Special to the Record
Comedian Derek Edwards is chilling at what he calls The Camp, a place of solitude somewhere in northern Ontario.
It’s where he retreats to ponder the oddities of our existence and write some of the funniest lines in Canada.
The telephone rings. A writer from a faraway Canadian island is calling to interview Edwards, who returns April 23 to the Sid Williams Theatre.
Does shovelling snow and chopping wood for his stove at The Camp stimulate the creative process?
“Overall, it’s terrific,” he replies. “Puttering around is good for the soul, my friend.”
He’s looking forward to being back in the Comox Valley as part of an ambitious romp through B.C. that includes 10 shows in 13 days.
“There’s no question it’s going to have that paradise feel,” he says of the Comox Valley, adding that he’s trekked into the trees out here while on previous comedic forays. “As a bit of a woodsman, it’s very impressive out there.”
He’s on a tour with a show he titles Baloney and Wine.
“It was kind of a knee-jerk thing. It seemed whimsical and not very important. ‘Come on out, drink some wine and listen to some baloney,” he laughs.
“Or eat some baloney and listen to me whine. It works either way.”
The Just For Laughs veteran employs a sly, sarcastic delivery. It developed naturally from a young age, explains the native of Timmins, Ont.
“My dad’s like that. Everybody’s funny in the family. Mom’s like that; she’s from Britain, so she’s got a kind of dry sense of humour. My sister’s way funnier than I am, so I try harder, right?
“All these people with a wonderful, biting sense of sarcasm. The lines would just hang there in the air for two or three seconds until people fall down laughing.”
Confessing that he enjoys a guy getting hit on the head by a bowling ball as much as anyone, Edwards loves “a little bit of irony and some sarcasm.”
The four-time nominee, and winner, of Best Standup Comic at the Canadian Comedy Awards, is also a multiple Gemini nominee for Best Performance in a Comedy.
“Everyone knows Derek is the funniest man in Canada,” says This Hour Has 22 Minutes alumnus Rick Mercer.
A typical, self-effacing Canadian, Edwards initially deflects Mercer’s praise, then gets momentarily serious.
“I was truly humbled by it. I toured with him for a whole month going across this great country. He’s way too smart to have me as his favourite comedian.”
After 28 years doing standup, Edwards stays fresh with the help of road trips.
“When I tour around Vancouver Island, anywhere really, I see so many things that are different than what I’m accustomed to.
“You check the newspapers and talk to somebody at the coffee shop and do your research on the road, and work in stuff that’s absolutely brand new that day.”
Edwards performs April 23 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay at 7:30 p.m. For details, visit sidwilliamstheatere.com, phone 250-338-2430 or visit the Sid box office at 442 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay.