The Urbanite – Jon Liedtke – Feb. 12, 2014
Gerry Dee has once again left the classroom to take his comedy routine across the country.
The award winning comedian and co-creator of the CBC sitcom Mr. D is a former school teacher who decided to put his lesson plan on the bookshelf to embrace a comedic career head on.
“Being on television is a blessing, it certainly helps with stand up [which is] hard enough,” said Dee. “Fortunately the show Mr. D is doing well and [I] can follow that and that generally gets people out to the shows.”
The importance of the television show and what makes it different from other shows that have been done in a school setting in Dee’s eyes is that it was created by someone who was once a real teacher.
“I’m the only person that taught and I don’t think [there’s been a] sitcom or even a drama about a high school that comes from the view’s from someone that lived it,” said Dee. “I taught for 10 years… I don’t want any teachers to watch the show and say that would never happen. I think that’s why teachers have gravitated towards it. There’s so much inside stuff that they appreciate.”
For Dee the most taxing element of touring is the travel itself, but he acknowledged that his work was “nothing compared to staying at home with three kids by yourself,” which is what his wife does.
“It’s probably more taxing for my wife to be honest,” he said. “I get to leave and go on a plane and watch a movie and sleep. It is more taxing for her. For me, it’s a job I love and I get to travel the country.”
Dee’s comedy resonates with a middle-aged demographic primarily and he understands that his fans coming out to a live performance takes some effort.
“I know it’s a big night out for people. It’s two tickets and a babysitter and it’s a lot of work and I always look at it that way and to give my best for that reason,” he said. “Once I’m on stage and the show’s about to start, that’s the most fun for me… getting the reaction from the fans and people that have spent a lot of money and a lot of their time to come listen to me talk.”
The third season of Mr. Dee is the strongest in Dee’s eyes and he believes that it’s a pivotal season because the cast has fully embraced their roles and come into their characters.
“I do think creatively it’s our best season, performance wise it’s our best season. You hope that translates into more people watching it and liking it,” he said.
Up next for Dee is writing a second book, and continuing his standup act and television show.
“I’ll probably dabble,” said Dee. “I’m always looking to think of new shows and work on my stand up and try to get into the movies, just the same thing that I think everybody in business does. You’re just always trying to my reinvent yourself and stay fresh, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Gerry Dee performs at the Chrysler Theatre Feb. 28.
Jonathon Liedtke is the managing editor of The Urbanite, Windsor’s alternative newspaper. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.