June 19th, 2024

Snowed in Comedy Tour set to hit the stage


By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on February 3, 2022.

A lot has happened to Paul Myrehaug and his tour mates in the early stages of the Snowed in Comedy Tour.

And it’s been more than just the Omicron virus.

There has been a burst pipe at a venue, capacity restriction changes, one cast member getting COVID, canceled flights and extreme weather that made for some marathon driving days and re-routes since the tour began Jan. 6.

Despite plumbing, pandemics and whatever Mother Nature decides to throw their way on the tour trail, Myrehaug and fellow comedians Debra DiGiovanni, Dan Quinn and Pete Zedlacher will be rolling into Lethbridge when the Snowed in Comedy Tour hits the stage at the Yates Memorial Centre/Sterndale Bennett Theatre Friday at 8 p.m.

And no matter what the road throws at the comedians, at least they’re on tour.

“I have to tell you, after a year-and-a-half of not working I will take any situation,” said Myrehaug, on the phone Sunday afternoon in Revelstoke, B.C. where they had just finished soundcheck. “It’s been wonderful. Of course, we started selling tickets for these events when the restrictions were fully lifted so our venues could be at 100 per cent. So there was a lot of bobbing and head weaving. In Alberta, it’s not affected in Lethbridge. But in B.C. we had to move all of our shows to two shows a night. It felt like working in Santa’s workshop. We had our laptops out and were transferring tickets. We were laughing. Every time we opened up our phones, we had an average of about 80 emails each. It was just a madhouse.”

The scrambling to meet capacity demands aside, the audience has not only been appreciative, but understanding of the situation.

“They’re super happy to see us back. They haven’t been to live stand up in a while, so it has been very positive and very nice,” said Myrehaug, who won the Great Canadian Laugh off $25,000 prize and now resides in the south of France with his wife. “You can really feel it when you’re onstage and the excitement when you walk out. I think, because this tour has been running for so long, 12 years, and we write a new show every year, we get a lot of repeat business. So just walking out there and they’re like ‘This guy. This weirdo from France.’ You feel an extra level of excitement. It’s been delightful.”

Still, there were some glitches along the way, such as the burst pipe at a venue in Smithers, B.C.

“That was unbelievable,” said Myrehaug. “That was such a crazy week. We were sitting in Kamloops and already moving all those venues up north. Smithers is probably the biggest market up there. So we were going to do two shows out of a venue called the Hudson Bay. Our fearless leader, Dan, was Level 100 stressed out already. The Hudson Bay had a pipe burst and they called and said ‘Listen, you guys can’t come here. We need fire inspectors and that’s not going to happen for two weeks.’ The irony was so great. We had to cancel a week, not because of the Coronavirus. It was Murphy’s Law.”

The day after, the comedians thought they would head back to Vancouver, now having the week off.

But with the Coquihalla Highway closed due to flooding, Myrehaug and his comedians had two options.

“We could go through Whistler or we could go down through Princeton,” he said. “We figured we had come up through Princeton and (decided) to go through Whistler instead, it’ll be a change of scenery at least.”

Three hours into their drive, the travelers came across a man standing on the road with a stop sign. There had been an avalanche.

“He said ‘Road’s closed, fellas. You’re going to have to go all the way back to Kamloops and go through Princeton,'” said Myrehaug. “We thought we’d have a day off and that turned into a 14-hour drive. It was just one thing after another. It was incredible.”

Born in Camrose, Myrehaug moved to Europe around 12 years ago and lived in England before meeting his wife.

“The lion’s share of my year is spent in Europe,” said Myrehaug, who has also been on Just For Laughs, Sirius XM and on the Debaters. “I’m the support act for Ed Byrne, an Irish comic. I’m his warm up act, so we do about 60 or 65 cities a year in Scotland, the UK and Ireland.”

Of Norwegian descent, Myrehaug does his own tours there as well.

“But I think I’ve performed in 46 different countries.”

Now, Myrehaug and his tour mates take it to the Yates Friday night.

Quinn has done numerous appearances on TV and radio and has won the Canadian Comedy Competition at Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. 

He has done Comedy Now on CTV, The Debaters, Sirius XM radio and won Best of the Fest at the Hubcap Comedy Festival in Moncton.

DiGiovanni has been named her hometown Toronto’s favourite comedian three times in five years. In 2018 she made an appearance on Conan O’Brien and is the star of her own Crave TV and Netflix specials. 

DiGiovanni is known in Canada for appearances on Much Music’s Video On Trial.

Zedlacher is becoming one of the most recognized acts in Canada. 

He has been nominated five times for Comedian of the year, done the Just For Laughs Gala eight times and won the Sirius-XM Radio Top Comic Competition.

“We’re Level 1,000 excited because with B.C. being 50 per cent capacity, I believe this is going to be our first Alberta show and it will be full capacity,” said Myrehaug. “You can really feel that energy when it’s a packed house. So we’ve been talking about it along the way. We have this earmarked as a really exciting event for us because it’s going to be the first time we’re in front of a full theatre. We’ve been chatting about it in the truck quite a bit. I think you’re going to find us at our sharpest and with the most joy in our hearts because we haven’t had that feeling in a couple of years. That’s what we live on, that adrenaline. It’s going to be great.”

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