When speaking with journalists about his touring comedy show Like Father, Like Son? Sorry, creator Chris Gibbs has noticed a tendency for people to drop the last word of the title by mistake. And when he corrects them, they think he’s apologizing.
Somehow, the awkwardness of that moment perfectly demonstrates what Gibbs is trying to accomplish with his piece, which explores his life as father to his 7-year-old son Beckett. Frequently during the course of Beckett’s life Gibbs has found himself feeling unprepared, flustered and confused.
“The show’s based on my experiences of becoming a father, and all the worries that I’ve learned a lot more people than I have. When I wrote it, I didn’t know how universal that was. My biggest worry is he’ll end up exactly like me,” he said.
Gibbs is bring the show to the Capitol on Saturday, February 7 at 8 p.m. He said anyone with kids should have no problem relating to what he’s talking about. And though he’s learned a lot since his son was born, kids didn’t always come easily to him.
“I used to be a street performer. It used to always be parents would send their kids to the front, and kind of use the street performer as a babysitter. Nobody was doing anything malicious, but I was thinking ‘you don’t know how wrong it would be to assume they can control themselves’,” he said.
And as he’s trying to navigate his new parental responsibilities, he’s found himself pulled in opposite directions.
“When I was younger I took Beckett to a drop-in centre, and the whole purpose was to allow the children to socialize. I’d always find myself thinking all the other parents here, I’ve got nothing in common with them. So I’d sit in the corner by myself and I realized I was modeling the worst behaviour,” he said.
Another issue was dogs.
“I’m afraid of dogs from being bitten a lot when I was a child, and I worry my son is going to pick up on that. I always feel this complete responsibility, like I’ll pick him up right away as soon as a dog comes near. But then he’ll be scared of dogs too!”
Finally, he resorted to this simple parenting method: “I ask myself, which is the better thing to have wrong with them?”
Gibbs will discuss childbirth and allude to conception during, and he said the act is family-friendly with no swearing.
And though the exploration is important to him, the primary goal is still to make you laugh.
“It would be very kind to assume I have any sort of noble goal. I just love doing comedy and the if there’s any additional bonuses, that’s nice. There’s a point I found with my son, and I do consider that part of the show quite moving, but I use it as a set up for a joke,” he said.
Tickets for the show are $25 for adults and $20 for students. For more information visit capitoltheatre.bc.ca or call (250) 352-6363.