It’s been two years since Ron James last toured through B.C. and the East Coast comedian has a lot on his mind.
“God knows there’s an awful lot to talk about,” he said. “But I think that’s the comedian’s job, though, is just to make sense of the chaos we’re all walking through in the language of laughs.”
The 10-date B.C. leg of James’s Full Throttle Tour kicks off in Chilliwack on Sept. 19 and wraps up at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on Sept. 30.
He said that he’s looking forward to touring “smack dab” in the middle of the federal election campaign, but noted that it’s harder to tell political jokes nowadays.
“It’s getting difficult though, I will tell you, to play any kind of political note because it’s all taken so personally these days. I mean, I think that politics has hijacked the limbic system,” James said, referring to the part of the brain that controls emotion.
Aside from politics, James said he’ll be covering an “eclectic buffet” of topics including the proliferation of social media, the effects of growing older (“I went in for a haircut last week and the barber spent more time on my ears than he did my head,” he said) and learning to adapt to a rapidly changing world.
James said it’s the role of the comedian to “connect the dots… as to where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going,” and those are ideas that he also ponders in his upcoming debut book, All Over the Map. This month he’ll be submitting the first draft to his publisher.
He described the book as “an embrace of people and place from both the past and the present” as well as a love letter to Canada and family. He said as he gets older he finds himself looking back. He said since his father died a couple years ago he’s been more aware of the importance of enjoying life, making moments matter and making his work matter.
“I like to rock the apple cart a bit but I also like to make sure that people feel a hell of a lot better about their lives leaving the theatre than they do coming in,” James said. “Even though the world is going to hell in a handcart I still think that you have to infuse a note of optimism with it.”
Ron James performs at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. All seats $60. Tickets available at chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, the Cultural Centre Box Office or by calling 604-391-7469.