Toronto-based comedian Rob Pue will play three shows at this week’s Ice Cold Comedy Festival, but don’t expect any of those shows to be identical.
“I don’t ever say the same thing twice,” says Pue. “The joke will always be the same, but how I get there is different every time. Talking to lawyers at a luncheon is different from a drinking crowd.”
Pue has been a comic for 22 years now. He grew up in a military family, so travelling is in his blood.
“I’ve seen more road than a lot of truckers,” he says. “I’ve been on the road my whole life.”
Even with all those years, he clearly remembers his best gig.
“The Luther Burbank Theatre in Santa Rosa, California,” recalls Pue. “It’s a 2,500 seat theatre and I did a 12-minute set and just smoked that show. I wore leather pants. Leather fucking pants. I was 25 years old, just the biggest dick in the world.”
But, just like any performer, Pue remembers his worst gig.
“My worst show was in Fairview, Alberta, which is notoriously just the worst place in the world to do comedy,” he explains. “The town has a Harley-Davidson college. The bar served triples for $6.75 in a fishbowl, and you get grown men drinking those and you end up with death treats.”
Like most comedians, Pue maintains an active Twitter account. His bio there reads ‘Head Writer on ‘Rules For Living Your Life Without Irritating Me,’ which, according to a Google search, isn’t a real thing. The closest result is Jordan Peterson’s controversial book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.
“I really don’t know anything about (Peterson). He seems fairly robotic as a human,” says Pue. “I just changed my Twitter bio to that because people weren’t getting me. It was all about the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 58th rule is the [Penguins’ defenseman] Kris Letang rule, and he’s number 58. So that rule is ‘Always have a good-looking family,’ because his family is gorgeous. They are the most gorgeous people you’ve ever seen in your life. Rule 87 is ‘Do everything in life perfectly.’ That’s Sidney Crosby.”
While Pue is active on Twitter, you won’t see his best material from his show there.
“I like to flesh out a story before I put it out anywhere,” says Pue. ”But throwing stuff on Twitter is just gas to the fire that’s already there. Starting fights is fun, if there’s a wound I like to pick it.”
After getting through the fall and holiday comedy season, Pue is excited about the winter festival circuit.
“I love these festivals. People really come out for comedy. I’m starting off here at the Ice Cold, and then it’s Moncton, Halifax, Winnipeg,” says Pue. “It’s the best time of year for comics. We make all our money leading up to Christmas, and the rest of the year is a lot of fun and you get to tour with people that you like. Then comes summer, which should be great, but usually it’s ‘I hope I can find a job building a fence.’”
See Rob Pue on Thursday night at Signal Brewing Company in Corbyville, Friday night at Spearhead Brewing Company on Development Drive, and Saturday night for the festival finale at BLUMartini on Ontario Street. Check out the Ice Cold Comedy Festival‘s website for full details on these and other five shows happening during this year’s festival.