One of the many talents of comedian Victor J. Hanson is writing. Victor has written a musical play, several scripts, radio commercials and comedy routines. Also, of special interest to Elvis fans, Victor co-authored a book with Cynthia Pepper, Elvis Presley's co-star in Kissin' Cousins. In his interview answers, Victor uses humour to tell us tales from his life. I laughed throughout the proofreading of Victor's answers. What a brilliant, comedic mind he possesses...or possesses him (or one of "the other 87 people" who live in his head). He can make anything sound funny, even the more serious moments early in his life. Victor's goal is to "help people laugh"--a goal he achieves over and over in every word he has written for his interview. And Victor uses lots of words: "By the way, I think I wrote a novel here." Even his emails are funny. I invite you to pour a glass of your favourite libation, put up your feet, settle in, and enjoy Serious About Being Funny...the story of Victor J. Hanson. It is a great read! Note to Victor: If you every decide to write your memoirs and need a co-author... ; ) Cheers! CM
September 25th, 2018: Victor J Hanson has been busy emceeing many festivals and events since my interview with him first appeared in SIDEBURNS Magazine in 2017, and he doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. Victor has several upcoming appearances that I am happy to share with you:
Victor will be hosting the Flaming Star Elvis Festival this October, and the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival, 2019. He is also playing the part of Jethro Hicks as the host of “Christmas in Nashville”, which tours theatres in Ontario, November and December, with a quick tour in Manitoba this year. He is also performing as a character named Po'Boy, in “The John Fogerty Story”. It is touring Ontario theatres this coming October and November. Victor, in his humorous way, had this to say about his busy schedule, “Zooming everywhere... No wonder I have no hair!” LOL Thanks for the update, Victor. C.M.
Victor has a strong connection to the ETA world through his role as emcee and musician. Pam Pettit and Sue Harris, co-producers of the Flaming Star Festival, who have worked with Victor numerous times, kindly agreed to share their personal thoughts about the amazing Victor J. Hanson.
What can we say about Victor J? We had known each other casually for quite awhile before we asked him to host the inaugural Flaming Star Festival in 2014. Little did we know at the time just how brilliant an idea that was. It started at our first meeting. He demonstrated immense professionalism and passion, making notes out of all our crazy ideas coming at him from all directions and doing his best to make sense of it all. We knew immediately that we were in good hands. Right from his first appearance on stage, the audience embraced his quick wit and ability to respond to anything that was thrown at him. He makes everything flow with such incredible ease and panache that you cannot help but envy his talent. We know that Victor can handle anything that we throw at him; and when, as an organizer, you are trying to juggle a thousand moving pieces, the knowledge that he will graciously handle it all without a complaint is truly a gift. There have been hundreds of moments over the past 4 years of the festival that we remember with heartfelt joy, but none greater than those times when Victor and his family of characters have brought endless joy to our audiences. Not only is he worth every penny of the meager amount we can afford to pay, but he has become a dear and treasured friend.
Thank you very much, Pam and Sue, for your wonderful words about your friend Victor J.
The Interview: Serious About Being Funny
Q. Tell us about your childhood growing up in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto.
A. Growing up in the Jane and Finch area was an interesting experience to say the least. At that time in history it was inhabited by two kinds of folks, the WASPY community and the Italian community. With a name like Hanson, you must know that my family didn’t originate from Rome.
As much as there were only two groups, I think I constituted a third group by landing in the middle. I loved my Italian friends and my WASPY friends. I felt no personal discrimination, as I was picked on by both groups equally.
My Italian friends taught me to swear in a beautiful new language.
(Think of where I could be today if I had learned conversational Italian, instead of confrontational Italian.)
Fighting, bullying, and intimidation were a normal way of life. I’m glad that people are trying to stop bullying in this time in the world, but back then it was a normal fabric of life and you learned to live and weave your way within it. It wasn’t done on social media, it was done up close and personal--in your face, without the book.
Growing up and surviving in the Jane Finch corridor, you either became a great fighter, or you perished…I found a third way with music, and humour.
