PICTOU – The key to making Ron James laugh is to be relatable. Being funny helps too.
Ron James will be putting his ‘Take No Prisoners’ material to the test when he begins his Atlantic Canada tour later this month. SUBMITTED
As it turns out, that’s the secret to making James’s fans guffaw as well.
“If there’s any theme to my show, it’s the average man trying to make sense of this rapidly changing planet.”
James represents the everyday Canadian and it has earned him the nickname of the “funniest man in Canada.”
He’s looking forward to bringing that humour to Pictou on Dec. 4.
He’s not excited about not having anywhere to get a meal after 9 p.m., he joked.
James localizes a lot of his material as well as touches on topics that grind gears across the country.
One of his bits on his latest “Take No Prisoners” tour talks about Bell’s customer service, a subject that angers cellphone users from coast to coast.
His script is always changing. He’s always writing when he’s on tour, he said.
“That’s what separates the men from the boys in this line of work – who’s willing to do the grunt work and throw material away when it’s dated.”
News and comedic gold is always breaking, forcing him to stay on his toes.
As a current Torontonian, Rob Ford is feeding him great stuff for his show.
He remembers trying to add Rob Ford jokes to his shtick a few years ago, but he was told no one outside Toronto would know who he is.
“It’s amazing what a little time and a crack pipe will do.”
He isn’t just watching Toronto politics.
Nova Scotia’s change in government will make his comical docket too.
James grew up in Glace Bay. Part of his shows include stories that stem from his childhood, including playing “house league” hockey.
“I talk about my folks. I talk about my own kids. (I talk about) the generational differences between the current group of millennials and my boomer generation.”
James just wrapped the final episode of the fifth season of The Ron James show, which he said has done a 180-degree turn this year.
“I think it really reflects the same kind of spirit that people have been coming to see for years across the country.”
The show, which runs on CBC, features James’s acting, his stand-up and a cartoon with “L’il Ronnie.”
On his show, he performs on a circular stage, making the experience with the live audience intimate.
“Performing live is everything. It’s where a performer connects to the audience on a visceral level, which is what is great about the television show this season.”
James likes a comedian who isn’t afraid to take chances. He has a tendency to push the envelope himself as well.
He said Canada’s respect for authority can make that difficult at times.
“This attribute that we have about being polite and being nice also has a way of biting us in the ass.”
Comedians are rebellious by nature, he said. He’s always trying to balance audience expectations and his own artistic need.
Funny is subjective, he said, and is a matter of taste.
He’s seen plenty of comedians who had his sides hurting and many who weren’t his cup of tea.
“Laughter unites people. If I’m watching a comedian who is making me feel that we’re all in this together regardless of our differences, that’s who I’m laughing at.”
Ron James takes the deCoste Centre stage at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. Tickets are $50.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda