They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but late-blooming local standup Kelly Dyer has been busting his chops on the Vancouver comedy circuit for over two years — all at the tender age of 39.
While most comics toil away in obscurity performing at open mikes in dingy bars for years before they manage to make a name for themselves, the former Whistlerite has eked out a place for himself as one of the region’s must-see up-and-coming comics.
“Some say it’s better to start when you’re young, but I think now that I’ve got an actual life behind me — I’m a father, I’m 39 — I think I’ve definitely got more experience in the wacky game of life to touch on in my comedy as opposed to a 20-year-old who’s just angry at the world,” said Dyer, who described his brand of humour as “a sarcastic kind of ranting style.”
He returns to Whistler Saturday (Dec. 8), where he lived for 13 years before moving to Squamish in 2005, for his fourth show in town, headlined by one of Canada’s funniest stand-ups, Sunee Dhaliwal.
“It’s kind of a natural fit to bring my personal brand of comedy back to the town where I pretty much grew up,” said Dyer, who arrived in Whistler when he was just 19. “There was definitely a lull in the comedy world in Whistler, they did do comedy at Buffalo Bill’s years and years ago, but there hasn’t been any shows for some time so it’s kind of a natural fit.”
Dyer was always the funny guy in the room, often cracking jokes for his friends that he had scribbled on scraps of paper. Soon enough, he had enough material for a short set at a Vancouver open mic.
“I hit an open mic in the city that somebody had told me about and never really looked back,” said Dyer. “Got bit by the bug pretty fast, was pretty natural at it and was told I was funny, so I just kept on pursuing it more and more. It started off as something I did kind of as a hobby with no real sights on doing it as a career, but it’s definitely evolving into that.”
Dyer is now a fixture on the thriving standup scene in Vancouver, a city he called “the best in Canada right now for comedy,” performing regularly as part of a showcase night at the Comedy Mix on Burrard, at Yuk Yuk’s events and in his own web series called Covert Comics.
“It’s an amazing scene (in Vancouver), great group of comics, there’s lots of super funny guys that have been at it for a lot longer than I have to latch onto and learn from,” said Dyer.
The Squamish resident will have plenty of material to learn from on Saturday, performing alongside one of Canada’s most talented comics, Sunee Dhaliwal and established Vancouver stand-ups Jon Cole and MC Kyle Jones.
“I think (Dhaliwal’s) one of Canada’s funniest comics, if not one of the funniest comics around, a pro. He’s just a really funny guy, like that guy in high school that was the goofy one that made you laugh every time,” said Dyer of the headliner who has performed at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and had his own special on CTV.
Tickets for Comedy Storm at the GLC are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the performance kicking off at 9:30 p.m.