Q. What are your favourite memories of school?
A. My earliest recollection is in Kindergarten. Unlike today, there was no “JK” or “SK”, there was only “K”. As a German word, Kindergarten literally means “Children’s Garden”…there were children, but I don’t recall any gardens. I started Kindergarten at age 4. I was big for my age. I was at least six inches taller than the tallest kid in my class. I should have guessed that something was wrong when the other kids in my class took turns riding on my back like I was a horse.
I don’t remember how it started but I’d get down on all fours so that a classmate could get on my back and ride me. One after another, every kid got a ride. Thank God kids stopped wearing spurs to school decades ago. The teacher never interfered or demanded that we stop. I guess she was just happy to have the class be engaged in something. Thanks Toronto School Board!
To be honest, it made the other kids happy and I was thrilled to give them some happiness. To this day my knees are still angry with me. One morning my mom came to class. After seeing all of this she put a quick end to it all. She was the best. Looking back, I can see where my self-deprecating comedy style came from (?)
Q. When did you first realize you could make people laugh?
A. I first realized that I could make people laugh when I was a kid. It’s a toss up whether it was my mother or my grandmother that I first made laugh.
I’ve always found the phrase “make people laugh” a bit odd. I don’t think that you can make anyone laugh. I prefer to say, “help people laugh.” We all want to laugh, and have it within us. It just takes someone to help it come out.
I found very early in life that my mother needed to laugh, and so did my grandmother, so I helped. There was a fair bit of alcoholism and abuse in some of the other members of my mother and father’s families, so I got to see the ugly that went into producing that. I also found out at this time that there is a fine line between laughing and crying. I discovered that I had the power to help create both.
It was a Christmas many moons ago. I may have been 10 years old. A little boy that lived in a house across the street came running over to our front lawn as the snow was coming down. He was very happy and excited to inform me that Santa was bringing him a Big Bruiser for Christmas. The Big Bruiser was a fantastic battery-operated toy tow truck that came with a ton of cool accessories.
I was not having a great day as an uncle had just left the house after making my mother cry, yet again. The little boy from across the street was three years younger than me. He was busting at the seams with joy over the news that Santa would be bringing him this dream gift. As he was telling me, for the fourth time, that Santa was bringing him the #1 toy of the season, I just looked at him and said, “No he’s not.” The little boy was still smiling and joyful as he told me once again what Santa was bringing him. I repeated the words, “No he’s not.” The smile and joy washed from his face as he asked, “Why not?” I just calmly said, “You’re not old enough.”
He began to stammer as the tears filled his eyes. As he ran back home crying, I realized then and there the power that words had. I hadn’t touched him, yet I got to him. I know this is dark and evil. It was bullying as bad as I had been bullied by others. I was just using what I had learned, but it was also a lesson on what this power can produce.
I didn’t like the result and felt badly for what I had done. I knew this was dark and ugly and decided that I would use my new-found power for good and not evil. I tried to make amends by helping that little boy laugh after this incident. Oh yes, Santa brought him the Big Bruiser. He had the last laugh.
Q. Did your teachers think you were amusing?
A. Not at all. Maybe the Kindergarten teacher laughed at the horse in her classroom, but other than that I’d be surprised if anyone remembers me from school. I was a scholastic Ninja.
Q. Did you perform in any school plays or musical reviews?
A. Not much. I sang in the school choir, but I was able to hide in the crowd, never wanting to draw too much attention to myself. But I did get scolded for making another kid in the choir laugh a little too loudly.
Q. Did you take any music, singing, or acting classes as a child?
A. My acting classes as a child came from watching too much TV. My singing came from my school choir experience. My music instrument classes came when a door-to -door salesman charmed his way into my folk’s home, stuck an accordion in my arms and asked me to play it.
