The Big News Announcement – Great Canadian Laugh Off

There are a few people who already know about this, and I have mentioned it briefly on here in my tribute to my mother last week, but now its official. I am going to Toronto in early April to compete in the national round of the Great Canadian Laugh Off. The invitation came as a huge surprise to me, since I competed in the local Alberta round of the contest and didn’t make it through my preliminary round set. At that point, I thought the 2008 GCLO was over for me, and I wished the winner of the local rounds, a good friend from Dickens, Lori Gibbs, the best of luck in Toronto.

And then I got the call from Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto inviting me anyway. The timing of the call was very weird, to say the least. As I said in the tribute to my mom, I was literally sitting in the office of the funeral home for the first time starting the arrangements for my mother’s funeral when my cell phone rang with the invitation. To say the least, I was completely shocked by the invite, though I am certainly happy to take advantage of it.

Now that I’ve submitted all my release forms, photos, and bio, the trip is officially official. I like the bio I wrote for myself … its a bit unusual as far as bio’s go, but then again, I am a bit unsuaual as far as comedians, or humans in general, go, so it seems fitting. This is my official bio for the Laugh Off …

Lyle Bateman is a small, bipedal organism of the species “Supremeus Geekus” inhabiting one of the planets orbiting a small, indistinguishable star in the backwaters of the Milky Way galaxy. Members of the Geekus (colloquially known as Geeks) species are typified by their uncoordinated, jerky movements to music, and shrill, off-tune wailing. Also, Geeks are known for a special gland under their tongue which allows them to spew a stream of pure sarcasm as far as 100m. While Geeks were, at one time, hunted to the brink of extinction by their natural enemy, Humungous Jockus, after large-scale conservation efforts Geeks can now be found thriving across their natural habitats of computer rooms and technical boardrooms. In many cases, Geeks have recovered so well as to now have dominion over many of their former Jockus tormentors, and even to excel in areas outside their natural habitat, like the comedy stage.

Admittedly, it doesn’t say much about me specifically, but I do think it describes my style and ethic to a T. I’ve even received my drawing for the night I perform, and I have to say I think I drew possibly THE best night to do my set. The entire contest is being held at the downtown Toronto Yuk Yuk’s room, and I’ll be doing my first round set on the Friday night, April 11th, at the early show starting at 7:30 PM. Of all the nights I could have drawn, the only one I can think of that MIGHT be better is the Saturday night, but I’m not really sure I’d want to be doing my set on the last night of the contest. Further, while the crowd for the late show Friday might be a little bigger, I think my material and style is better suited for an early show crowd than a late show crowd. For my material, my act, and my persona, I literally could not have asked for a better night to take my crack at this. If I get through that Friday night show, I’ll be in the finals on Sunday April 13, 2008 (start time for the finals is still TBA) competing directly for $25000. Either way, the Comedy Channel and Yuk Yuk’s TV will be in filming the whole event for later broadcast, so there’s a reasonable chance that my set(s) might end up on TV later in the year.

I have a few readers of View from the Edge in eastern Canada, or the NE United States, and this might be an excellent opportunity to see my act. Its only an 8 minute set (for the prelims … 10 for the finals), but its bound to be the biggest show I’ve done to date, regardless of the outcome. I welcome anyone who is interested to the show, and would love to see a lot of fans out for it. I’m still having trouble believing its all real … still seems like one of those things that is too good to be true … but all the paper work is done, and the reservations made, so its official. Come on down on April 11th and see how things go :).

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