LAUGHING AWAY - Comedian Ron James will head to Red Deer Memorial Centre Dec. 1st and 2nd. photo submitted

Comedian Ron James brings current tour to Red Deer

Popular comedian a constant hit with Central Albertans

Comedian Ron James is heading to Red Deer on his Full Throttle tour to get crowds laughing.

James will head to Red Deer Memorial Centre Dec. 1st and 2nd.

James, who hasn’t been to Red Deer in a few years, said it will be nice to get back.

“In three years, the planet has shifted clear off its axis,” said James, making a punch at Donald Trump, saying there’s lots of mileage to be had on him, along with other politicians that happen to get in his cross hairs.

He said in his shows he likes to have a little bit for everybody, whether he’s talking about people’s addiction to Netflix, frustrations with Bell customer service, our bodies breaking down at midlife, the legalization of marijuana, his dubious hockey career in house league hockey growing up and his adventures travelling the country.

He will also, of course, deliver his customized material on the province of Alberta.

“The show that really cemented my position as a stand up in Canada was Quest for The West,” he said.

Graduating from Acadia University in 1980 with a history degree, James made his way to Toronto to get into The Second City, an improv company.

“I was with those guys for 10 years and I had great people who I worked with in those days,” he said.

He later went to Los Angeles for three years. When he got back he wrote a one-man show about his time there called Up and Down in Shaky Town which premiered on The Comedy Network.

“I moved into stand-up exclusively in ‘95 and I put the days of doing commercials and going to auditions for movies and crappy sitcoms behind me and concentrated ‘Full Throttle’ on my stand up career.”

He eventually booked his first tour by himself back in 1998/99 and moved into Shantero’s orbit (Shantero Productions Inc.) and started with six shows in eastern Ontario in ‘99.

“And here we are almost 20 years into it, and we have built this career one kilometre at a time without a corporate logo on our poster. There’s no sponsors on it.”

James, who is originally from the Maritimes currently resides in Toronto.

He said looking back, there’s been so many great moments in his career.

“Every night I’m onstage where people are laughing is as good as it gets. One room isn’t better than the other room,” he said.

One of the nicest moments he recalled was when he created a show years ago called Blackfly, which he said had a great deal of potential.

“It was a comedy that was set during the Canadian Fur Trade in the 1700s.”

He did his episodes on CBC, where you were allowed to have a b-roll, which he wrote as a parody of the Canadian history moments at the time and managed to sell it as a pilot. The pilot then got picked up with 13 half-hour episodes.

“We thought okay, we’re going to have to keep this in a fort. I remember thinking about the fort in my head and it was the first day, and I walked up and lo and behold, what had been percolating in my imagination had been made manifest by carpenters and set designers and it was a fort,” he said.

He added that was where he realized that one’s imagination can be made manifest if you stay true to your dream.

When asked what advice he would give to others, he said nothing happens overnight.

“The road takes no prisoners and comedy does not suffer fools. There are absolutely no shortcuts. Just work hard at your craft,” he added.

For tickets to James’ show call Black Knight Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626.

carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

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