A good laugh on a win­ter night

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - Todd Ma­cLean Todd Ma­cLean is a lo­cal free­lance writer and mu­si­cian. If you have a com­ment or sug­ges­tion for a re­view, you can get in touch with him at tmaclean@the­guardian.pe.ca or at 626-1242. But he won’t be of­fended if you don’t.

Co­me­dian Gerry Dee pulls out all the funny sto­ries at a show in Sum­mer­side, much to the de­light of the au­di­ence and Guardian free­lance colum­nist Todd Ma­cLean.

A great crowd of Hol­land Col­lege stu­dents and mem­bers of the gen­eral pub­lic gath­ered to laugh the win­ter blahs away to­gether last Fri­day night in Sum­mer­side at the Har­bourfront Theatre.

“We wanted to have a big splash event, so we brought in the best comic in Canada, bar none,” said Hol­land Col­lege stu­dent union pres­i­dent Dave Camp­bell in his in­tro­duc­tion from the stage, as the show be­gan at 8 p.m.

“So let’s give him a big P.E.I. wel­come: Gerry Dee,” Camp­bell added, as the Har­bourfront Theatre au­di­ence erupted in cheers to bring the fa­mous Cana­dian co­me­dian/writer /tele­vi­sion star on to the stage.

The Cana­dian Com­edy Award win­ner and fi­nal­ist in Last Comic Stand­ing (who has be­come a house­hold name since 2012 as the star of CBC’s sit­com “Mr. D”) was brought to P.E.I. by Hol­land Col­lege as a fun win­ter show for the stu­dents.

And from the time Dee came out on stage, it was cer­tainly fun times ga­lore as he let loose an on­slaught of glee­ful ridicule upon var­i­ous au­di­ence mem­bers.

Pok­ing fun at ev­ery­thing from a young man’s gold pants in the front row and what the lives of ma­ture stu­dents must be like to var­i­ous cou­ples out on dates, sin­gle peo­ple who looked des­per­ate and as­pir­ing fire­fight­ers with no idea as to how they’re go­ing to be­come fire­fight­ers, Dee pa­raded through a re­mark­able in­tro dis­play of un­scripted im­prov with crowd mem­ber in­ter­ac­tion.

Car­ry­ing on to his rou­tine that in­cluded bits about his years as a teacher (in­clud­ing how to deal with the spec­trum of stu­dents from the smart kids to even those with op­po­si­tional de­fi­ant dis­or­der), his hi­lar­i­ous re­pul­sion to be­ing in the de­liv­ery room with his wife, along with his clas­sic “Bruno joke” and “Ital­ian joke” (by crowd re­quest), Dee coaxed the kind of big laughs that he has be­come known for and re­ceived an en­thu­si­as­tic stand­ing ova­tion at the end for it.

“We’ve been do­ing events for the stu­dents over the past cou­ple of years, and this year we re­al­ized we had to step it up,” said Camp­bell in con­ver­sa­tion af­ter the show.

“I’m the first (Hol­land Col­lege stu­dent union pres­i­dent) from Sum­mer­side, and this was part of my cam­paign prom­ise to have a big event in Sum­mer­side.”

Camp­bell also men­tioned it was not easy to book Dee at this time of year, but the pay­off in the level of stu­dent en­joy­ment was cer­tainly worth all the ef­fort.

“His sea­son pre­miere was this week as well, so it was pretty tough to get him here, but we think it’s a good re­ward for the stu­dents,” he added.

Catch Dee in the new fifth sea­son of Mr. D on Tues­days at 9:30 p.m. on CBC tele­vi­sion.

For more about him, visit www.ger­rydee.com.

Next week: Let’s keep the mid-win­ter laugh-fest go­ing with Popalopalooza: 26 Hours of Im­prov with Popalopalots at The Guild, tonight and to­mor­row night.

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