Comedy Camp ramps up the laughs

Veteran Canadian comic John Beuhler to headline a night of chuckles

With the same-sounding but differently spelled last name of a famous, whimsical movie character that once showed us the importance of skipping school, John Beuhler has made a living at illuminating the funny side of life.

No stranger to comic celebrity, Beuhler has opened on stage for the likes of Zach Galifinakis, Dennis Miller, Joan Rivers, Martin Short, Craig Ferguson and Brent Butt, and enjoyed quick success at a young age with a handful of TV specials under his belt.

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He was also the winner of the Corner Gas Comic Genius Comedy Competition on the Comedy Network, winning $10,000 and a guest appearance on an episode of the classic Canadian sitcom.

Add that to a starring role in a one-hour Global TV snowboarding mockumentary called Chill, and it's easy to see Beuhler has been busy on all comedic fronts since his younger years.

"It's funny - people don't go up to Shaq, and be like 'Yo, why'd you get into basketball?' and it's not that I was that funny, but I was just as obnoxious as Shaq is tall," Beuhler said.

"I never shut up and was the total class clown, so it was kind of obvious. I was going to do (comedy), or at least if I didn't do that, then I was going to be a big problem at anything else - like a horrible lawyer making horrible jokes all the time. It was the most positive way I could use my quote-unquote personality."

Starting down the stand-up road at age 19, Beuhler has tried to take his early successes in stride and to be grateful for others who have helped him along the way.

"A lot of times when anything good happens, you're like 'Oh ok that's good, I'll go buy this house because if I got this one movie, then I'll be getting another movie in 10 minutes'," he said. "That's the worst way you can think because you're lucky to get anything. It was really good. I got to work with a lot of great people. Brent Butt was a really big help to me. It was definitely good, but it wasn't like sustaining or anything. I wasn't in a movie or a sitcom or anything like that. I guess it was good for Canada, but even paying your rent with comedy is good for Canada."

With an honest, personal approach to his humour, the realist comic revels in unravelling the every-day facts of life, often arriving at a punchline in a simplistic way that other stand-ups have missed completely.

"That's the trick - getting everyone to go 'Oh exactly!' but they didn't think of it. I just started writing this joke about how everybody goes 'I love my dog because you just can't beat that unconditional love.' But you have to feed it constantly, you have to walk it, pay all its medical bills and when it's done eating you have to take it outside and pick up its shit! It's wildly conditional love," he laughed. "It's an obvious truth but it's not looked at sometimes, so those things that are hiding in plain view are my favourite things to shed light on."

With a long and fruitful career by Canadian comedy standards under his belt, Beuhler is still recognized as one of the country's top stand-ups, and recently advancing out of the first round of Sirius XM's ongoing Next Top Comic competition is proof positive. But the veteran jokester wouldn't be performing in the resort if it weren't for fellow stand-up and Squamish local Kelly Dyer, who's played a vital role in bringing stand-up back to resort in a big way.

The former Whistlerite saw an opportunity to revitalize the local stand-up scene, and along with fellow funny man and Maxx Fish manager Jesse Carol, has brought some of Canada's top comedic talents to the resort in recent months.

"It was after me being in comedy not that long, but noticing that there was a demand for it in Whistler," Dyer said. "I lived in Whistler for 14 years myself, and I remember going to comedy shows at Buffalo Bills way back when, but there hasn't been anything like that on the radar for quite some time.

"The town's been craving it and the feedback's been awesome. Every show we do, everyone comes up to me to ask 'When's the next one?' It's been nothing but great for everyone."

Comedy Camp, featuring both Beuhler and Dyer, takes place at the GLC on Saturday (August 3) at 8:30 P.M. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

- with files from Brandon Barrett

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