Brent Butt visits Trochu for Sold Out Comedy Night

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He is most recognizable for his role as Brent Leroy from the #1 Canadian sitcom in tv history, "Corner Gas", but Brent Butt didn't plan for an acting career. At the young age of 12 he told his parents he was going to be a stand-up comedian. At the time, his parents didn't know what to think. There was no pressure to become a doctor or a lawyer, just, "find something that makes you happy, and don't break the law."
Growing up in Tisdale, SK, he would watch an afternoon program featuring stand-up comedians. Then in high school he started taking part in amateur nights at comedy clubs. He soon found success, and began touring as a stand-up comedian for over 15 years.
Brent is the mastermind behind "Corner Gas," being creator, writer, executive producer, show runner and sometimes director. The show saw six seasons of success, not only in Canada, but in over two dozen countries worldwide, and won numerous awards, including Best Comedy Series. Now that the sitcom has wrapped up, Brent and his cast members have moved on.
Nancy Robertson, better known as "Wanda, from Corner Gas," is Brent's real-life wife. The pair live in Vancouver, BC, and have already found a different project with a new sitcom.
Brent again puts on several hats, working behind the scenes and in front of the camera in "Hiccups." The CTV sitcom stars Nancy as "Millie Upton", an unstable, off-the-wall children's author, and Brent, as "Stan Dirko," Millie's life coach, who really doesn't know anything about his self-proclaimed profession.
Season One of "Hiccups" aired in March 2010, doing so well that the network requested them to go ahead with season two. Filming for the second season has just wrapped up, and is expected to air in the near future.
Between all the projects he has on the go, Brent admits it can be hard to find the time for all of them, and he is fortunate enough to have people helping with organizing his time.
That hasn't stopped him from taking on yet another project. Sparrow Media, his production company from Vancouver is co-producing a film called "No Clue" with Bright Light Pictures. The movie will star Brent as a detective, and will blend comedy and mystery together. As a "big fan of old detective movies," Brent is happy to take part in the new film, which is still in the works.
I had a chance to slip in a few personal questions about cooking, rituals, and homesickness.
AN: After living all over North America, do you ever miss the prairies?
BB: "I don't really miss the prairies. I think it's always a part of you. I had a great time, but I always knew my calling was outside the prairies."
AN: You were on an episode of CBC's Steven and Chris, cooking turkey burgers. So do you do most of the cooking at home, or does Nancy?
BB: "Its split 60-40 in my favour. I like it more than she does. She bakes."
AN: Do you have some sort of ritual before you go on stage?
BB: "Not really, I just take it easy, and think about my routine."
When asked about the process of stand-up, he tells that judging by the audience's reaction to a routine, he'll decide what direction to go. He has a whole supply of material to choose from. "You don't know what people will respond to," says Brent. "It forces you to be present."
Brent was the center of attention Friday, January 21, when he cracked up a full house crowd at the Trochu Hall, during a fundraising banquet for St. Mary's Hospital. His comedy can be appreciated by all ages, because it is clean and relatable.
From a small town kid sitting around the local coffee shop, telling jokes with his friends, to performing for the Queen, to making Canadian history, Brent sums up his busy life as a "stand-up who does a lot of other things." He conveys that he is doing something that he's always wanted to do.