Pumped by hit Corner Gas, Brent Butt brings new standup jokes to Cowichan

The success of his hit series Corner Gas has made comedian Brent Butt a familiar face to people across Canada and in many parts of the world. -
The success of his hit series Corner Gas has made comedian Brent Butt a familiar face to people across Canada and in many parts of the world.
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Fueled by success of TV's Corner Gas, plus his new movie, comic Bent Butt was ready for some standup.

He'll pump punchlines into the Cowichan Theatre during his valley return Nov. 24.

Butt fumbled to remember his last hilarious valley show at the Cowichan Valley Best Western Inn more than a decade ago.

That was understandable given all the skits under his career's bridge since then.

His show is usually scrubbed of swearing and sexual jokes, but Butt explained to the News Leader Pictorial how he's an open-door man.

"People have come to know me from prime-time TV," he said CTV's six-season hit Corner Gas, "and assume it's a sexually clean act, that puts pressure on me.

"With stand-up, you can say and do what you like — some stuff is offensive to different people," he said.

"I've had people complain I said 'hell' and 'damn.' I generally work clean, but if I'm on stage and think of something that's in a different vein, I always want to be able to go with it."

However, Butt avoids mocking current events during his usually droll delivery.

"I keep my head out of the news. Maybe that makes me a bonehead but I tend to look at minutia and the big picture, and current events fall in between.

"I'm neither navel gazing or thinking philosophically; most news is generally depressing with people killing people, and poisoning the planet."

He dodged revealing exactly what Saturday's act will contain.

Butt's basically a pragmatic guy.

"I create a mass of material then when I go on stage, sometimes I try going down one avenue and see they're not into it, so I go down another avenue.

"It's very fluid and mercurial; it's very much a dialogue with the audience — they're telling me what they're into and I respond."

Those answers will hold jokes he's created in the past eight years.

"After eight years of constant TV, I've put my nose to the grindstone to get new material."

He's also just wrapped his first movie called No Clue that's "a comedy mystery set in Vancouver" and set for release next year.

Whether on set or on stage, Saskatchewan boy Butt, 46, said nerves aren't a problem.

"I've been doing this 25 years, and for whatever reason getting up in front of an audience is just about the only thing that makes sense to me — the rest of the day, I don't know what I should be doing."

But he does know how to handle hecklers.

"It's not difficult to make a drunk idiot look bad. You just let them talk, with 'Pardon me, sir?'"

But heckles aren't usual in soft-seat venues like Cowichan's theatre.

Meanwhile, Butt's proud of 107-episode sitcom Corner Gas that's been screened in 26 countries.

To Butt, it's all about telling stories, live or on TV, after jotting ideas in a notebook or into his phone's voice-memory app.

"TV's storytelling with characters in a believable way, with a beginning and an end. With standup, you can have glib comments — it's short-term funny.

He simply called Corner Gas' appeal "real lightning in a bottle."

"If anything else will have that level of success again, I don't know. I just try and make a good product."

Your ticket

What: Brent Butt

When: Nov. 24, 7;30 p.m.

Where: Cowichan Theatre

Tickets: $47.50. Call 250-748-7529

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