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L.A. Beat

Mike MacDonald bringing unique comedy to Lethbridge on the Black Jack Comedy Tour

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You’ve seen him on the Comedy Channel, and may have caught him in B.C during the Black Jack tour last fall, now catch Montreal born, Los Angeles based comedian Mike MacDonald  live at Average Joes when the Black Jack Comedy Tour returns, Feb. 5.

Comedians Mike MacDonald and Matt Billon come to Lethbridge with the BlackJack Comedy tour, Feb. 5. Photo submittedMacDonald (not the same Mike MacDonald as the former Doobie Brothers crooner)  has performed at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal and hosted both the Gemini Awards and Just For Laughs 10th Anniversary Special as well as performed all over North America.

“I prefer people go home happy. I don’t want 15-20 people to go home happy except for the one I nailed,” said MacDonald of his easygoing attitude towards hecklers, relating the story of a lady in the front row of a New Years Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club show in Calgary, who yelled out the punch line to one of his bits.

“ She said ‘I heard that before.’ I told her, you don’t do that — yell out the punch line to a bit. Some people may not have heard it before. But it’s safe to sit in the front row of one of my shows. Some comedians  depend on hecklers for a good show, but I don’t,” he said adding , like he did in this case, he’d rather come up with a brand new bit on the spot  off the top of his head.

“So that’s what I did. And I said ‘I’ll bet you never saw that one coming, that’s because it’s brand new,’” he laughed adding his routines are constantly changing.

“ I have a bit about remote controls. But sometimes I’ll come up with a new line and I can’t wait to use it. If a promoter wants an hour of comedy, that’s what he’ll get. But if I use two minutes of a new bit, it means another two minutes will have to go,” he said adding he enjoyed the first edition of the Blackfoot Comedy Tour with organizer and comedian Matt Billon, which took them all over British Columbia for 20 shows in 21 days.

“He organized it all. When he called me about this, all I had to do was say yes,” MacDonald said.

“The first tour was great. People were very appreciative. Some of the clubs we played had never had live entertainment of any kind before. And it opened a lot of doors for the future,” he said.
“And Matt is perfect. He organizes everything. If everyone in the business was as  enjoyable to work with, things would be  so much easier,” he continued.

“There’s no greater rush than writing a joke, telling it on stage and hearing the people laugh at it other than coming up with one off the top of my head and having people laugh at it,” he said.

“My routine is like a Bonsai tree. It’s the same tree, it’s just always being pruned,” he continued.
“When I started in the early ’80s, except for the three or four at the top of the business, people wouldn’t look at you if you were  a younger comedian. But now. If you’re 23 and can read, then they get you up on stage,” he said adding it is important to be honest, and of course have the jokes.

“When I was young, my dad was in the air force, so I spent a lot of time watching my mom. She’d always wake me up to see comedians on TV, especially Red Skelton, and I’d be watching guys old enough to be my parents. But some comedians would try to do drug jokes, but I was only 12 and hadn’t done any drugs, but somehow I knew they were full of shit, talking about smoking LSD,” he continued adding most of his jokes are observational about things that happen in his life and other people’s lives. 
“I’ve been working on a new bit about iPhones and iTunes. I find them fascinating I have a big one and my wife has a Nano, which only holds 1,500 songs. That’s not enough to get to the tailor’s and the grocery store. There’s too many choices,” he observed in his trademark wry, deadpan voice.
“People respond when you speak about things going on if your life. But you have to have the jokes as well. And always tell them  the truth and not be bullshitting them,” he said.

Tickets for this show, which begins at 8:30 p.m., Feb. 5, cost $20.

Over at Cudos, there will be a whole weekend of comedy featuring comedian Pickle and special guests.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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