Guy Earle Performs in Fredericton this Weekend.
Still fighting for Freedom and slowly coming out of exile from the hands of BC’s Human Rights Commission, Maritime-bred comedian Guy Earle is making a comeback in the field that has coursed through his veins since he was a toddler. He headlines the Belly Busters Comedy Tour this Saturday at Wilser’s Room inside Fredericton’s Capital Complex at 8 pm.
Growing up between Halifax, N.S. and Montreal, Que. and, more recently, embroiled in his national court case, Guy has a unique and visceral perspective of our nation. Earle’s achievements outside of comedy are no laughing matter; he has a degree in Physics (Dalhousie), specializing in Optics and Experimental Physics. He has written and voiced documentaries and won awards for his direction and writing. Guy has directed live comedy at Second City (Toronto) and has been a mentor for a generation of Canadian comics. He moved to British Columbia (to rekindle his band, of all things) and while hosting his regular Tuesday Night Open Mic at Zesty’s Bar on Commercial Drive one evening, his world turned upside down.
“I was upholding the essence of the principles of authentic urban stand-up. In a live setting, my retelling of what I said gets a laugh EVERY time – but not in BC,” Earle said in 2013 after having been defeated by that province’s Human Rights Commission for alleged remarks made to an audience member during a comedy show. The complainant argued the jokes were made due to her sexual persuasion. (Although, Earle has said he was provoked and was only doing his job as a comic.)
“I didn’t discriminate at all” said Earle. “In jest, I actually accused them of not really being lesbians. I suggested they were ‘drunk, in college, and experimenting’ – the same material you would hear at ANY comedy club. Had this show been in an actual comedy club instead of a pub, these patrons would have been thrown out after their third warning and none of this would have ever happened.”
Guy said he spent 7 years paying for it in reputation. The decision brought down by the Tribunal asks that Guy pay $15,000; he refrain from doing stand-up in B.C.; and that he not talk about sexuality on stage. The comedian declared it was “a quick cash grab that ballooned into a matter of principle.” He and his lawyer contend the battle was really about the free speech of a comedian on stage, during a comedy show and especially in response to hecklers. The battle rages on; Guy has until the end of this month to log a final appeal of this “breakdown in the Charter of Freedom and Rights”.
The experience challenged Guy’s beliefs and perceptions about everything, sending him into almost a decade of detachment from society. The fight left him unemployable for 6 years with no way of providing for his family. He shut the world out and began growing all of his own food so none of the little money he did have would go to a corporate giant. Guy has been bidding his time, knowing a comeback may be possible, but needing solitude first.
“I had to find that innocent, child-like wonder of Stand-Up that had been snatched from him since that fateful night in Vancouver” he explained, citing the first Belly Busters Tour last fall was the answer.
Guy had a chance meeting with entertainment promoter and publicist, Devin Chittick late last year when Chittick decided to forsake a 14-year pro wrestling career for new ventures, one of which included promotions of comedy shows throughout the Maritimes. Guy agreed to appear for the promoter on his inaugural Belly Busters Comedy Tour for three shows in November. Earle’s passion for the art, after over 26 years of doing comedy, was front and center and, like the proverbial Phoenix out of the Ashes Guy proudly returned to the world of comedy with a highly successful, if not short, tour. Now, with the help of Chittick Entertainment, Guy Earle’s comeback to the comedy scene is in full-swing.
On the fall tour, Guy saw the fervor that a new crop of comics have for their game, reminding him of his love for the scene and appetite for inspiring. Continuing in the theme, Guy headlines the next tour headed to New Brunswick, this Saturday night. Two comics sharing Guy’s passion and stage at Wilser’s Room January 10 are Ryan Fried and Travis Lindsay. Fried is a staple of the Halifax comedy scene and has performed for the Comedy Works, Comedy Nest and other prominent stages. Lindsay is a two-time Semi-finalist of Canada’s Next Top Comic and was nominated by readers of Coast Magazine for Halifax’s Favourite Comedian. The show is hosted by promoter and popular Maritime pro wrestler, Devin Chittick
(“X-Ray” Kyle Kruze).
Guy Earle will headline the Wilser’s Room tour stop (inside Capital Complex) happening this Saturday, January 10 at 8 pm. Tickets are $14.99 available now at www.etixnow.com or any of e-ticket’s vendors. Doors open at 7.