Glenn Wool headlines Comedy Rehab 

Canadian comic and U.K. transplant plays Maxx Fish

click to enlarge Glenn Wool
  • Glenn Wool

So this comedian dude goes to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (the best fringe fest in the world) a lot – annually, actually. He gets five-star reviews in the Daily Telegraph and the Scotsman and holds the audience captive and... he's from Vancouver and...

There's no punch line because this is no joke. When it comes to B.C.-to-U.K. transplant Glenn Wool, the British superlatives have been dropping for over a decade, ever since Wool moved to Britain 17 years ago at the age of 22.

When asked how Brits relate to his laid-back Canadian style, given that even their most nonchalant stand-ups are comparatively hyperactive, Wool says the "nice, dim Canadian" stereotype is still out there. He uses being underestimated to his advantage.

One reviewer for the Independent on Sunday wrote of Wool: "If like me, you believe that nobody could be much funnier than a cross between Jack Black and Meat Loaf, then you'll be pleased to learn that such a man exists."

In terms of style, Wool is a bit of a "hoser savant," a smart man, relaxed in an undeniably Canadian way with a slight nod in his look to Burton Cummings, circa 1971.

He tells jokes like this to British audiences: "I'm a Canadian political comedian, which is great. You can make it up because nobody (in Britain and probably much of Canada) knows..."

On romance: "Have you heard the lie that swans mate for life? It isn't true. They fly away as soon as you let them go... with a look on their faces that suggest they're not coming back."

Wool has been visiting his folks at 100 Mile House, B.C., for the holidays, but he says in an interview that after that he'll be racking up the Air Miles, as he has for years.

"I don't live anywhere. For the last five years I've been on a monster tour. I'm getting old, the tour's getting old," he laughs.

"I'll be moving back to London in June or November. I've got quite a year lined up. The day after the Whistler gig I'm on my way to Singapore, with two weeks of gigs out there... then two weeks of gigs in Korea... then a month in Australia, my European tour, then I'm up to do Edinburgh again, then I am going to be in a group of comedians to do the first-ever show at the basecamp of Everest in October... they're trying to sell it to TV in Britain right now."

Wool isn't worried about censorship in Singapore, where the government can strictly oversee what is acceptable moral behaviour and public criticism — two things near and dear to stand-up comics — but he said scripts needed vetting in Dubai.

"People have just sent in Tommy Cooper scripts (a British comic known for telling corny jokes and doing magic tricks in the 1960s and '70s). The government won't censor you, but I've been censored a few times in the Middle East by the booker saying to me 'Glenn, that's a hilarious joke but don't ever say that again or we're all going to jail'," he laughs.

"I can be like, 'I tell that joke every night and maybe I don't want to tell it tonight!'"

Wool is bringing his latest show, called "This Road Has Tolls," to Whistler playing as part of Comedy Rehab at Maxx Fish alongside Dino Archie and Jesse Carroll on Jan. 5.

"I tend to write a new show every two years. The last couple have been based on my life, travel, some political humour. I called it that because I put my year of travel into Google maps and this is what came up over and over "This Road had Tolls," he says.

From the sound of his itinerary, it looks like Wool will be paying a few more toll fees before he's through.

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