COMEDY: Mr. Dee in Surrey on a business trip

Teacher-turned-comic Gerry Dee hosts Just For Laughs show at the Bell

TV sitcom star Gerry Dee hosts the Just for Laughs comedy show at Surrey's Bell Performing Arts Centre on Thursday

SURREY — Gerry Dee could probably teach a course about making it in the world of comedy.

On TV, he’s best known as the star of “Mr. D,” the fifth-season CBC sitcom about a slightly bemused high school teacher.

In real life, he’s a business-savvy Torontonian who, on a whim at age 30, left teaching to do comedy. The career move currently has Dee travelling Canada as host of another Just For Laughs fall tour that stops at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, Nov. 12.

In a phone interview with the Now, Dee said it was his business smarts that landed him a TV series, with some luck along the way.

“It’s called show business and I was very driven on the business side from day one – always promoting, always pitching,” he reasoned.

He sees a lot of comics “sitting on the couch” waiting for a call that may never come.

“I was never that type,” Dee underlined. “I was never one to shy away from the obvious fact that I was trying to make money, too. Some artists say, ‘It’s not the money, Gerry, you get to perform’ – no, not for me, it’s both. I grew up with no money, and my parents had no money, so maybe that’s why I was motivated from day one to try to do both.”

One day, Dee may write about the subject in a second book; his first was called “Teaching: It’s Harder Than it Looks,” a national bestseller first printed in 2012.

“The first (book) was very light and anecdotal about teaching, but the second one could be about how I got where I got, the stories of that,” suggested Dee, named Gerard Francis Donoghue at birth.

“I don’t know how exciting that is for people, but it’s rare in Canada to be a name, you know, and anyone who is, is very fortunate. I think that’s an interesting story for others to look at, about perseverance and belief, because I heard as many no’s as anyone else in the industry.”

Dee is working the current Just For Laughs tour with featured performers Cristela Alonzo, Robert Kelly and Graham Chittenden. This year’s tour features “a relationship theme that encompasses family, love (or the lack thereof) and all the nonsense in between.” Tickets for the show in Surrey can be purchased via Comedytour.hahaha.com and 1-855-985-5000.

Also this fall, Dee is writing material for a sixth season of “Mr. D” – “it’s not green-lit yet,” he cautioned – and is continuing development work on “My Scottish Family,” a second sitcom.

The recently-wrapped fifth season of “Mr. D,” meanwhile, will run for 13 weeks on CBC starting Tuesday, Jan. 19.

“We’re still at it with ‘Mr. D’ and I think in Season 4 it just started to get going. I think it’s at its peak and is still peaking, really, so that’s my focus but I’m starting work on ‘My Scottish Family’ because ‘Mr. D’ will come to an end at some point, whether it’s my choice or the network’s choice. It will end, that’s inevitable.”

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

 

Just Posted

Over-budget bids cause delay of four Surrey school projects

Two projects have gone back out to tender, two awaiting ‘revised budget approval’ from Ministry of Education

Fees ensure patients have access to parking at SMH, FHA says

Fraser Health Authority hasn’t heard yet from city hall about pay parking at Surrey hospital

Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

City considering task force to look at parking generally – Walker

Surrey memories: How the ‘IGUISBCSIR’ Facebook page became a hub for anecdotal history

Former Whalley resident Wes Mussato launched the group in 2011, 11 years after he’d moved to Ontario

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read