Almost two years to the day after playing to a sold-out crowd at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre, Scottish comedian Danny Bhoy returns to Metro Moncton for yet another sold out show this Saturday night.
His show is one of 25 that he will perform between now and April 5, when his Canadian tour comes to a close in Victoria.
Danny is arguably one of the world’s best-travelled comedians, regularly performing for audiences across Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Included in those international travels are regular appearances at major comedy festivals, including Montreal’s acclaimed Just For Laughs.
Speaking from Toronto late last week where he was getting ready to perform a warm-up show, Danny jokes that the process of getting ready for a tour just isn’t getting any easier.
“I don’t quite understand it. I’ve been doing this for some time now and you’d think that the writing process would be a piece of cake for me now. The toughest part about the writing process is coming up with new material, of course (but) I’ve been at this for a while and feel like I’ve talked about everything already.
“It is still very exciting to sit down and write something new and have something fresh to offer your audience, as well. The waiting to go on stage and try these bits out is the killer part, though. I find I start questioning the material I have written and start re-writing bits that were probably actually fine to begin with. Those little nuances could drive a person crazy.”
While a portion of each of his shows is understandably scripted, Danny says he also loves going with the flow during the course of a show. If something catches his attention and warrants being talked about, Danny will happily travel down that path of unrehearsed material, despite the very real threat of jeopardizing laughs.
“Peter O’Toole was reportedly onstage in the West End of London and delivered something totally spontaneous and got the biggest laughs of the evening. In subsequent shows, he told the same joke but noted how people weren’t necessarily reacting the same way. And he realized that the first time you try something out, it is just completely genuine, for better or worse. People can pick up on that.
“I definitely enjoy the spontaneity of the live show. In fact, I don’t believe I haven’t done a performance where I haven’t put something completely unrehearsed into the show. It keeps you on edge, to an extent. If there is something I feel that I should try, I am always going to give it a try.”
Keeping with the theme of trying new things while on the road, Danny has taken a different approach to what constitutes his show on this most recent tour, dubbed Dear Epson. Acknowledging that he probably could get away with simply taking the stage and telling jokes, finding a new format in which to tell those jokes is just as important for him as it is for the audience.
“I am so very fortunate to have an audience that is willing to come back to see me when I perform in Moncton. You want to be able to offer something new each time too, though. This time around, I have changed the format and structure of the show where I will sit down and ‘write’ letters and then between letter writing, I get up and tell jokes in more of a traditional format.
“At the time my last tour wrapped up, I knew that I wanted to look at playing around with the show format.
“Stand-up comedy is and always has been about the words. What I was striving for with this show was to find a halfway point between a theatrical performance and a comedy show. So far, the shows have been working out really well. It breaks it up a little more than just delivering a straightforward stand-up routine.”
At this point in his career, Danny enjoys success around the world, which affords him the opportunity to make a living making people laugh. Bi-annual visits to the countries where he has cultivated his fan base are pretty much a given for the comedian.
Asked if the typically solitary life of the touring comedian has begun to wear on him, Danny says that he has found a nice balance between life on the road and life at home. Though he doesn’t have children of his own, he says he relishes the chance to spoil his siblings’ children when given the opportunity.
“It’s fun to go home and be the fun uncle and spoil the kids and take them out. As for touring being a solitary thing, I don’t mind it all that much. There are some times that are desperately lonely but at the end of the day, I am probably terrible company to others.”
Article published in the March 5, 2014 edition of the Times & Transcript
When: Saturday, Mar. 8, 7 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton