Special to The Record
While Mike Delamont’s God is a Scottish Drag Queen (Parts 1 and II) continues to be an improbable smash hit, he wasn’t sure how he’d be received as the most notorious fallen angel.
“I’d played the God character for so long, so getting into a new pair of shoes was interesting,” the popular comedian says in a telephone interview about his new show Hell Yeah! An Evening with the Devil. “I didn’t know how I’d like it but by the end of the first tour, I loved the show. We’ve played to sold-out houses and people have enjoyed the switch; I was worried they wouldn’t.”
Confessing that he prefers portraying God, Delamont reveals his Devil (who comes to the Sid Williams Theatre on Nov. 2) is more like Jon Lovitz’ sadsack lovable loser than any fire-and-brimstone Old Testament Satan.
“With the Devil, the choice I made when I started writing it was that I wouldn’t make him evil at all. He still does all the evil things, but he has the best of intentions. He’s a real sweetheart that just kind of got things wrong.”
Delamont has no problem playing the character out of character.
“It’s very fun to play against the expectations that people have with what they’re going to see.”
Delamont’s Devil is just misunderstood.
“I just really liked that he wanted people to have a good time and he wanted to be good at his job and he was sweet but just made dumb choices.”
Does Delamont feel any pressure to live up to the outsized success of God is a Scottish Drag Queen?
“I do, and I don’t think it will. It’s funny because people are so worried the God shows are going to be anti-religion, and they aren’t, but nobody even blinks an eye about the Devil show being anti-religion. It’s funny to see the response for some shows and not the others.”
There was some objection on religious grounds when he performed as God in the Fraser Valley, he admits.
“We had church groups very upset with us. I always say, ‘Just come see the show. The title is scaring you but the content isn’t as blasphemous as the title.’ ”
Regardless, Delamont is having fun and is enjoying Hell Yeah!’s early success.
“It’s a nice show to do. It’s a lot of fun and so far it’s done as well as the God show,” he says, noting that the show he will bring to the Sid is smaller show than his God show with a different feel. “It feels like a more intimate show.”
Scottish Drag Queen was nominated twice for a Just for Laughs best-comedy award. It has had sold-out runs across North America.
Delamont’s performing credits include Halifax Comedy Festival, CBC’s The Debaters, and Montreal’s Just For Laughs. He’s sold out major theatres from coast to coast and performed many times in the U.S.
He has been nominated for three Canadian Comedy Awards. He recently filmed his debut comedy special at the 1,400-seat Royal Theatre in his hometown of Victoria, where he lives with his wife Chantelle. Delamont’s fertile mind has created eight shows, including Mama’s Boy, an autobiographical tale of a boy raised by an alcoholic mother.
How much did Delamont’s humour develop as a coping mechanism?
“I think it was very much a big part of it … that was very much a human shield of laughter for me.”
Mike Delamont performs Hell Yeah! An Evening with the Devil on Nov. 2 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay as part of the 2018–2019 Blue Circle Series. For event details and tickets, visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit 442 Cliffe Ave.