Never having touched an accordion before in my life, I squeezed it, pulled it, pushed a couple buttons and keys and was declared a musical genius by the travelling impresario. He suggested…NO…he demanded that my mother enroll me into the music school immediately! Not doing so would be an injustice to the music lovers of the world. I may not have learned much about music that day, but I did learn about salesmanship.
Q. What made you laugh as a child?
A. Slapstick, the 3 Stooges, Abbot & Costello, Jerry Lewis, Bonanza when they did a funny episode, and my drunk uncle who would first make my mother and grandmother cry, then stagger down our front stairs to the driveway wall that divided it from the neighbours. He would then trip over the wall falling 5 feet out of sight to the hard asphalt below, only to emerge seconds later, unscathed as he continued his drunken journey down the road. Now that’s comedy and karma all rolled into one.
Q. Describe your high school years.
A. Once again, I was a scholastic Ninja. I made my close friends laugh, but not a class clown. No one knew that I’d been playing guitar or even had a Rock & Roll band with three other friends from the music school I had been attending for the past couple of years. We were originally called The Kozacks. We later changed that to Spectrum, and later to Winchester Quill (named after Jessie Winchester).
Unlike Elvis, I didn’t take my guitar to school. I couldn’t wait until the weekends when I’d get together with Mike Rauch (guitar), Barry Tsuruda (bass), and Gary “The Houndmaster” Noble (drums) to crash our way through some teenage angst via the band. Gary replaced our original pal and drummer, Larry Felix. Larry had moved down East with his folks. All of my bandmates were very inspiring friends.
Q. What plans did you have for your life as a country music guitarist? Were you a big country music fan prior to joining a band?
A. Big Country Music fan? Hell no!
How I got into playing Country music stems from the frustration of not getting anywhere with the Rock & Roll band. I was devoted to my friends in the band, but it was just a loop of the same music. We spent years trying to perfect 12 songs…well, that’s how it felt for me. I had to try for a change.
I secretly hooked up with another Rock & Roll band that was just starting out. I thought this was my big break. Iv met with the lead singer and one other band member at a bar. It was a bright sunny afternoon, but the inside of the bar was very dark, so I had to make it to the table via trial and error. I forged on using the Braille method of navigation. After smashing my knees on a couple of tables, (my Kindergarten horse days were coming back to haunt me), I finally found the guys. I sat down with my back to a dimly lit stage.
They told of their roadie stories with Burton Cummings and some other Canadian music royalty. I was hooked. I started to tell them of my brief music career, but they kept looking past me towards the stage as I spoke. It bothered me, but I forged on. After another 10 mins of me attempting to communicate with these two stage-staring zombies, I decided to see what was so important behind me. I looked and saw Naked Women. I was in a strip club and didn’t even know it. I hate losing the audience’s focus, so I left. They called the next day, and I was in the band. We rehearsed for about three weeks in a barn. It was dusty, and I sneezed a lot, but I forged on. The music was too loud, my ears hurt but I forged on. The small sports car’s trunk parked in the barn was filled with illegal drying weed on sticks… I decided NOT to forge on.
I snuck back one night, got all my gear and left. This frustration led me to answering another ad for a guitar player in a country band. That’s how I became the lead guitar player for Cheyenne Record’s Cliff Carrol and the Hitchhikers. Cliff had a recording contract and had been in a movie loosely based on his life as a country singer called The Hard Part Begins. So, I became a hitchhiker, in more ways than one.
Q. What were the best and worst parts of being in a band?
A. The best part about being in a band as a young fella was meeting women. The worst part about being in a band as a young fella was…meeting women. You can also tack on terrible pay and being on the road for a solid eleven months out of the year.
Q. What led to you leaving the band?
A. I stayed with that band for two and a half years, which was about 2 years too many. I travelled around North America with them on a tour bus. Eating and sleeping on a tour bus for that long without big results was a game ender. The end resuIt was that I got to play on two studio LP’s and to open for the great Marty Robbins and the Oakridge Boys in Ohio, but it wasn’t enough. It was going nowhere. So, I left.
