Comedy in a McNutt Shell
“Extreme sports for the neurotic,” Chris McNutt
exclaims as he starts his monologue and introduces the next
act up to the stage.
It’s just a cry for help.”
Comedy does have its therapeutic uses.
A few days before his performance at The Boiler Room, I asked
him how he works on his material in a town like Whitehorse.
Looking over the buffet he is at, he instead observes that an
invasion of Whitehorse would succeed if everybody ate this stuff
for lunch: “They’d just have to wait till 2 o’clock
and everyone would have passed out from the grease and breading.”
Once back on track from this tangent-rant, he observes that
comedy is not like practising guitar in your bedroom. You need
audience feedback to see how your jokes work. An open mic on
a music stage is not the best setting.
“Folks are not listening to you, they’re busy talking
and doing other things.”
McNutt organized Comedy Night at The Boiler Room for two reasons:
He believes there is public interest in seeing live comedy in
Whitehorse and, if you want to showcase your talent, you need
Lots of laughs and plenty to laugh about as Jump The Shark came
onstage to do a sketch piece about a news cast from the far
future looking back on our near future here in Whitehorse. Confused
The internal logic of the piece mixes the ongoing waterfront
project, 75 roundabouts, Hillary Rodham Clinton as Queen of
the Universe, the multiplex, something about the athletes’
village in Watson Lake, somewhere called Fort Fentie and three
guys making “whoo whoo” noises, that provided flash
backs and forwards. These guys were all over the map and right
on the mark.
McNutt came back up and sang of his distain for composting and
his need to commit to a vasectomy.
“You can’t make a joke about how much you hate tofu
if you really think it’s great stuff.” He believes
the best comedy rises from the truth of our everyday struggles,
or as Homer Simpson once said, “It’s funny ‘cause
Local author and storyteller Sharone Maldaver next stepped up
to relate a story of house sitting a cabin in Tofino on Vancouver
Island’s Pacific coast. An idyllic cabin on the beach
complete with a flea-ridden cat, the rising tide and blankets
Before introducing the next performer, McNutt went into a description
of a condition that, by the end of the bit, had the crowd laughing
at a reference to cannibalism (sorry, I guess you had to be
Steve Martin once observed comedy is not pretty … I would
add that sometimes it dresses funny, too.
Musician Graeme Peters tore through an AC/DC song on an acoustic
guitar demonstrating once and for all that these sorts of lyrics
should remain in the realm of over amplification. His tribute
to The Arrogant Worms’ I Am Cow and Canada’s Really
Big was a joy to hear performed live.
Jump The Shark ended the night with an elaborate improv involving
props, lines from a script and audience participation proving
three heads are better than two.
McNutt hopes to organize another comedy night soon.
To this I say, “If you build it, they will come.”
Bill Polonsky hosted The Fish Show on Victoria’s CFUV
FM Radio for 12 years and now programs music for CJUC 92.5 FM
in Whitehorse. Contact him through his website at www.strangethingsdone.com
Chris McNutt hosts a monthly Comedy Night at The Boiler Room.
PHOTO: GEORGE MARATOS