Dave Foley takes Yuk Yuk’s

Kids in the Hall alum and Canadian comedy icon Dave Foley is in town to help launch Montreal’s new Yuk Yuk’s comedy club. Here’s what he has to say about it.

Dave Foley

“It’s filthy, but with just enough pseudo-intellectualism to feel dignified,” Dave Foley tells me when I ask about his stand-up style. The former Kids in the Hall and News Radio star is in town to help launch the new Yuk Yuk’s comedy club, taking up residence inside the Rialto Theatre’s lower level. We chatted at the club’s pre-opening gala.

Foley’s been busy lately. He wrapped the first season of a new sitcom, Spun Out, created in Canada but aiming for American production values, which starts airing on CTV this winter, and released a stand-up album and DVD, Relatively Well, recorded during a live set in Austin.

“It’s this little island of liberals in this horrible state called Texas. They’re just under siege. It should be a walled city.” Next, he says, “I’m going to have to take some time off from stand-up to write some new material.

Yuk Yuk’s returns to Montreal after a long absence. The chain of comedy clubs initially opened its second franchise in Montreal in 1979, but the space never took off. This time, according to Yuk Yuk’s founder Mark Breslin, “we’re really making it happen.”

The new 240 seat club will be open weekly from Tuesday through Saturday, with a French night every Wednesday. With this, Breslin explains, it will be “the only bilingual club in the country, in the history of the country.”

Montreal is home to numerous great comedy spots, but Breslin claims that Yuk Yuk’s is unique in being “proudly and fiercely Canadian,” booking 96 per cent Canadian talent in clubs littered throughout the country’s larger cities. With this in mind, Foley — who’s been unable to even visit Canada for the last several years following messy post-divorce legal entanglements — is an ideal ambassador for the venue.

While Foley is focused on his solo stand-up and acting career, he still remains personally and professionally close with the other members of Kids in the Hall, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson. The Kids have reunited a few times for one-off shows in L.A., with plans for a similar set of performances in Toronto.

“We’re going to get together for four days and try to write a whole new show in four days, and then put it on for four days in Toronto. It’s going to be in a small theatre,” Foley explains. “It’s a way for us to generate material. It gives us an excuse to get together and write and think about comedy again together.”

The enduring appeal of the Toronto-based sketch comedy troupe is clear; when I mention a former student repping the classic “These are the Daves I know” sketch, he groans audibly.

“I have to hear that song every time I leave my house. People just sing it to me. It’s all Bruce McColloch’s fault.” ■

Dave Foley performs with opener Martha Chaves and host Sebastien Bourgault at Yuk Yuk’s Cabaret (5723 Parc), Oct. 4 & 5, 8 p.m., second show Saturday Oct. 5 at 10:30 p.m., $23

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