This Is That hits the road

Popular CBC Radio program hosts leave the studio and bring their satirical style of humour to the stage.

Pat Kelly. c

The comedy troupe behind the popular CBC Radio program This Is That are bringing their brand of funny satire to the stage in Kelowna.

Pat Kelly and his comedy foil Peter Oldring are touring with their own show This Is That: Travel Guide to Canada across western Canada, with a stop at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Feb. 7.

The show is billed as a parody of the travel guide genre and what it means to visit Canada, presented in the same platform of character bits and improvisational comedy their radio show fans are familiar with.

“It gives the audience a chance to see how it all comes together in a way you can’t see from listening on the radio,” said Kelly.

This Is That has just completed its seventh season on CBC Radio, a show that Kelly says uses satire to blow a particular issue facing Canadians way out of proportion.

“I would say the over-arching tone of our show is to not take everything so seriously and to lighten up a little, “Kelly said.

“I guess we try to focus on people who want to walk with a big stick and make a big deal out of something that doesn’t deserve that much attention.”

Kelly’s professional career has spanned the last 15 years as both a comedy writer and performer.

He cites the landmark television comedy show SCTV as probably his biggest inspiration growing up, and has had a chance to work with some of the cast members from the show including Dave Thomas and Joe Flaherty.

He said the times we live in—Donald Trump becoming U.S. president, the phenomena of fake news and alternative facts—are ripe for satire comedians, but he says their radio show attempts to focus on ideas rather than make fun of individual people.

Kelly said the resonance of CBC Radio in the social media information age we live in has been reflected by the audiences on this current concert tour.

“With so much clutter in our lives, we’ve come to discover that people get a lot of comfort from listening to CBC Radio, whether it be for nostalgic reasons or just because the programming is easy to understand and to consume.

“CBC Radio is still one of the last places that is Canadian content driven, telling stories about Canadians.”

In keeping with the theme of the stage show, Kelly said it has offered an opportunity to travel across the country, from east coast to west coast and up north.

“I just found out we are heading up north on this tour to play in Whitehorse so that should be fun. Not a lot of Canadians get a chance to travel across our country.

“We forget how big it is and how lucky we are to live here.”

Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets available at ticketmaster.ca.

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