Derek Edwards paints a funny picture of the big, bad world


Televison and newspapers paint a grim, sad and  tragic picture of the world, but  Toronto based comedian Derek Edwards would rather look at the lighter side of everything on his “My Blunderful Life” tour. He’ll explore topics like banking at noon, being the only other famous person from Timmins  and other everyday events.Derek Edwards returns to Lethbridge. Photo submitted

“Did you guys just put up a new traffic light,” Edwards asked over the phone from Toronto, in a comedy writing frenzy preparing for his new western Canadian tour, which brings him to the Yates Centre, March 18 and Medicine Hat’s Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre the day before for St. Patrick’s Day.

The  tour has stops in smaller prairie centres like Lethbridge and bigger centre like Calgary  and Edmonton.

 While a question like that could come across as big city arrogance,  the Timmins born comedian has small city roots and even worked at a Boston Pizza in Lethbridge for  a short time after high school, while traveling with a buddy, exploring the country.

“We hitchhiked across the country, so it was a pretty exciting year. I met a lot of friends,” he said.

“I’ve lived on a Boston Pizza wage,  and found comedy was viable option,” he said adding it has been a few years since he performed at the Yates Centre.

He got into comedy as a boy after seeing  comedians on talk shows.

“I used to watch them on TV and I thought what a great life. You  go on stage and crack a few jokes for five minutes then  sit down with the host and crack some more jokes, you’d go on the show and wear a nice jacket, work for 10 minutes and that’s it, it would set you up,” he laughed adding he talks about  people and places  his audience can identify with.

“I’m Mr. Canadian guy, so that’s what I talk about — road stories. I make observations. It’s like a little map of the country, especially Albertan people and places,” he continued.

“So I try to get a good laugh out of people. I tell them about working in Fort MacMurray. I Lethbridge I’ll tell them about Lethbridge. I love little local stuff. It’s not ‘65 killed in an earthquake,’ it’s about that new traffic light. There’s too much negativity in the media, they tell you that stuff to sell newspapers,” he said adding his routine is a nice, pleasant diversion from the real world.

“ I don’t have a staff of writers like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, so it’s just me,” he said adding he kicks into writing gear before starting a tour, which means there is always new material.

“The more I work, the more I craft. If there’s the opportunity to perform, that’s when I write,” he said.
“Then I perform it for a couple people on a stage,” he said adding Toronto has a plethora of open comedy nights plus other comedians and club owners will let him try out new material in front of an audience.
“People will recognize me from Just For Laughs, so that’s a trip,” he continued.

“And there’s comedy clubs in places like Barrie where they’ll let you come on stage and do 10 minutes of new material. They’re very supportive,” he said.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
A version of this story appears in the March 16 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
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