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Brent Butt takes time to laugh with friends in between projects

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Saskatchewan born, Vancouver based stand up comedian Brent Butt is always working on new projects.Brent Butt returns to Lethbridge this week. Photo submitted

“I’ve got three projects I’m developing, two half hour comedies and an hour long project. I have to develop my own projects, I’m not a good enough actor for other people to hire me so I’m always making and building my own projects,,” deadpanned Butt, best known for starring in  and writing the hit TV show Corner Gas.
He brings The Canadian Comedy Night  to the Enmax Centre featuring funny friends Ivan Decker and  Jamie Hutchinson.

“It’s a one off show. These are the guys I work with. They’re the guys I always get to open for me,” he said.“Jamie and I have been friends  since the late ’80s. And Ivan is somebody I saw in a club who just cracked me up,” he continued.
“So it is fun to get to travel with these guys and be on stage with them,” he said.

He doesn’t know what his set will look like until he is in front of the audience.
“I never really know until I’m on stage. I know the first few minutes and then I can see what the audience is responding too. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and in that time I have a lot in the tickle trunk. If I’m telling sports jokes and they aren’t responding to them, I can  go into the tickle trunk for something else. So it’s never boring and  it’s always exciting,” he continued.

 “A few years ago, I wrote a routine and I’d perform it. But I realized in the middle of a show, I looked outside at myself and realized that I was bored. It’s like driving for 20 miles and all of the sudden realizing you’re operating in autopilot,” he said.
“I really want my fans to enjoy themselves and if I’m having fun performing then it’s infectious,” he continued.

He said he doesn’t have a lot of advice for up and coming comedians,. He said people who are determined to be in the business would not be dissuaded by anything he says.
“Just because  a fat, balding guy tells you something, it doesn’t mean you’ll do it,” he said,
“Just do a lot of shows. You can’t teach a person who isn’t funny to funny, but you can teach a funny person to be  funnier,” he observed.
 He recently attended the Emmy Awards.

“I was in L.A. on business and got an invitation to the Emmys. I’d never done that before, though the cast were nominated for an internationally Emmy, so we all went to New York City for them. The Emmys were a long day for me.  the show is three hours long and then  the pre-parties and then the afterparties. I was there from early afternoon until  the end. So that was 10 hours and that’s missing the closing party,” he said.
He has been lucky enough to meet some of his comedic idols.


“I just saw Brian Regan. He’s a guy who has influenced Seinfeld and Louis CK,” he said.

“I’m a big fan of Mike McDonald and went to one of his shows, and now we’re good friends, he said.
“I’ve met Bob Newhart and even Robin Williams. Actually when Jamie and I were booking shows at clubs, Robin would call Jamie up and ask if  could get on the bill. Jamie, would take the phone and say ‘wait 10 seconds’ and say ‘I think we can fit you in.’ he loved us because we’d never tell anyone, we‘d never promote  it. So it would be a nice surprise for the  audience when he got on stage,” he said.
“ He was a very quiet guy. His character is  the complete opposite of who he was,” he reminisced.
He is constantly inspired to write new comedy.

“I used to keep a notebook, now I write by recording voice onto my phone,” he said.
“I’m a middle aged guy now, so I talk about that a little bit. I try not to write a lot of topical stuff,” he said.

He is excited about his new  projects.
“ I’m always making and building projects. I have a half hour show which is a comedy and an hour show which is a challenge for me. I’ve never done it before. It’s a drama, but the lead character is comedic,” he said adding he couldn’t release any details  about the new projects until they have been finalized.
He is looking forward to being back in Lethbridge.

’“ It has been at least a year. Come out to the show. Because nothing beats live comedy. You can watch comedy on the TV or on your phone, but live, there  a special kind of chemistry, magic or alchemy happening,” he said.
 The Canadian Comedy night  featuring  Brent Butt, Jamie Hutchinson and Ivan Decker begins at Oct. 6  at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $59.50.


— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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