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Just For Laughs: In conversation about Buddy Cole with Scott Thompson

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Scott Thompson – Comedian and writer Scott Thompson – throughout his time as a member of the legendary Canadian sketch comedy group “The Kids in the Hall”, which gained a massive cult following thanks to their sketch series that aired on CBC, CBS and HBO from 1989 to 1995 – will always be remembered for his repertoire of characters that he brought to life on the show, whether it be Fran the unflappable housewife, diva-esque fashion model Francesa Fiore, Cathy the office secretary, or businessman Danny Husk.

However, Thompson will forever be associated with Buddy Cole, the flamboyant, alpha queen raconteur and club owner, who through his monologues, gives his own unique take on the world around him.

At this year’s Just For Laughs festival, Thompson has returned with his bon vivant alter ego to present “Apres Le Deluge: The Buddy Cole Monologues”, which is continuing its successful run at the Katacombes club on St. Laurent Boulevard until July 25. And on that same night, Scott/Buddy will make an appearance as part of the line-up for “The Stand Up Show with Katherine Ryan”, which is being taped for future broadcast on the Comedy Network.

During a recent phone interview, Thompson admitted that bringing back Buddy to Just For Laughs – 25 years since his festival debut – was not seen as a resurrection of the character, but because the time was right to do so.

Scott Thompson

“I felt it was the right time for him, because now history is repeating itself. The world is now very polarizing and politically correct,” he said. “Everyone is so thin-skinned these days, but not Buddy. He just doesn’t care. He is wearing his own suit of armour and is virtually impenetrable.”

“Apres Le Deluge” is a collection of monologues that Thompson has written over the past 23 years since The Kids in the Hall went off the air. He believes through this show that although the world has changed drastically during that 23-year period, Buddy Cole somewhat remains a constant.

“Throughout this deluge, the world might have changed but it’s still the same old Buddy Cole, who is perfect in every way,” he said. “Through Buddy, I can say whatever I want. I am a gay White male. Who’s the bigger victim? When certain audience members get offended by certain things that Buddy says during the show and they later ask me how I can get away with it, I just say I can because I am Buddy Cole.”

“However, if you take 10 seconds to think about it, you have to realize that it’s just jokes. This is a challenging time with a lot of change happening. And when the dust finally settles, we will get through it,” he added.

Nearly a decade ago, Thompson decided to add a new dimension to his career in comedy by taking the plunge and becoming a stand-up comic. He made this rather drastic career change in the wake of being diagnosed with B-cell non-Hodgkins gastric lymphoma (from which he is now cancer-free after six rounds of chemotherapy and a month of radiation treatments). He saw his entry into the world of stand-up comedy not only as therapeutic through his successful battle against this aggressive form of cancer, but also as a way of reinventing himself.

“When I was part of Kids in the Hall, it was a group entity, in which everyone shined as a whole. When you’re onstage as a stand-up comic, YOU are the brightest light. It’s a selfish art form in which you are the only one in control,” he said. “This gave me the chance to jump start my career, in which I can be myself and the audience is on my side. I love doing both group comedy and solo comedy. And after my battle with cancer, I have nothing to be afraid of.”

Although Thompson is very pleased with the overwhelming positive response he is getting from audiences at Just For Laughs for “Apres Le Deluge”, he would like to take the monologue type show to the next level and involve the other characters he made famous during his years with Kids in the Hall.

“My next goal is to do a multi-character show, in which I will write new monologues for my other characters like Francesca Fiore and Fran,” he said. “However, Buddy Cole is the only character who addresses the modern world. He’s a pundit, an essayist and a philosopher, and we share a lot of the same beliefs.”

For more information – or to purchase tickets – to the “Apres Le Deluge: The Buddy Cole Monologues” or any other Just For Laughs show, go to www.hahaha.com.

By: Stuart Nulman – info@mtltimes.ca
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