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L.A. Beat

Comedian looks on the bright side of the downturn

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Montreal based comedian Lorne Elliott, a mainstay on the Canadian comedy scene for close to 30 years, is looking on the ‘bright side of the downturn’ for his new  one man show, which comes to the University of Lethbridge Theatre, April 12.
“Laughter is the best escape. But this show is not so much an escape as it is a chance to get above it so you can go into the next day with a more positive attitude,” said Lorne Elliott is at the University Theatre, April 12.Elliott from his farm outside of Montreal.
He will be performing several shows in a row including  April 13 in Medicine Hat, April 15 in Red Deer,  then Airdrie, Bragg Creek  and Golden right in a row.
“Since I had my heart attack, I’ve had to slow down,” said Elliott , known for his big hair, manic personality and mini-stratocaster.
“I’ll be bringing that  and I’ll also be playing some Jimi Hendrix on the ukulele,” he said adding the secret to  his longevity on the comedy scene is to always pay attention and keep working.
“Most of my jokes start with something that actually happened to me. You want to always start with something people can identify with. Like in Lethbridge, the wind. Everybody knows that. I was in Fort Macleod and I had a joke about  the wind farms . You wouldn’t want to hang glide through them,” he continued.
“I’ve got 40 hours of material. It doesn’t immediately come to me , the older material is on the computer. But a lot of it comes back to me on the way to the show,” he said.
“I don’t really know if it’s a joke until people start laughing at it. You have to keep working, You have to keep your eyes and ears open and listen to people. You have to keep being excited about it. You can’t be cynical. You can’t get into a rut,” he continued adding he is always writing new material, most of it gets a baptism by fire — in front of a live audience.
“I like trying new material on people who are close to me  but they don’t always give you an honest response. So I have to try it out on a paying audience.”
Elliott has also written seven plays, comedies of course, for which  he hires actors to perform.
“That’s the other thing about  downturns, if you’re in a position to hire people, you should do it,” he said adding the latest book, ‘Fixer Upper,’ which has just been published by Acorn Press,  is based on a play he wrote called ‘Tourist Trap’, then turned back into a play. After this tour of the west, he will be touring around the east with his new play.
— By Richard Amery L.A. Beat Editor
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