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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Yukkin’ it up with Peter White

Tara Thorne has had the time of her life.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2007 at 8:25 AM

The Halifax Comedy Fest has been putting the city in stitches all week, with a few shows still left to go. One of the comedians old-school Picnicface fans might've recognized is Halifax's Peter White, who threw down on April 23 as part of a line-up of new local comics. He's also just been signed to Yuk Yuk's, a huge deal, especially in these parts.

"I went to Toronto for a competition called the Great Canadian Laugh-Off," says White from the Halifax office where he works as a software engineer. "The brass was down for that show. And I've been doing shows for them out here but I've never been seen by anybody in Toronto. And they took me in the next day and gave me a contract."

The contract means White will tour across Canada, hitting the 15 Yuk Yuk's in cities such as Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver. "It's good out here because I'm the only one who's signed with them so I get first dibs on work."

The 23-year-old White, who's trained as an electrical engineer, tried out stand-up via amateur night at Yuk Yuk's during an internship in Calgary. "For some reason I figured I could do it," he says. "I don't know why I thought I could. This was the day before I left, so even if things went horribly, I was gone. When I moved back here I couldn't find any comedy for like a year, or eight months I guess it was, so I just sat on it."

He was in an early incarnation of the popular Picnicface sketch troupe, though he only stops by occasionally these days, and last summer CBC named him one of the top five comics to watch in its "So You Think You're Funny?" competition.

"For the most part it's fairly clean stuff, I think," he says of his style. "Half of it's really family-friendly and half of it's a lot in the other direction. It's not really observational or personal stuff—it's a lot of made-up stories. My life is so boring. A lot of it is the way it's written."

White's gig with Yuk Yuk's means he also gets to perform at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, the biggest showcase of comedy in the world, this July. "I'm so excited," he says. "I get to go to a competition for Canadian comics, but the big thing is I get a festival pass. And it's the 25th anniversary so it's gonna be huge. So I just get to watch."

White will appear at the Pacifico, in the Maritime Centre at Salter and Barrington, on April 26 at 8pm as part of the Rising Stars program, which will be taped for television. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door.

I carried a watermelon?

Even though somebody put both Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze's careers in corners—Grey did that sailing movie then fucked up her face and Swayze, well, got old—the cult of Dirty Dancing lives on. There's already been a 15th anniversary DVD, an unfortunate 2004 sequel that interrupted its dance climax with a political coup of some kind (seriously), not to mention a Broadway version opening in Toronto later this year. Furthermore (and best of all) there will be two celebratory 20th anniversary screenings this week! Holy crap we're old!

Fill your dance space on May 1 and 2 at Park Lane (7:30pm) and relive your favourite moments from the best non-singing musical ever. Ours include: the name Johnny Castle; the future Emily Gilmore (Kelly Bishop) married to the future Lennie Briscoe (the late Jerry Orbach); Swayze's soulful rendition of "She's Like the Wind" playing while he peels out of the parking lot, leaving Baby standing in a twister of dirt; spaghetti arms; practicing "The Lift" in the lake; the interactive final dance sequence; hell, all the dancing; when Johnny punches cheatin' babydaddy Robbie in the face and being old enough to finally understand what the frig is going on in the abortion subplot.

Did you get it? Email: tarat@thecoast.ca

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