*UPDATE: this show has been postponed to June 17. All previously purchased tickets will be honoured for the new performance date. If current ticketholders are unable to attend on the rescheduled date, a refund will be issued. Any questions can be directed to our box office via email at [email protected].
As a primer to Brent Butt's upcoming appearance on the Arden's comedy stage, one should definitely have seen at least one episode of the six full seasons of Corner Gas. The sitcom was also turned into a movie and then a cartoon series. The comedy legend created the show after years and years as a cross-country crowd-pleasing standup comic, and he hasn’t looked back since.
It will have been nearly seven years when he finally makes his triumphant return to St. Albert on Jan. 21. It’s probably a bit more overdue for us than for him: there are so many people in the world who could really, really use a good laugh. His sense of duty has put him on the road to spread some much-needed good cheer and exercise people’s sense of humour.
During his interview, the dry-witted Butt said he has other dates scheduled, but don’t go calling this a "tour."
“I don’t go on super long tours any more,” he announced, hinting that COVID-19 might have had an influence on that decision.
Well … that, and age.
“When I was a young comic — when basically all I did was stand up — I would go on the road sometimes 15, 20 days in a row. I don't do that anymore because I have too many other things going on. And also, I'm in my 50s now and I enjoy being home,” he continued, adding, “It's not like I'm on the tour bus just cruising around.”
The Canuck King of Small Town Yucks will be entirely welcome here by local audiences. World circumstances do beg the existential question: has the current pandemic made it easier or more difficult to successfully get others to laugh? Perhaps more of us have had less and less to find joy in with all of the bad news surrounding us, but that is ironically juxtaposed against how desperately a chuckle is wanted, nay needed.
“Historically, comedy has always done well when times are very difficult. A natural response to hard times is to have a few laughs. There are always going to be a subset of people who think, ‘Listen. In serious times, you shouldn't make jokes,’ but that's the exact opposite of what humanity needs, right? It's like Mel Brooks said: ‘the scarier something is, the more you should make fun of it.’”
He vows that he’s not a big current events or political comic, so expect to get the laughs without so many slaps back to reality. Butt is a jokester of the people and he’s coming to help as many people in the common plight as possible.
"I am about taking that hour away from your current troubles and escaping a little bit. Some comics are specifically geared toward skewering what's in front of you. Other comics are geared towards distract. I think they're both valid and both are needed. I fall more into the distraction category.
“If there's ever been a time that we could use an hour or an hour-and-a-half to escape from our current reality, I think the last couple of years have put people in that frame of mind.”
An Evening with Brent Butt will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 21. Tickets are $45 (before taxes and fees) and are available through the Arden box office at 780-459-1542 or at stalbert.ca/exp/arden/tickets-box-office.
Visit ardentheatre.com to learn how public-health measures might affect the show.