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Friday, June 4, 2010

VHS Vault: Brent Butt

The success of Corner Gas has not been good for Canadian comedy. Why? Because it stole one of the best stand-up comics in the world away from what he does best. I've said it before and I'll say it again: there weren't many comedians funnier than Brent Butt. Funny thing is, I never felt he translated all that well to the small screen, stand-up-wise. Whenever I saw him do stand-up on TV, he was funny, but not great. Live, though, he was the king. I could – and did – see him perform literally hundreds of times and I never tired of his act. He was that good.

Now with his new series Hiccups getting renewed, I fear we'll never get the old Brent back. Despite what he says about stand-up being his favourite thing to do, he'll never go back to performing it full-time. It'll always be a sometimes thing for him. Sure, he'll do his big theatre shows once a month or so when he's on haiatus, but that's like going to the gym once a month. It's impossible to get in shape.

For such a prolific guy, it's amazing there's next to no representation of his stand-up act on-line. There's no logical explanation for it, since he's done lots of TV work. Chances are he just doesn't want it on-line and has taken measures to have it removed. So we'll see if this lasts. Hope so, because it represents a time when this is all he did. And, as you can see, he did it well. It's pre-Corner Gas and pre-Hollywood teeth. Enjoy.

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