THE CALGARY SHOW a night of comedy hosted by Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring, with Ryan Belleville, Levi MacDougall, Andy Boorman, Rebecca Northan, Albert Howell, Derek Flores, Jason Belleville, Paul Shuck, Kristian Reimer, Kurt Firla, Christy Bruce, John Markey, Matt Masters, Terra Hazelton, Dave Lawrence and Paul Spence. Sunday (November 30) at 9 pm. $5. The Rivoli (332 Queen West). 416-596-1908. Rating: NNNNN
if you're a rising young canadian comic actor and one of your comedy idols comes knocking, you drop what you're doing and answer the door. Even if it means giving up your new job. That's what happened last year when Pat Kelly auditioned for SCTV's Dave Thomas for his new film, Whitecoats. He got the part, even though he was a few months into his new Second City Mainstage gig.
"I don't regret leaving Second City," he says. "But now that the film's done - it's out next year - and I'm back in Toronto, I do miss performing on a regular basis for a guaranteed big audience."
For a kid who grew up glued to the set watching SCTV reruns in Calgary (when he wasn't making his mom laugh with mock Peter Gzowski interviews), working with the guy who created Bill Needle and the McKenzies was a comedy hoser's dream come true.
"Every night after filming, it was like Dave was our dad," says Kelly, who plays an apathetic woman-crazy intern at a failing Mickey Mouse hospital run by Dan Aykroyd.
"He told us these stories about the old days, John Candy, the filming of SCTV, the Second City years. What's fascinating is that back then they had no expectations. They were just a group doing good work. These days everyone's gunning for something, a TV special or a trip to L.A.
"Talking with Dave really put things in perspective."
Not that Kelly has anything to be worried about in the career department. Trained at Calgary's famous Loose Moose Theatre Company, he's come a long way in a few years in Toronto.
Shortly after arriving here in 1998, he and Loose Moose buddy Peter Oldring remounted their Edmonton Fringe hit Two Guys Who Desperately Want To Be On TV. That caught the eye of the Comedy Network, who taped the show.
It also got the attention of Second City bigwig Andrew Alexander, who asked the pair to join the touring company.
Besides affecting a generation of kids with his wild sensibility as host of YTV's The Zone, Kelly's also honed his long-form character-driven improv skills in ongoing comic soaps like Sin City and the current Dazed With Our Lives, in which he plays an alcoholic coroner.
Now Kelly's rounded up some of Calgary's funniest folks, most graduates of the Loose Moose like Ryan Belleville, Albert Howell, Rebecca Northan and Oldring, for a one-off night of West-meets-East laughs this Sunday (November 30).
What is it about Calgary, besides the Loose Moose, that produces funny?
"I think our comedy comes from an urban experience but has heart and a rural undertone to it," he says.
"We don't take ourselves too seriously, but we're grounded and confident. The city's weird that way. You grow up inundated with this 'Be proud, you're a Calgarian' message. Maybe it was because we all went through the Olympics."