GIGGLE CITY: Neil Rhodes brewing fermented humour at Yellowhead Brewery

Of the many types of comedy we have explored in this space, one that remains relatively untapped is “beer humour,” also known as “fermented comedy.”

Not to be confused with falling-down-drunk humour or even pretending-to-be-drunk humour, this small, possibly even non-existent comedic genre turns out to be the theme for a comedy night on Friday at the Yellowhead Brewery – which makes beer, serves beer and features Edmonton comic and self-proclaimed beer connoisseur Neil Rhodes.

Q: If you could be any celebrity, who would it be and why?

A: Part of me wants to say Charlie Sheen. It’s amazing all the crazy crap he went through in the media. And you hear him talk about it and he says, “I don’t care. I’m Charlie Sheen and that’s it. I did this all for a reason.” That impresses me. This guy is bulletproof.

Q: Best heckler story?

A: I was at the Comic Strip and this guy started in: “You’re not funny!” We got into it and he wasn’t backing down. I knew this guy works in Fort McMurray. He’s all beefy, all tan, frosted tips in his hair, that haircut cost him at least 100 bucks. I started getting really weird with him. I kneeled down towards him and said, “Hey, buddy, you got cute little frosted tips on you, don’t you, buddy?” He was getting creeped out. He said, “What are you, gay?” Then I started yelling at him: “You want to piss me off, come to my day job, I don’t care. But don’t come here where I actually enjoy life!” And of course he’s threatening to fight me. I’m like, dude, look at me. I’m tiny. Anybody in this room could beat me up. The whole crowd got on my side, and they basically booed this guy out of there, which was kind of neat.

Q: What do you do when someone tells you a joke and says, “Hey, you can use this in your act.”

A: I never want to hear it. It’s probably five minutes of set up to get to the one little punchline. They’re always horrible, I’m not going to use some joke you found on the Internet, I’ve never heard a good one. I get frustrated, especially when I’ve had a bad show and people come up with a joke, like “You sucked tonight. You could probably use a little bit of help. So here’s insert Internet joke here.”

Q: Do you have a new bit that’s killing?

A: The most recent stuff is talking about my height. I’ll tell the crowd, “This is my height. Get over it. Really. Just climb over it. It’s not that hard.”

Q: What’s your favourite joke you’ve abandoned?

A: I used to do thing on the Victoria’s Secret stores when they first opened. The joke worked for maybe two weeks and then it just stopped. I relived the whole experience of walking through the store with my girlfriend. My girlfriend found out her bust size was bigger and she got excited and the clerk said, “Omigod, we’ve got the same size, let me show you what we have over here! This is great!” And they just went dancing off together. Could you imagine going into a dude’s underwear store? The clerk Trevor’s like, “Hey, we just measured you and you’re seven inches. We’re the same size! Come with me, I have the perfect underwear over here. You wanna go for a beer later?”

Q: Difference between kids today and when you were a kid?

A: I hate teenagers. I just hate the whole idea of teenagers. They’re so lazy, so dumb to the world, they don’t care about anything, they’re so relaxed, they have it too easy, so many of them don’t know what hard work is, so many things are handed to them.

Q: Do you know you sound like your dad?

A: That’s what I hate the most!

Q: Worst meal on the road?

A: In Bethune, Saskatchewan, I ordered a taco in a bag and it was a bag of nacho-flavoured Doritos, and they cut the bag open and poured in salsa and sour cream. Whatever you’d put on a taco they threw into a bag of chips. It was tasty, but I had this beautiful vision of proper nachos. But no, we’re just going to keep it in a bag, there you go, that’ll be six bucks.

Q: Do you actually have any beer jokes?

A: I have some beer material, but it’s not perfected yet. I’m trying to build this rant up, especially about Coors and how dumb it is. Like “cold certified” on the bottle. If they have to tell you when the beer is cold, how did we do it before? Now they poke holes in the box so it will get colder quicker. You know what? Just fucking put it in the fridge. Put it in the fridge. That’ll probably do the trick.