It will be an evening of gut busting, face hurting riotous laughter at the Pictou North Colchester Exhibition September 7 when Jimmy Flynn takes to the stage.
Flynn has been in the funny business for more than 30 years telling jokes and singing songs to entertain the masses across the continent and beyond.
But after 30 years, how does one continue to maintain their hilarity? Well for Flynn it’s quite simple.
“I get up in the morning and look in the mirror,” he says. “I have people that send me over 200 jokes through email daily. You just have to keep them laughing. For example I was stopped in traffic the other day and asked the police officer what was going on and he said it was a spot check. Well I said I have two spots and a zit.”
Flynn recently returned from a US tour and then to Ireland to return home to play the Exhibition and then fly to Victoria, BC where he will begin a cross-country tour.
“It’s all about keeping busy and everyday life. People love to tell a comedian jokes; and a gift I have is that I remember them.”
Not to mention the scope of his comedy from shows meant for children to seniors, Flynn can relate to anyone.
“I think I’m the only comedian that doesn’t use fowl language… that is until someone throws a beer bottle at me.”
Flynn has become known for his red plaid, sou’wester and rubber boots which were a staple in his youth.
“My father, his father, his father and his father before him were fishermen. I’ve always lived on the water.”
The other part of the outfit came from an artist in Halifax who had a difficult time marketing himself, so Flynn decided to help out and was presented with a banner with a character dressed in the same gear.
“Not to mention it’s a friendly person, a funny fisherman. I opened up for Johnny Cash one time and he wouldn’t come out of his trailer to talk to people. I’m not about the hype, if I ever get to that point I’ll quit,” says Flynn.
Flynn is no stranger to Pictou having performed at the deCoste Center a number of times as well as the Pictou Lobster Carnival and is quite excited for his first Exhibition.
“I have had good times in Pictou,” he says. “I love playing in the Maritimes in general; the audiences here are the greatest. I travel so much it’s a treat to play in the Maritimes. I played the lobster carnival one year and drank the bar dry.”
Flynn has an entire enterprise ranging from videos, CDs, books and even a tour company and where he finds the time to do that and live on a farm, even he doesn’t know.
“It’s a big, big job, like having a 400 pound tuna on a fly rod,” says Flynn. “I moved to a farm a few years back and learned how to be a farmer which is quite a tough job, I don’t know how I am able to do it all. I find as time goes by it gets faster, the older you get it’s like a roll of toilet paper, the closer to the end the faster it goes. I just take a deep breath and do what I can do.”
Flynn says he can’t decide on a favourite joke, but he very much enjoyed going into an old age home one time with an 80-year-old woman standing at the door, “I asked her if she knew who I was and she said ask the nurse, she’ll tell you,” he laughs. “I like a lot of those jokes that really just hit you in the face.”
Being on the road all the time he has a few favourite memories, one in particular was a show he did in Fort MacMurray. “I was going through the drive-thru at McDonalds and there was a sign that said please come to the window so I drive up and there’s this Newfie woman at the window talking so fast no one could understand her.”
But it’s not just the funny stuff that stays with Flynn. He was performing in Hamilton when he was told about a man in the audience who had a double lung and heart transplant. After the surgery he didn’t know how to laugh and he bought some of Flynn’s CDs and he couldn’t help but laugh.
“I had to bring him up on stage. That was such an incredible story… People don’t realize how powerful laughter is. Nothing bad can happen to you when you are laughing.”
As for his show at the Exhibition, he says people will have the time of their lives.
“You’ll sing, clap, belly laugh and there will be a lot of audience participation,” he says. “It’s a wonderful show, I love what I do and as long as I can talk, I’ll be doing it.”