'Corner Gas' star Brent Butt gets ready for cross-country comedy tour

Brent Butt (QMI Agency)

Brent Butt (QMI Agency)

Jim Slotek, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:23 PM ET

Brent Butt is the first to confess he’s not an actor. He just pretended to be one on TV.

And he’ll be pretending again when his feature starring/writing debut No Clue hits theatres in March.

“In a lot of ways, I’m the same guy I played in Corner Gas and Hiccups,” the Saskatchewan-born comic says of the fearful amateur detective he plays in No Clue. “I like to say, I act like Bob Hope. You’re going to get that guy. It doesn’t matter if he’s a cowboy or a pirate.

“But this was my character in real situations that have real stakes and gravity. I had to be genuinely scared and confused. So it was fun for me to find myself.”

It’s not easy to create buzz for a Canadian movie (No Clue was directed by Canuck filmmaker Carl Bessai, and features American co-stars, Amy Smart and David Koechner). So Butt took a cue from the rock world to promote it with his first national comedy tour in more than a decade.

The Almost A Movie Star tour kicks off Wednesday at Ottawa’s Centrepointe Theatre, and hits 21 more cities through March, including Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre on Feb. 7 and Toronto’s Winter Garden on Feb. 15.

“The notion, back to pitching the movie, was that I could go on the road, the way a band would go on tour to support an album.”

By phone from Vancouver, where he lives with wife Nancy Robertson and their dog, Butt said his tour schedule, “looks like someone took a buzzsaw to a map. People look at it and see me going back and forth across the country and say, ‘What’re you, an idiot?’ But you have to work with venues’ schedules.”

It’ll be a hectic flashback to his early career. “I haven’t done a solid month on the road since 2000,” he says. “In the early days, you’d do a month on the road to live for a month.”

Known as much for “saying things funny” as for saying funny things, Butt forged a career squeezing comedy out of his rural Saskatchewan childhood. These days, he says, his comedy is more in the present.

“Where I came from has always been a big part of what I talk about. But I’m 47, and a lot of what I talk about is my life now. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about taxes before. And, y’know, everybody loves taxes.”

No Clue, Butt says, “combines three of my favourite genres, mystery, thriller and comedy. People have to laugh at the comedy and be engaged by the drama.”

In No Clue, Butt plays Leo, an ad guy, who impulsively pretends to be a detective when a beautiful woman (Smart) walks into his office by mistake looking for her lost brother.

Koechner (Anchorman) came on board via the comedian brotherhood. “We’d done some live stuff together, so I contacted him via Twitter and said, ‘I wrote this movie.’ He plays my buddy who’s constantly telling me I’m in over my head. He said, ‘I’d love to do it,’ and sent it down to his agent.”

But Butt is most grateful to Bessai. “He knows how to make a film. He’s also able to make $10 look like $100. I remember the first day looking at the rushes. I couldn’t believe how much it looked like a Hollywood movie.”

FYI: Fans can win a trip for two to Vancouver for the movie’s March 6 red carpet opening. Visit brentbutt.com for more details.

Twitter: @jimslotek

Jim.slotek@sunmedia.ca

 

 


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