When Vancouver Islanders are in the mood for a laugh they can always count on road warrior Ron James to make his regular trip across Georgia Strait.
The award-winning comedian brings his high octane, side-splitting Full Throttle tour to the Island for multiple dates starting Sept. 26 in Campbell River.
The incomparable, five-foot-four force of nature is known for his satirical, yet poetic take on the world. With a razor-sharp wit and uncompromising, kinetically charged stage presence, James has been known to leave the audience rolling in the aisles. Once emblazoned with the title ‘funniest man in Canada,’ he has shouldered that mantle with his own indomitable, Newfie flair.
Last summer, Canadian Press shared some of his vintage style in a piece lobbying Jerry Seinfeld to include more Canadians in his hit series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
“My dad drove a 1969 Plymouth Fury 2 Detroit-built-gas-guzzling-land-boat,” said James. “Just a Bismarck of the highway! Every time he filled up the gas tank, Saudi Arabia dropped three feet!”
CP wrote that James, a fan of Seinfeld’s 2002 documentary “Comedian,” would love to trade war stories, including “some of my hellish drives across the Rockies in blizzards a Yeti wouldn’t wander,” and “the importance of knowing this career is a calling and not a means to an end.”
As for the coffee shop, they reported James knows “an excellent funky spot” near his summer home in Nova Scotia called The LaHave Bakery. His second choice, near his condo in Toronto, is Rooster Coffee House.
“They have a super-charged coffee that will get you speaking in Biblical tongues of the prophets.”
Now more than 30 years into the comedy business, James has racked up a few accolades and some serious experience along the way. From his days with Toronto’s Second City comedy troupe in the 1980s, through some lean, rejection-heavy years in L.A., to a relatively late start in stand-up at age 37, James has perhaps taken the less direct route, but it means he’s done it all.
He’s delighted the crowds at every major televised comedy festival, won a Gemini Award for his writing on This Hour has 22 Minutes, and written and starred in two of his own television series, Blackfly (Global TV) and The Ron James Show (CBC). Now something of a national treasure, he still tours incessantly; honing his act and his skill and balancing between the political and the genuinely heartwarming.
With his first book All Over The Map due for release in the fall James certainly lives as he performs; at full throttle. His Island dates include:
Sept. 26- Campbell River Tidemark Theatre – Box Office: 250-287-7465
Sept. 27 – Courtenay/Comox Sid Williams Theatre – SWT Ticket Centre: 250-338-2430 Ext 1
Sept. 28 – Victoria McPherson Playhouse – Royal & McPherson Box Offices (& usual outlets): 250-386-6121
Sept. 29- Duncan Cowichan Performing Arts Centre – Cowichan Ticket Centre: 250-748-7529
Sept. 30 – Nanaimo The Port Theatre – Port Ticket Centre: 250-754-8550
– Rae Porter