Hotz Stuff

HOTZ13_013_43T9921Comedian Jeremy Hotz might often be portrayed as miserable, but in actuality, life isn’t all that bad for the Ottawa-born comedian.

A longtime favourite in theatres and stand-up comedy clubs across Canada and the United States, Hotz also has a number of other credits off the theatrical stage.

Aside from roles in My Favorite Martian and Speed 2, Hotz also starred in the Comedy Central four-part miniseries Married Life and received a Gemini Award nomination for the CBC program Oh Cana-Duh. His work in the celebrated series The Newsroom, which aired on CBC in Canada and PBS in the United States, earned him a Gemini Award for best performance in a comedy show or series.

Hotz was also a staff writer and performer on the acclaimed The Jon Stewart Show, the precursor to Stewart’s current hit program The Daily Show.

Miserable or not, Jeremy Hotz is no one-trick pony.

“Not long ago, I did a show at the Laugh Factory and Rihanna was there. After the show, she and her security ensemble approached me; she shook my hand, told me I was amazing and that ended up in Rolling Stone Magazine. My life isn’t always that miserable,” Hotz said with a laugh from his home in California, where he has lived since 1996.

“And the next night at the Laugh Factory, Jerry Lewis was there. He saw my act and I was absolutely thrilled for him to take a photo with me. He’s one of the guys that I always wanted to meet. While he might not have directly influenced me to become a comedian, he certainly entertained me while I was growing up.”

Although he was born in Ontario, Hotz played it safe when it came to performing his first stand-up routine. Instead of facing some potentially familiar faces in the audience, he chose to make Edmonton’s Sidetrack Café his inaugural gig.

“I was visiting my mother in Edmonton. I got on stage and it went over OK. It was the first thing I ever did successfully that I stuck with,” he says.

At the time, Jeremy says that Yuk Yuks was rapidly expanding across Canada, sending upcoming comics on cross-country journeys, which helped him quickly hone his talent.

“I was lucky because they just didn’t have a lot of comics to hire so I got thrown into the circuit really early in my career. The only way for anyone to get better at stand-up is to do it. It was a trial by fire in every sense of the word.”

Estimating that his upcoming Canadian tour is the first time in four years that he has worked so extensively in Canada, Hotz is greatly anticipating his return.

“I come back to Canada and freeze my butt off,” he says. “My mother laughs at me for this. The only reason I left Canada to begin with was for work. At the time I left, I had a deal with Disney that turned out to be nothing so I started regularly working at the Improv, working so much that I just never happened to return to Canada.

“I’m just happy to be coming back. Canadians seem to be a little more in tune with what is going on. Canadians tend to get a lot more of the subtleties in the show. Truthfully though, I am very lucky to have such dedicated fans in Canada that have stood by me. They are so loyal. They must be Toronto Maple Leafs fans.”

Article published in the February 21, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript