Hockey Comic Kelly Taylor Leans on Humour to Heal after Humboldt Tragedy

By Friend, David | The Canadian Press, May 8, 2018 | Go to article overview

Hockey Comic Kelly Taylor Leans on Humour to Heal after Humboldt Tragedy


Friend, David, The Canadian Press


Comics lean on humour to support Humboldt

--

TORONTO - Saskatchewan comedian Kelly Taylor was booked for a cancer benefit outside Saskatoon the day after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

But as the tragic headlines poured in, the passionate hockey fan struggled to find his lighter side.

"I spent some of that day texting hockey buddies and hearing a lot of them breaking down," he said. "It was on another level."

He didn't want to back out of the charity event, but Taylor said he couldn't shake the sadness that had overtaken the hockey community he grew up around. He took the stage that night, but an hour into his show, he told the audience he was having trouble focusing on anything besides the overwhelming loss.

"I knew when I did I wouldn't be able to hold together," he said. "But it felt like a lot of people were feeling that way."

The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game April 6 when their bus and a semi collided at an intersection in the country near Tisdale, Sask., killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.

Taylor finished his set with another 20 minutes of comedy, hoping to leave the audience with boosted spirits. Later this month, he hopes to strike a similarly optimistic tone when he performs at the Humour for Humboldt fundraiser at Edmonton's the Comic Strip on May 17.

The showcase features Taylor alongside "Letterkenny" star K. Trevor Wilson and the venue's owner Rick Bronson, who will serve as host. It's being promoted as a night of comedians raising money for the Humboldt hockey community.

Taylor, who was raised a couple hours away from Humboldt in Prince Albert, Sask., grew up playing hockey, but eventually traded dreams of suiting up in the pros for the comedy scene.

His jokes still emphasize his love for hockey. A major part of his act focuses on the sport, its players and other barbs about the Canada's game. He'll decide on the quantity of hockey punchlines once he takes the temperature of the crowd.

"I'm just going to go there, try and have a real good set and maybe give people (some time) away from it," he said.

Regular tickets for Humour for Humboldt start at $75, while a VIP ticket for $125 gets attendees access to a meet-and-greet reception with the comics. …

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