When it comes to Canadian comedians, they don’t get a whole lot bigger than Jeremy Hotz. A star of stage, the big screen and little screen, Hotz has amassed a sizable fanbase from coast-to-coast, putting in multiple appearances at Montreal’s renowned Just For Laughs Festival, earning Gemini and Canadian Comedy Awards along the way.
He has a word of warning for those attending either (or both) of his performances at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre this Friday night:
“I pretty much look exactly the same as I did last time I was in Moncton,” he deadpans.
Not that Hotz isn’t looking forward to his imminent return to the region. After years of living in California and spending time in big cities all over the world, he acknowledges cities like Moncton hold a specific charm in his books.
“People think it’s so romantic to live in California, but the truth of the matter is, it gets boring there after awhile, and you yearn to be in a place like Moncton. Cities like yours certainly have their charms; everything is relatively close by, plus people are much more outgoing and likely to talk with you,” Hotz says.
Acknowledging that he has reached a point in his career where he is largely able to write his own ticket, Hotz says there was no easy path to carving out a niche for himself in the U.S. It was a matter of much hard work and persistence.
“People ask me all the time how I’ve managed to stay relevant for so long, but honestly, it’s nothing that I’ve consciously taken note of. I’m just a regular guy, but I guess my act and the way I deliver it could be seen as different and unique. This whole being miserable thing just never goes out of style,” he laughs.
“There are four major comedy clubs in Los Angeles and I am very fortunate to be able to play any of them when I want. That’s a dream position to be in for a lot of comedians in the city, but there are only a handful of us that are able to do it. It’s what I wanted from the very beginning, and now that I’m in that position, I realize how lucky I am.”
Hotz believes his continued appeal with audiences could stem from the fact that has never been one to concern himself with trends. While the material changes from tour to tour, he doesn’t worry about what others are doing in order to try to get their names out there.
At a time where a significant portion of the public is digesting comedy via social media outlets like Vine, the comedian says there will always be a place for the stand-up comic in the world.
“There is a bit of a shift happening in comedy right now, where a lot of the younger guys that are coming up are very animated and have a high-energy show. I definitely feel there is a correlation between the proliferation of social media and people being clownish, hoping to get their 15 minutes of fame. The world is getting bigger and people want attention so it gets a little over the top sometimes.
“For me and what I do, some might perceive stand-up to be not as cool as other mediums, but I think there is a lot to be said for letting the audience come to you.”
Cool or not, there is little denying that stand-up has been an integral part of Hotz’s career. He is no one-trick pony, however. With a handful of major film credits along with even more work in television, most recently having appeared on Call Me Fitz alongside Jason Priestley, he is thrilled with the way that his career has evolved.
Despite being nudged in various directions at different points in his career, Hotz has stood his ground, refusing to go the flow just because it was what others felt he should do.
“When it comes to my career, I have always done things my way and in my own time. When I’m on stage doing stand-up, I’m well aware that the onus of whether I sink or swim rests solely on my shoulders. Yet, I’d rather do that than have to try to own someone else’s material.
“My mother says I’ve always been like this. I’ve never been one to do what I’m being told to do. It’s a big reason why I got into stand-up in the first place. I get to get up on stage and let people see me for who I am. Of course, some people prefer to see me on television, only because I probably look better from farther away,” he laughs.
What: Jeremy Hotz
When: Friday Feb. 5, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
Both shows are sold out