Ron James’s first foray into comedy was inspired by a chimpanzee.
A chimpanzee selling Red Rose tea he saw on a television commercial when he was about four years old.
“That was my first impression,” said James, adding he remembers sitting around the family dinner table doing the impression, saying “Red Rose” over and over again for his aunts and uncles.
It has been a long road full of hard work for the comedian to get to where he is today. James has eight one-hour comedy specials that received critical acclaim, starred in five seasons of his series The Ron James Show and has sold out theatres across Canada during his comedy tours. James also won a Gemini Award for writing for This Hour Has 22 Minutes and won the Dave Broadfoot Comedic Genius award from the Canadian Comedy Awards.
“I’ve grown into my skin as a comedian and am not afraid to tip the apple cart,” said James. “It takes a long time to be good at this craft. It’s a joy when you have finally gained the confidence of the audience and a fan base, and yourself.”
Why does James work so hard at the comedic craft?
“The bottom line is you just don’t want to suck,” said James.
James said there is something primal and immediate about standup comedy.
“Nothing takes the place, nothing, of being on your feet in front of a live audience that has come to laugh,” said James. “I like the plumber and the professor sitting side by side laughing at the same joke.”
It’s all about people relating to the “commonality of the human spirit,” he said.
Comedy comes from life.
“The place it comes from is trying to make sense of the chaos we are navigating through, through the language of laughs,” said James.
James said he believes it’s important for comedians to have something to say.
James performs at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre during his Pedal to the Metal tour May 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55 available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or by visiting www.porttheatre.com.
For more information about James, please visit www.ronjames.ca.