|Glen Foster, known as â€˜That Canadian Guy,' began his comedy career in high school.|
Now enjoying a career that has spanned several decades of creating chuckles, Foster recalls stepping on the stage, "an unknown" in the midst of a sea of fellow high schoolers.
"Nobody knew me the day before, and the day after everyone knew me. It was glimpse of what was to come," he said. "Having gone to three different high schools, a tough thing to get through, it was great to be known."
A guy who was always a big comedy fan, his baby steps into the world of comedy started with the 'easier stuff,' like doing impressions of well-established comedians.
"I did guys like Howard Cosell, Jackie Stewart, that kind of stuff, before I started doing my own material, my own take on things," Foster said.
Foster will break out all of his best stage stuff at the first-ever Haunted Howler Comedy Fest, which debuts in Kelowna this Halloween.
The evening also features a costume contest, Halloween treats, a live DJ, adult beverages and a haunted house.
All ages are welcome.
Foster's edgy brand of humour earned him the happily accepted moniker of 'That Canadian Guy,' which he wears with pride.
"I'm not waving the flag or anything. But it just came together for me after a comedy special that kicked it off," he explained. "It's a nice thing to be known as that, kind of real Canadian, like beavers and maple syrup."
Foster's comedy appeals to people who appreciate intelligent, mostly clean and always clever, topical and timely reflections gleaned from his own experiences, as well as current events and popular culture.
He's not shy about throwing out some "politically incorrect" tidbits, although he concedes some parts of the great white north are "less offended, or think they are less offended" than others.
"It's Calgary, Edmonton, the prairies in general and the east coast," he said, referring to inhabitants who seem less inhibited.
"Ottawa, Ontario and some of B.C. seem a little touchy these days."
Sharing the scary night at the theatre with Foster are fellow comedians from Train Wreck Comedy - Howie Miller, Garrett Clark and Brett Martin.
Miller is an Edmonton comic known for his ethnic stereotypes and impressions, and is one of Canada's only award-winning aboriginal comics.
Clark is a Canadian-born, Aussie-raised comic who offers a dynamic and unpredictable show. Martin is known for his versatility and easy-going style, combining goofiness with edgy.
All the comedians have made stand-up their life and Foster noted that, as in all of life, the world of comedy and those people who make up audiences has also been somewhat transformed over the years.
"People pay less and less attention to what's happening on stage," he noted, recalling the night he confiscated a cellphone from a texting person.
"He was in the front row. Head down, texting. So I grabbed it, and started to text back to whoever was on the other end," he said.
"Posted it on Facebook, and got mixed reviews - some people said 'good for you' while others said, 'well he wasn't talking.'
"The point being, he was staring at his phone, in the front row, during a show. Comedians notice things like that. Like we notice who's not laughing. Texting is not your God-given right."
What does seem to be Foster's right, is the ability to make people laugh - at him, at themselves, at what's happening in their world and our collective world.
"My material comes from things that concern me, and things that probably concern my audience," he said.
What: Haunted Halloween Comedy Fest, with Train Wreck Comedy and four top-notch Canadian comics. Featuring Glen Foster, Howie Miller, Garrett Clark and Brett Martin.
When: Halloween night, Oct. 31. Haunted House opens at 7 p.m. with costume contest, tricks and treats, live DJ. Comedy show at 8 p.m.
Where: Kelowna Community Theatre.
Tickets: Available at Prospera Place box office, 250-762-5050, or selectyourtickets.com.