Q. Are you a fan of Elvis Presley’s music? Do you have a favourite Elvis song?
A. Oh, Hell Yes, I am a Fan! Not just a fan of the man that sang the songs, but a huge fan of all the people that wrote the songs and those that played the music for him.
There are too many great song performances that he gave, to have just one favourite.
When I was with Cliff Carrol, every night I sang “Stuck on You”. Years later, when I was playing with the Casino Brothers I fell in love with a song that my good friend and musical director Paco Danesi had us sound check. It was “I Just Can’t Help Believing”, written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It was the dynamics in the song that I fell in love with. We would make the arena in Collingwood rise and fall with that song. I still get goosebumps thinking of how Paco, Mike Burns, Marco Spadafora, Peter Kadar and I made that song explode off the stage…“for more than just a daaay.”
Q. Do you remember the first Elvis movie you saw?
A. My cousin Bill, who was 6 years my senior, took me to a movie theatre in Gravenhurst to see “The 3 Stooges”. This was my first time going to a movie theatre. I was only 9 or 10 years old and the Stooges never looked better or funnier on a GIANT screen. After seeing a couple of the black and white Stooges shorts, there was a slight pause as the feature film was about to begin. I had no real interest in seeing the feature as I had just seen the greatest movie stars of my adolescent life time. Boy was I about to wake up that day. The movie began. The sound was much better than the Stooges reels and HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL!!!! IT WAS IN METROCOLOUR!!!! A movie in colour? WOW! It had action, it had girls, it had sword fights, it had girls, amazing music and singing and did I mention, GIRLS? I had seen this Elvis guy playing his guitar on TV and girls screaming, but now he was in colour. Heck, he even karate chopped a wild leopard into submission. Singing AND saving girls? This young boy was in heaven.
Q. Please tell us about your first meeting with Cynthia Pepper.
A. I first met the amazing star of stage and screen, Cynthia Pepper, in July of 2007 at the Collingwood Elvis Festival. I had been hired by guitar player extraordinaire, Mike Burns of the Casino Brothers, to play lead guitar with a band that was put together to back 3 ETAs at the Gayety Theatre. I had never played with a couple of these musicians, so I was a tad nervous.
One of the ETAs was coming in from the USA that day and had messed up his crossing. Turns out that he wasn’t allowed into Canada. When the producers caught wind of this they went into a tailspin. “We’re missing an Elvis for the show!! What will we do?” I calmly opened up the Theatre door and said, “No problem. Spit, you’ll hit one.” Paul Ross filled the spot perfectly that day, and no one had to spit on him.
After that show I stayed in Collingwood. I ended up with the winners. A festival worker that had to be backstage for the finals was rushing by with this pretty blonde lady in tow. The festival person asked if I could look after Cynthia. I said sure. Cynthia sat down beside me as the other person sped towards the stage. I turned and asked, “So you’re Cynthia?” She responded, “Yes.” I then asked, “So, why do you need looking after?” She laughed, and we became fast friends.
I didn’t know her Hollywood history or that she was a VIP at the festival. We talked a lot that night and exchanged numbers. Thank you, Collingwood Elvis Fest.
Q. How did the co-writing of Pigtails, Presley and Pepper come about?
A. After Cynthia and I first met in 2007, we talked on the phone and corresponded by email. Later, my wife Suzy and I visited Cynthia and her husband Steve several times in Las Vegas. Cynthia has the best Hollywood life stories. She’s the real deal.
I suggested a few times that she write a book. She said she’d like to but didn’t really know how to start it or to see it through to fruition. Then my wonderful, impetuous wife put me on the spot by saying, “Victor will help you write it.” My wife is a lot smarter than me, so I agreed. The one thing Cynthia wanted in the writing of the book was that it be written in her voice. All her friends that read the book said that it sounded just like she was reading it to them. I was proud of the fact that I was able to accomplish that.
