Canadian comedian Brent Butt doesn’t always know ahead of time what he’s going to say on stage. He’s amassed a significant arsenal of comedic content, drawn from 27 years of touring experience, but he doesn’t like to plan ahead.
“What I do onstage is kind of determined by what the crowd is into,” Butt told the Star. “You pack hundreds of individuals into a space together and that’s a brand new animal that’s never existed before. The fact that every night it’s different is what keeps it fresh and exciting. All these years later and I’m still in the wings not knowing.”
But things have evolved somewhat different since he started out with his career.
“In the early days you have to do shows in rooms where you know there’s a legitimate threat of physical altercation. Stripper joints, biker bars. You’re thinking ‘I might get knifed here’ and a few times I had to leave through the kitchen.”
Hopefully nothing of the sort will happen when Butt brings his act to the Capitol on May 13 at 7:30 p.m. Butt said fans of his hit Corner Gas will recognize his comedic sensibilities, but his stand-up routine is significantly different than his show.
“Making TV is a very collaborative thing, it’s a team sport. There are some similar sensibilities in my act—I was the one responsible for the tone of the show—but this will be less joke-jokes and more wordplay, fun with language. I like to find something new in the mundane.”
He said he’s fascinated by ordinary conversation.
“Rural colloquialisms fascinate me, but prim and proper, erudite language is also interesting to me. I like when those two merge. Any time I can get in that sweet spot, when I’m mixing sophistication with blue collar buddy comedy, that’s what I’m looking for.”
These days Butt, who has amassed a number of awards for his work, is primarily pouring his attention into his newly formed Sparrow Media Company.
“We named it Sparrow because it’s a bird that doesn’t feel the need to fly south. This has been exciting transition for me because up until now I’ve only worked on things I’ve created, but now I’m opening the company to work with other creatives who have brought me ideas.”
He said he loves having a chance to collaborate.
“These are people I know and respect who have projects that have legs, and I’m interested in bringing them to life. Maybe I can open some doors they can’t. It sounds more altruistic than it actually is though—really, working with creatives makes me feel good.”
The show will also feature special guest Jamie Hutchinson. All seats are reserved and tickets are $42.50. The show is a presentation of the Kootenay Concert Connection.
This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser