities and not taking themselves so seriously.

“The U.S. takes themselves very seriously and it’s like ‘We’re the best,’ but Canada says who cares. Why does everything have to be about ranking? So it’s like the personality of Canadians and we don’t take things so seriously,” he said.

He feels that things in the States sometimes seem like a life and death situation, such as access to health care, but in Canada its not quite like that.

Humour can be very individual.

“What makes someone laugh at a person is how you feel about that person. It determines a lot of whether you think what they say is funny. Humour is very subjective because what you think about that individual will help make you decide if what they say is funny,” he said.

He says he thinks he went into comedy because of ignorance, stupidity and not knowing any better.

While it has not been the easiest career choice, it has been good for him and it has worked out well.

“For every top level comedian like Russell Peters, there are probably thousands of aspiring comics who are struggling to make a living,” he said.

“The internet has changed things and all the money is at the very top end, whereas in the past the money was more spread out. Now if you are famous you are worldwide famous, but they pay the people below that level a lot less because they are going to see the really famous people. I’m not just competing against all the funniest stuff this year any more, I’m competing against all the funniest stuff around the world in history. You can go on the internet and watch great comedians like Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy any time,” he said.

It’s a lot harder for a new act to catch on now since everything can be compared to anything from any time.

Quinn feels that the market is massive and that the English and American style of comedy is catching on.

“The North American style of story telling and talking about your life is catching on world wide,” he said.

He explains that in Scandinavia, for example, where they have their own sense of humour, they speak English and they want the American style of comedy. In Great Britain, they are adapting to the American style of comedy. They still have the weird characters like Mr. Bean but they are watching a lot of the North American style of comedy.

Quinn says that he is looking forward to visiting the area and perhaps taking advantage of some of the activities we have like skiing.

We all look forward to Quinn and the rest of the Snowed in Comedy Tour to help ease those winter blues with their humorous takes on Canadian life.

The tour starts Jan. 2 in Prince Rupert, continues Jan. 3 in Terrace and Jan. 4 in Smithers before a double-header in Prince George on Saturday and swinging south to Quesnel Jan. 6. The comedians travel Canada into spring, ending April 6 in Grand Falls-Windsor.

As of press time, it appeared the Smithers show is sold out.

sports@interior-news.com

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Debra DiGiovanni is among the comedians coming to Smithers Friday. (Contributed photo)

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