In the age of hyphenated comedy, it’s hard to peg Darcy Michael. When he walks on-stage you think maybe he’ll be the plus-size comic who does material about his weight, like a John Pinette. Then he gets into his drug humour and you’re thinking he’s more like a lazy stoner comic along the lines of Doug Benson.
“It said in this article that if you smoke pot once, you’re impaired for 24 hours,” goes one of his bits. “If that’s the case, how come I gotta smoke another after, like, 20 minutes? Fuck it, man, you can take my car. Gimme some of that 24-hour weed.”
Then 10 or 15 minutes into his act, he’ll hit you with his marriage material. Oh, okay, he’s a relationship comic.
It’s not until after a standard line about his supposedly sexless union that the final reveal is made. “My wife, Jeremy, hates that joke,” he’ll say. The audience will laugh, still on a roll, but then there’s always this abrupt stop, as if they’re all rewinding his last sentence in their minds. “Oh, there’s some confused motherfuckers in the crowd right now,” he says, before launching into his Undercover Fag routine, shouting, “Surprise! We’re everywhere!”
Yes, Michael really is married and a father. “We got a marriage licence just like all the other dumb fucks out there,” he says on the phone from his home in Ladner. “We decided to throw away our dreams and ambitions and go through life bitter and married.”
Equally comfortable playing in front of a straight or gay crowd, Michael had to make a choice: talk about his sexuality or leave it out of the act.
“Everything I talk about is from my life or perspective,” he says. “I have to address the fact that not only am I gay but I’m kind of a weird gay. I don’t fit into people’s stereotypes of who gay people are. So I can’t just haphazardly mention that I’m gay and then go into whatever. I have to address people’s issues.”¦Being gay doesn’t define me but it’s definitely a part of who I am.”
Three years in, Michael’s made remarkable progress. He played the We’re Funny That Way queer comedy festival in Toronto last year. He’s performing at the Halifax Comedy Festival later this month, then the prestigious Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. Not bad for a self-described homebody who wishes he could do every show from his living room.
“I’m thrilled, man,” he says about JFL. “This was my five-year plan, so I’ve got the next two years to take off.”
Michael is headlining the first-ever Kinda Gay Show at Lafflines in New Westminster, on Friday and Saturday (April 11 and 12), featuring a lineup of gay, lesbian, and gay-friendly comics.
It’s hard to be undercover when you’re the star of a queer show. That’s okay with him.
“The first 15 minutes of a show I may be killing, but in my head I’ll be going, ”˜Oh, God, if Undercover Fag bombs, I’m done.’”¦So there’s added stress. Whereas now I’m just stressed that nobody’s going to show up.”
Then he slips back in to slacker druggie mode. “But it’s not like I want to work anyway.”