Entertainment

Alls I’m Saying

Greg Vandermeulen

Derek Edwards will perform in Winkler at the Centennial Concert Hall on May 31.

Derek Edwards will perform in Winkler at the Centennial Concert Hall on May 31.

WINKLER - 

Comedian Derek Edwards has one goal when he takes the stage, and that’s to make the audience laugh.
“I’m just going for laughs,” he said. I’m not trying to change your mind politically or your outlook on the world. I’m going for the gut laugh, and the more the better.”
Edwards’ tour “Alls I’m Saying” is making 17 stops across western Canada, and will come to Winkler at the P.W. Enns Centennial Concert, May 31.
He said the title of the tour brings back memories of growing up.
“If that doesn’t ring as Canadiana I don’t know what does,” he said. “It’s certainly a phrase I heard a lot growing up in northern Ontario.”
“I just figure I’m not really saying anything important so I might as well use it as a title,” he added with a laugh.
Identifying himself with the ordinary working guy, Edwards sells out concert halls across Canada, and is a regular at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. He’s also the only Canadian winner of the prestigious Vail International Comedy Competition, is a two time Gemini nominee and has been nominated numerous times as Best Stand up Comic at the Canadian Comedy Awards.
His TV credits include The New Red Green Show, A&E’s Comedy on the Road, Just for Laughs, and CBC’s Comics.
His biography describes him as having “award-winning rural humour”.
“I’m not much of a city slicker, I’m not like Dennis Miller you know, coming on with real clever, coy, poignant remarks...,” he said. “I try to relate to people from small towns like myself.”
That style of humour has gotten him a lot of mileage, and not just outside the larger centres.
“The first few times in Toronto, just speaking plainspoken, how you doin’ type verbiage, and the thing is there’s so many people displaced from little towns living in the city that they were absolutely on board,” he said.
“There’s no true definition of what a city person is anyways,” he added. “Most of them are just regular folks... takes them longer to get to work.”
Edwards said people have the urge to laugh just as they did when he started out 30 years ago.
“I don’t think people’s sense of humour has really changed that much,” he said. “There’s always that shark in the water called political correct... it’s kind of lurking around like a Great White.”
It’s not the community that makes the difference in the type of crowd as much as the venue according to Edwards.
“If you’re lucky enough to play a theatre or you go and you play a rough one-nighter in between frames at a bowling alley... there’s two different groups,” he said.
Edwards said theatre shows are great.
“Almost invariably that leads to a real sociable, easy going... kindhearted group, regardless of the size of the place,” he said.
He’s never performed in Winkler, but has been in Winnipeg numerous times, enough that he’s following the Jets as they blaze their way through the playoffs.
“I met some fervent, if not insane fans of Winnipeg’s team when I was out there,” he said.
But working in Manitoba has given him the impression that the people are much like the ones he knows from his home town of Timmins.
“They’re absolutely relatable, unpretentious, let’s just get to it and better be funny, and then they’re all in good spirits,” he said.
Edwards lives for the stage and said he’s excited every night he gets to step out, even in a busy tour like this one.
“It’s the only thing that counts in the day,” he said. “It’s all about the show. It takes four or five days after a tour to get that out of the brain.”
Winkler is the fourth stop on the tour that ends June 17 in Fort St. John.
“It will be my first time there, and I’m very excited to get there,” he said.
Derek Edwards will perform in Winkler at the Centennial Concert Hall on May 31. Tickets cost $44 and are available from the box office at City Hall by calling 1-888-732-1682. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.