In the lead-up to next month’s Just for Laughs festival, Rover is highlighting local comics performing at this year’s event. First up in our series: Derek Seguin.
It was the summer of 2013 and comedian Derek Seguin,discouraged and disappointed, was considering joining Doug Stanhope’s infamous anti-Just For Laughs show, Just ForSpite. He’d been told by a JFL programmer that he was just too French for the mostly American industry. “Who’s gonna want a French guy with a heavy accent?”
Another programmer stuck out her neck for him and asked him to audition with his dirty material. He did, with his favourite dirty joke, “Newfie Octopus,” a hilarious account of fellatio that, much like Seguin himself, manages to be endearing and offensive all at once.
He got the call while on the road touring in Ontario. The programmers thought he’d be perfect for The Bleep Show, the closing gala of the fest, hosted by Whitney Cummings. It was a week away. He drove through the night after his last show in London, Ontario to make it to the sound check the next day with “no time for a nice new jacket or to overwork my material.” Hehad the audience of 3,000 gasping for air in the seconds between laughing, and on their feet at the end of his set; a standing ovation that remains one of the highlights of his comedy career.