Lorne Elliott deals with wildlife

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, april 27, 2010

The Tisdale Arts Council brought the 57 year old Montreal comedian, writer and songwriter to Tisdale to perform here on Monday night. This was a great opportunity for Tisdale people who do not get a chance to see live entertainers of this stature in their own community. Elliott was the host of the long running (eleven years) radio comedy show Madly off in all directions and is one of Canada's most recognised comedic personalities.

Lorne Elliott has mastered a form of incidental story telling that transcends the normal set-up, punchline kind of stand up comedian. With Lorne Elliott the story is the thing and the jokes are the come along for the ride sidelines that punctuate the presentation. Then dispersed through the evening's more than two hour show were five clever effortlessly performed songs.

He is old enough to have come through the days when folk and story telling performances included a good deal of music but Elliott takes all that to another level as his songs can be totally silly yet are done so well that they become experience masterpieces.

One of the problems of modern day comedy is that most performers reek with off colour language and subjects that are absurdly rude. Lorne Elliott is funny almost effortlessly funny but taking his audience into his and their own everyday experiences. Monday night's show dealt with the amazing fun of magpies, gophers, muskrats, squirrels, deer and a wonderful song about a happy moose. The show wasn't all about wildlife but the quirky nature of the birds and animals and how we humans are somehow a witness to their marvels was a theme that was woven throughout the show.

Loren Elliott was for most of his life a heavy smoker and two years ago he was hit with a heart attack that changed his life and I suspect in many ways is something that his audience learns from his near death experience. He has talked many times about this event in his life on national CBC radio programmes like Q and has put some of his thoughts into his book "The fixer upper". His onstage story about the event was both moving and reflective while still being funny.