Comedian Scott Porteous and a couple of his funny friends are touring Western Canada, but they’re not just on a mission of mirth.
Earlier this month, the comedic trio of Porteous, Frank Russo and Shawn Gramiak, from Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton respectively, embarked on their Human Condition Comedy Tour. At each stop on the tour the comedians will be raising money for a local charity, such as a food bank, youth group or animal shelter.
“What I’ve been telling all the charities, and it’s 100 per cent true, is that we’re just being selfish in the most selfless way,” Porteous said. “We love doing comedy, and if we can help out someone in the process, even better.”
On Sept. 18 the threesome make their way to the Nanaimo Bar. The show, Porteous’s first on the Island, will benefit the Nanaimo Youth Services Association. Porteous said NYSA has been a proactive partner.
“They even provided some ideas for venues, which is so helpful,” he said. “A show can only be as successful as the people who are all involved in it. Not just the performer, the producer, but also the charity as well. So they’re 100 per cent into it, which makes me even more excited.”
Porteous said he and his tour mates all have contrasting styles to satisfy all comedic tastes.
“Shawn Gramiak is a bit of a storyteller. Very endearing to watch. Frank Russo is very intelligent and observational and me, I’m a bit of a storyteller, one-liner and awkward,” he said.
The tour sees Porteous, Russo and Gramiak play 22 shows in 29 days. Porteous is hoping they’re able to have fun, break even and help their charities not only by raising funds, but by raising awareness.
“I always have this mentality: It’s not so much how much you raise that matters, it’s the amount of people willing to raise it,” he said. “And that’s what we’re really hoping for: People who just want to be there to support.”
Porteous said he knows it sounds “corny,” but “there’s something really beautiful” about seeing people come together despite their differences to support a charity. He said that even though the Human Condition Tour is ambitious, he has even bigger plans for next year.
“I’ve done some benefits in the past … but not as much as we’re going to be doing on this run,” Porteous said. “And hopefully it’s going to be really successful and we’re hoping we can do it next year and make it something bigger than we can possibly imagine.”
WHAT’S ON … The Human Condition Comedy Tour comes to the Nanaimo Bar, 2-75 Front St., on Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets $20. 19-plus show.