'I will come to your house and tell jokes': Edmonton performer goes on 'fire pit comedy tour'
EDMONTON -- Some backyards are getting a little funnier these days thanks to a local comedian aiming to spread cheer in a safe way.
Lars Callieou is doing what he calls a fire pit comedy tour, where he’s bringing physically-distanced laughs and raising money for charity.
“I’ve done lot of places in my 17 years of doing stand-up comedy, from a greyhound bus to a city street, to the Calgary zoo to Iraq and Kuwait and the North Pole,” said Callieou.
Callieou has also performed at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival and has had his own comedy special on CTV.
“I’ve done shows in every place imaginable, but I don’t think I’ve done shows in anyone’s backyard before.”
Callieou wasn’t supposed to be in backyards this summer, he was scheduled to be down under. He was 11 days into a four-month comedy tour of Australia and Asia, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and Callieou flew back home to Edmonton.
After spending two weeks in isolation, he said he missed telling jokes.
“I just wanted to perform. I hadn’t taken more than a week off in over 16 years and I was going stir crazy.”
So Callieou reached out on social media to see if anyone wanted a physically-distanced performance.
“I put on Twitter, ‘if you are having a backyard gathering of less than a dozen people I will come to your house and tell jokes,’” said Callieou.
Calleou said he got a strong response and he quickly found out he needed the audience as much as they needed him.
“It has been great for my own sanity.”
Callieou says he’s having so much fun doing them, he may continue his fire pit tour even after his regular indoor shows resume.
“The shows have been way better than I thought they would have been” he said. “I thought they were going to be a bit of work, but people have been really receptive. Either I’ve gotten more funny with 45 days off, or the people have gotten more eager to laugh.”
The shows are all paid for by donation, and Callieou gives that to charity.