Q. Have you written any other books? Are there plans for another book?
A. I have written jokes, comedy shows, corporate video scripts, newsletters, a musical play, transcripts, radio commercials, song lampoons, and the occasional postcard but Pigtails, Presley & Pepper was my first book. As far as other books go, I have been helping Christopher Riordan with his future book. He has done a lot of work in Hollywood including, but not limited to, several movies with Elvis and his ’68 Comeback Special. Christopher’s story is amazing.
Q. What would you like to tell us about Men Without Hairs, The Pudgy Boys and Sexy Ole Dawgs?
Men Without Hairs was a musical comedy duo that I put together with a long-time friend, Edgar Thatcher. I had known Edgar since early childhood. (He was the little boy I mentioned a few questions ago. He’s the one that got the Big Bruiser for Christmas.) He was just out of university and had a musical duo that was contracted to perform at the CNE. His partner at the time left his duo to go work with Roch Voisine, so Edgar asked me to stand behind him to fill in with some guitar playing. He needed two guys on stage to fulfill the contract.
After a couple of days of this, I was getting bored; so I started to make faces and kibitz with the audience behind Edgar’s back. He soon realized that there some good entertainment value to what I was doing. I was then invited to stand beside him instead of behind him, thus Men Without Hairs was born. How did I come up with the name? We were both folically challenged, so it just made sense. The Men Without Hats guys didn’t seem to mind.
The Pudgy Boys duo was with my good friend Bob Kirk. (After looking in the mirror, that duo name just made sense too.) This show was a little less music and a little more of my scene work and improv training from Second City in Toronto. I had met Bob and his wife, Ellen Hitchcock, when I was invited to be in their improv group, the Out of The Way Players. Mike Myers got his start in that group too, so not bad company I must say.
Sexy Ole Dawgs is a current duo that I have with my good friend Don Thompson. Don is an incredible performer with a lot of irons in the fire; I guess he needed one more. The Dawgs perform at festivals, concerts and corporate functions. We had a blast opening for Beverley Mahood at Cowapoloza in Woodstock. Sexy Ole Dawgs is a hybrid of what Victor J does best and what Donny T. does best. Lots of great music with a dash of comedy. As far as the name goes, Donny T. came up with that one. He looked at the two of us in the mirror and realized that I was Sexy, and he was…well, let's just leave it at that. I love him too much to say anything more.
Q. What are your greatest strengths as ...(Victor, "Timing!!")...a comedian?
A. Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to yell as you were asking this question. Other than timing, I think I have a couple of other strengths for comedy.
#1 Keep It Clean
I am by no means a prude, or a comic that can’t see the dark side of humour. I just choose not to explore it in my show. Dropping a curse word on the audience’s head will have shock value and they will laugh, once or twice, but after the 20th time…it just gets boring and the audience becomes uncomfortable.
#2 Perform Environmental Comedy
That doesn’t mean that I’ve gone Green. (I still drink my water from a plastic bottle-- such a Rebel). What I mean by “environmental” is that I bring the surroundings and current circumstances into what I’m doing on stage.
If I was in the middle of a routine and a person was walking by with a tray of dishes and dropped them in front of the stage…it’s now in the show.
It’s also what I bring into my corporate shows by using the client’s services and or products in a positive manor.
#3 Know What Is Funny and How Far You Can Go
People are born with funny bones, or they are not. At the risk of sounding full of myself, I think I was born with funny bones.
#4 Funny Characters
I have some great alter egos that join me on stage. My wife lives with me and the other 87 people in my head. On stage it’s great. At home...I must refer you back to my Suzy. You may contact her directly at www.Ineedanormalhusband.com
Q. Are there other comedians whose work you admire? Why or why not?
A. Yes, but it’s a tough business so I’d rather not name names.
Any comedian that can get up on stage, stand before a crowd of strangers and help them to laugh their trouble away has my respect.
I enjoy the older comedians of days gone by. They were blazing a trail for us all since the days of Vaudeville, and beyond. You can go WAY back and see the start of it all. Who can ever forget the greatest of all funny guys, Shecky Shakespeare, who uttered those now famous words, “Taketh my Wifeth…Please.”
