Canadian comedian Ron James is back on the road, and as the name of Back Where I Belong Tour suggests, he’s happy to finally be able to ply his trade.
“I’ll tell you, performing at home, streaming shows live across the country, you can’t hear the laughs,” James said. “Kind of feels like you’re in a space capsule orbiting the Nebulon Galaxy.”
On Nov. 25, James’s itinerary brings him to Nanaimo’s Port Theatre. The tour marks James’s return to the road for the first time since COVID-19 measures were enacted in March 2020 – his longest break from touring ever.
“I should have called this tour the Replenishing My Credit Line Tour,” he said. “Because live performance took a deadly torpedo to the bow the wide world over.”
James also kept busy during the past year and a half by writing a new book, All Over the Map: Rambles and Ruminations from the Canadian Road, which he describes as “a love letter for the country at a time of great polarity and fracturing.” The book covers James’s career trajectory and the places he’s been and the people he met along the way.
James said writing the book was his “silver lining in the cloud of COVID,” since it gave him something do while staying put. He talks about the pandemic in his show. He said “It’s been such a tectonic shift of the psychic paradigm for the past two years where we were ready to sell our soul for a hug or a haircut.”
“For a comedian it’s always been the case, anyway with me, where you have to connect the dots and make sense of the chaos we’re all walking through in the language of laughs … and it’s never more important now to process this trauma comedically that we’ve all experienced in every corner of the globe,” he said.
James said the pandemic proved just how small the world is.
“A Canadian traveller is sneezed on by a local at the airport in Jakarta after the local ate a diseased kinkajou on a stick from a wet market in Samarinda, and before you know it everybody in the City of Regina’s got a temperature of 103 and swollen earlobes,” he said. “You have to go to a Roughriders game to see that, usually.”
WHAT’S ON … Ron James performs at the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., on Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $62.50, available from the Port Theatre.