Darren Frost does 25 shows in one week with Frost, from Sunday (June 16) to June 23, at various times and locations, including Yuk Yuk's Superclub (June 16-23, 2335 Yonge), the ALT.COMedy Lounge (June 17), Pirate Video Cabaret (June 23) and others. See comedy listings for details, or www.comedywhore.com
stand-up darren frost isn't the most in-shape comic around, but this week he's running a marathon.The short-statured comic known for his pugnacious stage presence -- heckle him and you'll be sorry -- is attempting to perform 25 sets in one week. Here's the catch: each seven-minute set must contain three to five minutes of new material.
"I want to break through and maybe change my style by the end of the week and move on to a different kind of stand-up," says Frost.
Back in 1999, he pulled off a similar stunt, doing 31 shows in 14 days. The experience helped him change his stage persona from a happy-go-lucky comic in funny pants to the current angry, bitter guy we've all come to know and sorta love.
Frost admits that anger has got him in trouble. He used to be friends with talk-show host Mike Bullard. At one point, he says, Bullard's show approached him to be their Larry Bud Melman, but now they disrespect him.
"The last time I was on, they treated me poorly. I went down, did a set for free, and killed. Mike said that was the kind of material he wanted," he says. "And then I heard that they wanted me to submit a tape. I don't think Mike holds the reins to the show."
Frost expects much of his material to be sparked by his disillusionment with the entertainment industry. Such as?
"I can't stand the Rheostatics," he says. "They treated me poorly at a show once. I said I was a fan, and they were everything they say they're not -- rude and snobby."
"I don't want to see Carla Collins hawking her shit on TV. On radio she's fine, but onstage she's just boring."
"Some young comics are getting too much too quick. They do a Comedy Now! special too early, and it's the only thing out there for them. Where do they go from there?"
Frost himself has never been given a Comedy Now!, or a Comics episode. Producers say he's too angry, and anger doesn't work on TV.
"Excuse me, but anger is one of the few devices that does work on TV," he snarls. "Look at Kinison and Carlin. Even Richard Pryor was funniest when he was talking about pain and anger. Not that I'm comparing myself to those guys."
For the week, Frost, who not surprisingly studied marketing in university, has hired a driver and a small film crew to take him to his sets and record his on- and offstage rants. He's hoping to cut a short documentary and tie it in with his hometown of Brantford, site of some of his most memorable stories, including chasing Wayne Gretzky in a Dickie Dee ice cream truck.
His sked includes every show at Yuk Yuk's Superclub, the ALT.COMedy Lounge, Spirits, Rancho Relaxo and the Idler. His busiest day will Sunday, June 23, when he plays Yuk's, Clinton's, Einstein's and Tom Foolery's.
Right now, he's got a list of new jokes that he'll cross out as he performs them. Things will get exciting, he says, around set 18 or 19.
"That's when I'll probably run out of material," he says. "But it's also when the true funny of what I want to do next is gonna happen."firstname.lastname@example.org