Q. You have shared the stage with some well-known names in the entertainment world. Do you have stories that you wish to share? Are there certain entertainers with whom you would like to perform again?
A. Lots of well-known names to drop here: The Kids In The Hall, Don Felder (of the Eagles), Robin Leach, Barenaked Ladies, Dan Hill, Dini Petty, Robert Vaughn…to name a few.
Last year I opened a show for Don Felder. This former guitarist of The Eagles was on his own after being ousted from his famous band. He was touring with his own band at the time. As you may or may not know, Mr. Felder wrote the music to the hit Eagles song, “Hotel California”. He had been in court with band for many years for his share of being an Eagle. Since we were using the same change room, I struck up a fun conversation with him. After I got him laughing I asked if he still gets royalties from writing “Hotel California”. He looked at me and smiled, but said nothing. I thought for sure I had hit a sore point. He then said, “I can’t answer your question as I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement…however I can tell you this much, my family will never want for anything--ever!” (I think we all need to write a hit song.)
In the Elvis world I’ve had the privilege of working with The Stamps Quartet, The Holiday Sisters, The Sweet Inspirations, and The Imperials. I’d love to work them all again. I always felt that the background vocals on Elvis’ songs were as important as the lead vocals themselves. They were all masters of their craft.
Q. I know that you have backed up a lot of ETAs by playing guitar in various bands. What is more fulfilling for you, music or comedy?
A. I have backed up a lot of Elvis impersonators from around the world and loved every minute of it. Most recently, I got to play a couple of acoustic tunes with Gordon Hendricks at the Flaming Star Festival in Toronto. Ever heard "Polk Salad" unplugged? It was a blast!
I could be playing guitar with the Casino Brothers, Gerie & The Koasters, or The Mystery Train Band on the Malt Shop Cruise. When the guy out front knows his stuff, it’s like living the dream that only Scotty Moore, James Burton, John Wilkinson, Reggie Young, Tommy Tedesco, Hank Garland and a handful of others knew. That’s why I’m always smiling while playing in the band. A good friend, who recently passed away, Michael “Midnight” Burns, gave me the nickname “Sunshine” Vic. He loved that I’d always be the smiling guitar player behind Elvis. He’d say, “You just always look so happy to be there.” He was right. I am.
To answer your original question, comedy pays the mortgage, music pays my soul.
Q. Do you have favourite celebrities whom you enjoy characterizing in your act?
A. I have a bit in my act that I call Victor J’s Celebrity Impressions. I do voice impressions of some of Hollywood’s greats calling their cats. I enjoy doing Jimmy Stewart and Jack Nicholson a lot. Oh, Arnold Schwarzenegger too. The voice I can do…the muscles, not so much.
Q. Were ‘real’ people the inspiration behind your alter-egos, Jose PorFavor, Shamus, and Garth Baldy? Do you have a favourite one of the three? Are there others? Do they represent parts of your personality?
A. Jose PorFavor is a hybrid of Jerry Lewis, Andy Kaufman’s “Foreign Man” and a little bit of Mel Blanc’s Mexican characters. Garth Baldy is Garth Brooks' long lost and never talked about cousin. The Brooks family disowned him years ago. Shamus is based on a Newfoundland stereotype. He is named after the great Canadian comedian, Jimmy Flynn’s son, who passed away years ago at a very young age. I had been invited to dinner at Jimmy and his wife Sylvia’s home in Nova Scotia over the years. I got to know their daughter, and son, Seamus. He was very young, and loved to do celeb voices like I did. We would do our best Rocky Stallones for each other and crack up the dinner table. He was very talented. In his late teens he contracted a rare form of cancer and passed away shortly thereafter. He was a great kid and deserved better than that. He performs with me still.
Q. Pick one of your alter-egos and discuss the weather in Canada.
A. Jose Porfavor, in a high pitched Spanish accented voice, “Yous guys call dis weather? They said come to Canada. Work on your tan! How was I supposed to know they meant a Tanning Salon? Do you know how hard it is to sit in a tanning bed wearing a Sombrero? If Trump’s Wall is going to help keep Canadian winters out of Mexico, I’m all for it.”
