Comedy show a gas
Entertainment: Yuk Yuk’s on Tour returns to Okotoks May 25
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:13 am
Two Calgarians will be giving foothills residents plenty to laugh about next weekend.
Scott Dumas and Jeff Toth are sharing their tales of every day life, family and embarrassing situations in the second installment of Yuk Yuk’s on Tour in Okotoks this spring. The performance takes place at the Rotary Performing Arts Centre on May 25 at 8 p.m. following what was a sold out performance in April.
“It was a resounding success,” said Yuk Yuk’s on Tour booking agent Kelly D’Amour of the April show.
If viewers thought Calgary’s Donovan Deschner and Chilliwack’s Lori Ferguson-Ford were funny last month, D’Amour said they shouldn’t miss Dumas and Toth in action.
“Because Scott’s in his 40s and Jeff is in his 20s they cover a wide demographic,” she said. “It’s a show anyone from their teens to 60s would enjoy. “
D’Amour said headliner Dumas, who has been performing comedy for 14 years, has been her go-to comedian in the west for more than five years.
“It’s his likability,” she said. “He just connects with the common man and woman. He’s very relatable.”
Dumas said he captures his audiences with his observational humour and self deprecating comments, weaving in his opinions about every day life and his own life experiences, often poking fun at himself.
Dumas’ career didn’t begin in comedy. He worked at a bank for 10 years before realizing he needed a change.
“I was on the bus and had my lunch bucket and was reading the paper on the way to work and realized it wasn’t for me,” he said. “I was really scrambling to find something that was like a passion. I knew other people had passions that would drive them to go to work every day.”
It was when a waitress from Yuk Yuk’s walked into his office requesting a loan that he thought about the place he spent many nights in his youth.
It wasn’t long before the Calgary Yuk Yuk’s became a regular hangout for Dumas.
“I just started thinking what if,” he said. “I thought maybe I could do this comedy thing.”
Dumas began the same way as most comedians – performing five-minute open mic stints.
“We’ve all done our five minutes in small empty rooms and drunk crowds over and over,” he said. “It’s soul sucking and character building one show at a time.”
Dumas soon felt he was ready to perform at an amateur night at Yuk Yuk’s.
“Five minutes of comedy at Yuk Yuk’s and I was instantly hooked,” he said. “Once you get that first laugh it’s a rush you just can’t escape.”
Dumas quit his job at the bank three months later despite having no direction and no guarantees.
What Dumas did have, besides some life experience, was a comfort level on the stage most comedians initially struggle to find.
“For some reason standing in front of a crowd never bothered me and it’s considered the number one fear in the world,” he said. “The funny guy at the office or the funny guy at school, if you put him on stage he’s going to die horribly and realize he’s not funny anymore.”
Warming the crowd for Dumas is Toth, who said people are often surprised to learn he’s a comedian.
“A lot of times when co-workers find out I’m a comedian they can’t believe it because I’m pretty professional during work hours,” he said. “It’s not the class clown that becomes the comedic, it’s the quiet kid at the back of class watching everything. The people that are most surprised by the fact that I’m a comedian are people who knew me as a really young kid because I was an incredibly shy kid.”
Toth said it wasn’t that he always wanted to be a comedian, he just had a love of comedy since he was young and decided to try it once or twice just to say he tried it.
“I found out I’m fairly good at it and it started snowballing,” he said.
Toth’s topics include his experience growing up on a farm, discrimination, day jobs, dating and pop culture.
“I’ve always had something to say about something,” he said. “I’ve always been fairly opinionated. I have no bones about mocking people in my act.”
D’Amour calls Toth, who grew up on a cattle ranch near Brooks, an intellectual hipster.
“All the comics love watching Jeff because he’s a comic’s comic,” she said. “They are impressed by his writing. He’s somebody that the rest of us are watching because we do expect great things from him.”
Some of Toth’s act consists of stories about how useless he was on the farm. One includes his attempt to help his father deliver a calf that resulted in Toth passing out.
“You would not know this boy was raised on a farm,” she said. “Jeff has a humour that is very well thought out and very well written.”