Relationships: good or bad — or even non-existent — standup comedians’ material just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Next week, Just For Laughs is bringing a group of comedians on tour across the country to share their insight on dating, marriage, family and everything in between.
The Capital One Just for Laughs Comedy Tour 2012: The Relationship Edition kicks off at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre Tuesday, Oct. 30, featuring “Last Comic Standing” winner John Heffron, Godfrey, Debra DiGiovanni and Tom Papa.
Papa has covered both the big and small screens: he starred with Matt Damon in “The Informant” and was a writer and voiceover actor in “Bee Movie,” and had a recurring role on CBS’ “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
He was host of “The Marriage Ref” on NBC and had his own show, “Come to Papa.” As a standup comedian, Papa has appeared in specials on The Comedy Channel, and is a regular on the late-night talk show rounds and at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal.
“It’s cool to say that you have a movie coming out and it’s cool to say, ‘Watch me Friday at nine’ on a certain TV show, but as far as the experience, getting onstage with an audience and being just yourself, you can’t beat it,” Papa told The Telegram.
“That reaction of standing on stage and having people respond to you, it’s a physical energy you don’t have in any other performance. A lot of my comedian friends compare it to a drug and once you do it, you want that feeling again. I think maybe they just haven’t had any good drugs.”
Papa’s material on this tour is all new, and he’s preparing to record it for a new comedy special and album to be released in the new year.
He’ll talk about life in the 21st century, and how he feels we’re caught in between becoming modern and being stuck in the past.
“Like why do we carry change around in our pockets anymore? We can buy things with our cellphone, why are we walking around like leprechauns with pockets filled with golden trinkets?” he asked.
He’ll also talk, of course, about his marriage, if his wife lets him.
“My wife isn’t too happy lately about that,” Papa said.
“It’s all an exaggeration, but I guess she gets really annoyed when she recognizes that something really is true. I get in trouble and then I go back out on the road and she forgets about it.”
Why not cut married life out of the material all together? Papa said he can’t help but talk about it.
“My act is just a reflection of my life and what’s going on at the time,” he explained.
“I try not to talk about my wife and kids, even in real life, but I can’t help but bring it up. If you had a friend who was held prisoner somewhere and they wanted to talk about it, wouldn’t you listen? It’s the same thing.”
DiGiovanni, best known for her appearance on “Last Comic Standing” and her role as one of the resident comedians on “Video on Trial,” is billed as the “single cat lady” on this tour, and isn’t shy poking fun at her single status in her sets and on Twitter.
She’s also adept at handing out advice, and has come on board as a guest relationship advice columnist in today’s Telegram, answering questions submitted by readers via Twitter and Facebook.
Tickets for the St. John’s stop of the Capital One Just for Laughs Comedy Tour 2012: Relationship Edition are $44.50 (HST and service charge included) and are on sale now at the Arts and Culture Centre box office, by calling 729-3900 or online at www.artsandculturecentre.com.