Comics from across the pond

One of Canada’s best-loved comics will headline Birmingham’s Glee Club during an action-packed week of events at the city centre venue.

comedy
Pete Johansson

One of Canada’s best-loved comics will headline Birmingham’s Glee Club during an action-packed week of events at the city centre venue.

Pete Johansson will star from Thursday to August 17, with support from Andrew O’Neill, Simon King and Bruce Devlin.

The venue will also feature performances tonight and tomorrow from Rudi Lickwood, David Whitney, Anthony J Brown and Karen Bayley.

Johansson is a former resident of Vancouver, and Montreal, and made his first forays into Hollywood after a wildly successful debut at the Montreal Just For Laughs festival.

After appearing in one of the smaller shows, he was snapped up by talent spotters who offered him a deal with Warner Brothers Television.

Foray

Johansson soon made his network debut on NBC’s Friday Night and followed that with the lead in the independent film Mixed Signals with Jason London and Brook Langdon.

He performed across the country for the Improvisation comedy clubs in his spare time.

The following year, Johansson made his first foray into comedy in England and Ireland, performing at London’s Comedy Store and various Jongleurs clubs.

He appeared in a number of TV shows and followed up his new found success by starring in an hour-long special for The Comedy Channel’s Comedy Now! series.

He won rave reviews from critics, with Montreal Gazette writing: “Pete Johansson was by far the breakout performer this year at Just for Laughs, but more importantly made my list of best jokes of the fest twice!”

He will be joined on the bill by Andrew O’Neill, who counts Steve Coogan among his biggest fans. O’Neill said: “I am a stand-up comedian, a metalhead, an amateur occultist and a musician. I’ve pretty much been a show- off since birth.

“I did comedy sketches in assemblies at school. I’m a bit of a regular on the comedy stage at Download and I have played to 5,500 people at Sonisphere, opened for Amanda Palmer off of the Dresden Dolls, played at Torture Garden and the Bizarre Magazine Ball and load of other events where people mainly wear shiny things.

“I’m vegan, as you can tell by the fact that I have a lithe, sinewy body. I’m a heterosexual transvestite, as you can tell by the fact that I wear female clothes and fancy girls. I’m not a goth.

“This is an understandable error, but there is a difference between a metaller who cross-dresses and a goth. And if need be I will fight you to demonstrate that difference.

“I’ve got nothing against goths. Some of my best friends are goths. Their food is lovely and they have natural rhythm.”

Former Eddie Murphy impersonator, Rudi Lickwood, will star tonight and tomorrow.

He has been travelling the globe for more than a decade as a stand-up comic, after starting his stand up life as an Eddie Murphy impersonator. He still hopes to emulate the success of his hero.

By Andy Richardson

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