Q. Describe your favourite working environment.
A. A professional theatre with above average production values. This theatre would be filled with a sober, focused audience. A 50/50 spilt of male & female audience members….wait it’s 2017…make that a 33.3/33.3/33.3 split of male, female and transgender audience members...and people with open minds and a desire to explore the notion of getting happier with an entertainer that just wants to help them laugh.
Q. What advice do you have for comedians just starting out?
A. Do something else. There’s too much competition for me as it is. Sorry, I don’t mean to crush anyone’s dream. There is no right path. I never came up through the comedy clubs. When I approached comedy clubs they said, "You’re too musical." When I approached bars, they said, "You’re nothing we can dance to." So, I had to find my own audience. The best advice I can give is to have something solid to fall back on, like a bed or a big comfy couch. Oh, a trust fund… yes, that’s the best thing.
Q. If you had to pick another career path other than comedy and music, what would it be?
A. Major League Baseball Player. Playing catch for millions of dollars? Count me in! If not that, then maybe police work. That way I can do more than honk my horn and shoot someone the finger when they cut me off. Do you think that choice of vocation may be too vengeance driven?
Q. What do you do to relax on non-performance days?
A. Non-performance days are usually spent mining and advancing future bookings.
Beyond that, I get to spend some great quality time with the beautiful woman of my dreams, and maybe later my wife.
Ok, not my fault. You kind of set me up for that one. You set it up and I knocked it out of the park. Oh gads, now a baseball player callback… this is all on you. Victor J Hanson, Canada’s Funniest Comedian…In His Price Range.
Q. Other than entertaining others, how do you use comedy in your daily life?
A. It’s my defense mechanism. Defusing certain negative situations. I use comedy to help myself, and maybe others, to cope with the reality of life, war, heartache, unfairness, nonsensical acts of daily stupid that we all see on the news. Laughter is a release from reality.
Q. What things do you not find funny?
A. Practical jokes. There is absolutely nothing practical about them. It’s just mean. Also, the modern-day Comedy Roast. When Dean Martin had his TV roast it was funny, clever, and at times hysterical. Today’s roasts are just mean. Nasty things are said, and they are followed by even more nasty things. It’s just ugly.
Q. Where do you think you will be in ten years?
A. Dead. (See, I can get dark too.) If I survive 10 more years and if I’m still valid as a comedian with fingers that still work, I will be doing comedy and music in some form. Mind you, I never book shows more than 9 years down the road so ask me again next year.
Q. Do you have a list of upcoming gigs that you wish to share with us?
A. You mean sooner than 9 years away? Sure. The bulk of my work is with private corporate shows that I can not invite you to. I book public shows when I can fit them in. Here are a few in chronological order that you can come to.
Dec 17th, 2017 - Charity Christmas Concert for CASHH (Cancer Assistance Services of Halton Hills) at the John Elliott Theatre in Georgetown.
Jan 26th, 2018 - I’m playing guitar for the Creedence Clearwater Survival Show at The Greg Frewin Theatre – Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Tickets at: www.gregfrewintheatre.com/creedence-tribute.html
April 20th - 22nd 2018 I’ll be Hosting the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival – The Greg Frewin Theatre, www.NiagaraFallsElvisFestival.com
Tickets - (866) 870-3002
I will be Hosting the 5th Annual Flaming Star Festival – Toronto, in the Fall of 2018. Check out their web page for festival info. www.flamingstarfestival.com
For future dates come visit me on THE FaceBook: www.facebook.com/vjhanson
Visit my website at: www.VictorJComedy.com
Article: The Many Faces of Victor J. Hanson by Carol Hunter
Thank you, Victor J, for an extraordinary interview. I created a Victor J Hanson Photo Album just for you in a separate gallery to showcase your wonderful photos. Click HERE to see the gallery. Best regards, Carolyn.