Comedian Darrin Rose Riffs On Family

Darrin Rose_Photo

Canadian comedian Darrin Rose is on a unique kind of mission: to prove his worthiness as a comedian to his father and his brother.

It is not that there is any lingering resentment on his family’s part. It is more a matter of having chosen a different path in life.

This mission all dates back to his childhood. A proud, blue-collar single father raised Rose and his older brother. While his brother followed in his father’s footsteps, adopting the same blue-collar lifestyle, Rose chose a different path.

Sibling rivalry and his father’s blue-collar values and stoic nature are the focal points of Rose’s latest show, My Dad’s Other Son, which he brings to Moncton’s Capitol Theatre this Saturday night.

“This is my third national tour, performing at theatres all across this great land, telling hurtful stories about my family,” Rose laughs.

Asked to elaborate on the spirit and intent behind the show’s title, the comedian sums up its meaning rather succinctly:

“The show focuses on me struggling as the black sheep of the family to prove my worth as a human being. My father and my brother are straightforward, blue-collar kind of guys. My dad has his ideas about being a man and all that entails and basically, I don’t fit in with his idea of how to be a man.

“A lot of people have a brother that wants to show them the world. I had a brother who wanted to prepare me for the vicious cruel world by being mean to me while we were growing up – including having pushed me out of a moving car when I was 17 years old.

“This show is my revenge.”

When the delicate matter of whether or not his brother has seen My Dad’s Other Son comes up, Rose says yes, although his brother inadvertently emerges as the hero in many of the stories shared during the course of the show.

“I just get to tell the story about how he lost his virginity in a fort in our backyard,” Rose deadpans.

A native of Oshawa, Ontario, Rose has enjoyed much success in the world of comedy. In addition to serving as a regular cast member on the MuchMusic program Video On Trial, Rose hosts the Comedy Network show Match Game and holds down the role of Bill The Bartender on the hit sitcom Mr. D. A four-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee, Rose’s visit to Moncton follows a recent appearance on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

“It was a desperate need for attention that steered me in the direction of comedy,” Rose says. “I started attending open mic nights in Toronto because, other than maybe London, England, Toronto is one of the best comedy cities in the world.”

Rose recalls a less than wonderful experience at a Yuk Yuks open mike night that would have had many budding comedians questioning their vocation:

“Comedy is a funny thing because you’ve got people on stage trying to pull off prepared remarks as if they just thought of them. One of the first times I was on stage at Yuk Yuks, I was supposed to have approximately five minutes of material. I was lucky if I had three minutes. Nonetheless, the emcee got on stage once I was done and made fun of me for probably seven minutes.

“Comedy can be a real trial by fire. It is something that you really have to want to make a living at it.”

Part of making a living at comedy involves venturing outside your comfort zone. In Rose’s case, that meant relocating to Los Angeles for the understandable pursuit of picking up additional work in the world of television.

The move does not signify a wavering loyalty on Rose’s part; it is more a matter of career practicality.

“I have the very good fortune of being on two shows in Canada which has got to be a good one-third of all of the programs made in the country. But really, moving to Los Angeles was a necessary evil of sorts, especially if you want to get the fancy American television jobs. People come from all around the world to compete for jobs in L.A., making it a hyper-competitive environment. At the end of the day, it is a lot like a lottery. You might strike it big and you might not. You just never know.”

What: Darrin Rose
When: Saturday, Sept. 13, 8 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
Tickets are $28 (plus service charges). Advance tickets are available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office, by phone (506) 856-4379 and online at capitol.nb.ca