Lorne Elliott doesn’t like to tout his own talent. Fortunately, others are more than willing to do it for him.
When the host of CBC Radio’s “Madly Off in All Directions” was asked what people could expect from his stand-up comedy routine being staged here Friday night at Robert Moore School, he momentarily seemed to be at a loss of words.
“When I read this stuff back in the newspaper, it’s always ‘zany, wacky antics, laughter, and music,’” Elliott said.
“It looks razzle-dazzle,” he added. “It should look like it just happened. It takes a lot of practice to sound natural.”
Elliott’s performance here, the fifth of the “tour de Fort” concert series this season, is part of a tour that next heads out to Alberta and then British Columbia.
He was here about two years ago as a special addition to the “tour de Fort” lineup, and remembered it as being a highly-successful outing.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to Northwestern Ontario,” Elliott said. “I’ve always found that audiences are always very appreciative outside of [cities].”
Faithful listeners probably already are familiar with Elliott’s stories and antics, many of which revolve around non-major events.
“You start exaggerating the everyday—that’s what my approach is,” he remarked—like going for Donairs after the bars close down in Halifax or the agony one can experience when taking a shower and the guy in the downstairs apartment turns on his dishwasher.
All of which is then put to music and played out on a six-string guitar.
“It’s kind of like writing a comedy show,” he explained. “It’s a full-time job but it’s a fun job.”
When he isn’t performing on stage, Elliott uses the day to write material—both for his show and his stand-up routine.
“Because of the radio show, I’ve got to keep out new stuff,” he said. “But there are some old standards if you don’t do, people will come out and ask you to do.”
Unfortunately, the only way to tell if new material will work or not is to try it out in front of an audience, Elliott said. So how do you know what you’re about to do on the stage will be thought of as funny?
“It’s something you learn,” he noted. “If you don’t, it’s worse.”