Ah, Canadian show biz! Where else can you be a regular on a prime-time network sitcom as well as a regular transit rider?
Such is the life of Darcy Michael, who stars as the lovable simpleton Gordon on CTV’s Spun Out, which starts production of its second season in October. The Ladner-based standup comic lives in Toronto for the three months of filming, then comes back to reality for the off-season. Since closing the first season of production in August 2013, that reality has lasted 14 months.
“I take the bus a lot out here,” he says over a spare table at Co-op Radio before guesting on a program. “I really like it but every now and then someone will be like, ‘Aren’t you on TV?’ And I’ll be like, ‘Yeah.’ And they’re, ‘Why are you on the bus?’ ”
When Season 1 wrapped, Michael, his husband, and his 16-year-old daughter immediately left for a family camping trip, which provided another lesson in humility.
“On the Friday I had a driver and all the fancy shit that comes with being on a show,” he says. “And on the Saturday, I didn’t have a toilet. It’s like, okay, we’re ripping the Band-Aid real quick!”
But things are getting back to normal for the 34-year-old comedian. This weekend, he headlines the Comedy MIX. On September 24, he’s back in Toronto for the finals of the SiriusXM Best Comic in Canada competition, with a chance to take home $15,000. Then he’s back here on the 27th for 10 hours to play the cozy confines of Rogers Arena, opening for Russell Peters, before taking the red-eye back to Toronto to start work on Spun Out.
That’s a nice little run he’s on—and he’s appreciating every minute of it.
“I don’t know how long the show’s going to be around for,” he says. “Every episode we get’s a blessing. My agent thinks I’m a lunatic. On Friday I had a meeting with him and I was like, ‘I need to know what’s happening next!’ And he’s like, ‘You can’t just be happy.’ I said, ‘I’m happy.’ But this is a business. You have to constantly be working to make money.”
That he is. His weekend at the MIX marks the return to his home (and favourite) club. Now that he has a bit of TV juice, he’s seeing different faces in the audience.
“I definitely notice more people are coming to see me because of Spun Out and the people that are coming aren’t always expecting Darcy Michael,” he says. “I play a very specific guy on the show and he’s not me at all. So it’s been really fun to talk to fans after the show and them saying, ‘You’re not a lot like Gordon.’ ”
Not in the least. He describes his on-screen character as “just an oddball. I put on a silly voice and stick out my gut and make my bald spot bigger. I fucking hope I look hipper! I’m not in a cardigan.”
Darcy Michael headlines the Comedy MIX from Thursday to Saturday (September 18 to 20) and opens for Russell Peters at Rogers Arena on September 27.