I just want to take this opportunity to thank every one who came out to Ontario theatres over the past month for the “I Laugh Therefore I Think” (ILTIT) tour. From the start of the tour at the Empire theatre in Belleville on Apr 16 to the 13th show at the Grand theatre in London last night, I had a great time doing what I love doing and introducing many Ontarians to the hilarious Ivan Decker, one of the best comics this country has to offer (and the best-dressed young man I’ve ever hung out with)
Highlights included putting audience members through multiple choice exercises and finding out how much funnier people are than they think, watching Conservative supporters try not to laugh at their current crop of comedy providers (internalizing your laughter is dangerous) and most of all, having people bring out their friends, family and significant others to laugh at things that should be laughed at and hopefully think how much better the world would be if arsehole-type people were put in their place by non-arsehole types.
Some theatres were more full than others. So perhaps putting the word “think” in the title of a comedy show threw people off (especially in places like Guelph and Hamilton) But everyone that did come out seemed to have a great time (except for that one old guy in Hunstville who asked the women beside him to stop laughing. At a comedy show.) Meanwhile, meeting people after the show who are fans of The Debaters and of comedy and laughter in general, well, you are my favorite people. Please reproduce and bring more people like yourselves into the world.
Now, I’m off to do a fundraiser for the Dawson City museum in…wait for it, Dawson City, Yukon along with my hilarious comedian friends Charlie Demers and Graham Clark, I have more Debaters tapings coming up (Saskatoon and Thunder Bay here we come!), the show I host for HGTV Canada called “I Wrecked My House” airs every Tuesday night at 10:00 (please watch. It’s funny and informative) and I will be putting the finishing touches on a book that I have already been given an advance to write (which is why I am going to finish it)
Most exciting, I’ll be spending most of the summer performing for an audience of two: my wife Nancy and my baby daughter Scarlett. With all due respect to everyone else I love sharing laughs with, there’s nothing more important than family, no more important job than being a parent and nothing in the world better than making your baby laugh.
Lastly and most importantly I want to say a very special thanks to a very special person, one of Canada’s biggest comedy supporters and one of the most inspirational people I know, Jenn Venn. Jenn is a university professor, a gifted writer, a joyful spirit and a medical marvel. She is facing medical challenges that would have me and most others residing firmly in a cloud of despair but has chosen instead to laugh in the face of her illness. She has defied doctors prognosis’ time after time and written to myself and many other Canadian comics whose work she finds joy in.
Tuesday night in London, Jenn, again in defiance of rational reality, was in attendance at our Grand theatre show and laughing out loud. Not only this, but she had brought to the theatre a care package of goodies (many of which I am consuming while writing this. True story.) for myself, Ivan, Nancy and Scarlett. Imagine being dealt a crushing medical blow that would force most people firmly within themselves and choosing instead to smile and to bring smiles to others? And Jenn finds that joy in laughter, which is, after all, the first item in my official job description (hypothetically of course. Comics would never actually write an official job description).
The medical team working with Jenn is doing amazing things and they are to be given a huge amount of credit. However Jenn’s positive mental attitude and sense of humour are working every bit as hard to keep her going. I’m still not quite sure laughter is the “best” medicine. But I honestly think it’s a close third behind actual medicine and caring, competent medical practitioners. Jenn finds inspiration in comedy. I find inspiration in Jenn.
So thank you to Jenn for being a living reminder of the power of positivity and the long-lasting effects of laughter. Sold out theatres are nice. Helping people laugh who really need it is nicer.
Good talk everybody.