The winner of the gold-medal performance for top comedic act at the 2010 Winter Games will make his rounds across central Vancouver Island this week, starting in downtown Nanaimo.
The Big Beast Comedy stand-up series will have Damonde Tschritter tour with fellow comics Chris Gaskin and John Beuhler in five stops with Tschritter as the headline act, opened by Gaskin and hosted by Beuhler.
The headliner described his style of comedy as five-minute layered stories, crammed with jokes that build in intensity and woven callbacks.
Although not all personal stories, he’ll note observational humour and what it was like going through certain experiences.
“If I’m talking about COVID, I’m not making a statement joke about COVID. It’s more about like how I was locked in my place for four months while my wife drank from morning till night,” said Tschritter, who has also been tagged as the first Canadian to win the Seattle International Comedy Competition.
His specials have aired on CTV, CBC, HBO, Comedy Network and Comedy Central, and he’s credited for sharing stages with comedy legends Robin Williams, Bob Saget and Tim Allen.
Tschritter also hosts a weekly podcast, ‘The MicroDose Podcast,’ with good friend and fellow comic Paul Myrehaug where Myrehaug will find a trending topic on Twitter and ask Tschritter for his ‘take,’ based on the title.
“I don’t really follow any news … I have no idea what’s going on in pop culture,” Tschritter said. “And we never worry about being ‘right.’ So when people are like, ‘Oh, you mispronounced this,’ we don’t care, as long as it’s funny … And the idea is that we take a small amount of psilocybin before every podcast.”
He said that, when starting, they thought the project would focus on discussing mental health with micro-dosing and comedy, but ended up centring around comedy.
“We found that the best thing for your mental health is to do a podcast with one of your best friends once a week.”
The Vancouver-based comic said his title of winning the gold-medal performance for top comedic act at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver was about relying on his instincts and “trying stuff to see if it works.” It all started at the Molson Canadian Hockey House, where the venue would host comedy acts between games.
“I was on a night with Brent Butt from Corner Gas and another guy. And I remember them saying to us, ‘Hey, nobody has listened to any show yet’… And [the crowd] was pretty drunk, and were like, ‘Just do your time and get off’… [Then] Premier Gordon Campbell went out to start the show, and … he was booed off stage … And so, Brent started to do jokes – I couldn’t believe it, they just sort of tuned him out. And then the guy in front of me went up and he got booed off stage. And so I was like, ‘Nothing’s gonna work here.’ So when I went out on stage, I got them to sing the Canadian national anthem. And [the crowd] all stopped and sang, because everybody was really into Canada – it was the Olympics … So I did my 10 minutes, and they laughed and applauded all the way through … You know, I’m not saying I’m a better comic than Brent Butt – just that I stumbled into something that made them listen. I figured out what the crowd needed, gave it to them, and then did the show.”
Other than the title and a certificate, Tschritter said he was awarded a chocolate “loonie” gold medal with the Olympic rings insignia.
“It’s still hanging [in my office]. If I open it up, the chocolate would just be powder by now… Luckily no niece or nephew has come by and grabbed that.”
And although the ‘gold medal’ winning comic is based in Vancouver, he grew up on the Island in Errington just outside of Parksville, and fondly remembers trying to get into Nanaimo bars when underage
The Big Beast Comedy stand-up series will take him through the Nanaimo Bar on Dec. 7, Port Alberni’s Rainbow Room on Dec. 8, Qualicum Beach’s Crown and Anchor Pub on Dec. 9, Lake Cowichan’s Riverside Inn on Dec. 10, and Parksville’s Rod and Gun on Dec. 11. Tickets can be purchased online at www.eventbrite.ca.