Brit Happens* (*Or Living the Canadian Dream) By James Mullinger

Brit Happens* (*Or Living the Canadian Dream)

British-born comedian (and recently sworn-in Canadian citizen) James Mullinger is a happy man these days. That’s because his years-long quest towards living the Canadian dream is now an accomplished reality.

“Perhaps I was always meant to be a Canadian … I feel pretty darn lucky. But things haven’t always been this way,” he writes in the opening chapter of his recently-published memoir Brit Happens* (*Or Living the Canadian Dream).

Although he had a successful career as a journalist and editor of the British edition of GQ magazine in his native London, where he got to interview and profile many of his comedy and show business idols, Mullinger knew that stand-up comedy offered a stronger calling for him.  But somehow, travelling across Britain practically every weekend to appear in open spots at comedy nights in a number of clubs and pubs gave him the cold hard truth of the chances of succeeding in the British comedy scene: that no matter how hard he worked at it, or how good he was, nobody cared.

That’s when Mullinger decided to make a major personal sacrifice in order to reach that pinnacle of success that could work out in his favour, or crash and burn with a loud thud. Pulling stakes from his roots, Mullinger and his Canadian-born wife Pam (who established an impressive career in her own right with a number of prestigious magazines in the UK) bit the bullet and settled in Saint John, New Brunswick (Pam’s native province) and started all over again. Things weren’t easy at first; however, over the past 20 years since that major move, Mullinger and his family has certainly lived (and continues to do so) the Canadian dream. In a way, he practically single-handedly revived the New Brunswick and Maritime comedy scene (which for many years was the domain of Newfoundland and Labrador), toured in clubs, corporate events and festivals across the Maritimes (where he sold out the Harbour Station arena in Saint John; the other comedian to do so was his idol, Jerry Seinfled) and Canada, wrote and produced a major motion picture called “The Comedian’s Guide to Survival”, co-created a glossy quarterly lifestyles magazine called The (Maritime) Edit, and has become a tourism ambassador for his adopted home province of New Brunswick.

Needless to say, that’s quite a mighty accomplishment, and it’s told with a great deal of humour and honesty in his engaging memoir. What I enjoyed about Brit Happens* is that Mullinger opted not to follow with the nearly 30-year literary trend of popular stand-up comedians publishing books in which they decided to dig into their comedy material rolodexes instead of their own lives. Happily, he chose to go along the path of the more classical autobiographical approach that was undertaken by comedy legends such as Fred Allen, Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, Steve Martin, George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Joan Rivers, as well as such recent related offerings by Rick Mercer, Mindy Kaling and the late Louie Anderson.

The text of Mullinger’s personal narrative is reminiscent of his entertaining solo show “Living the Canadian Dream”, which was the show he was performing when I saw him in person for the first time at the Montreal Fringe Festival in 2014. His lively, energetic performance style and his wealth of stories from an interesting career that worked so well onstage, transcends just as well on the printed page.

Besides the usual road stories, encounters with celebrities (his anecdote about meeting Paul McCartney for the very first time is a gem), and how he successfully conquered that “fish out of water” feeling after he moved to New Brunswick, Mullinger shares with the reader a number of lessons he absorbed that was essential to both personal and professional survival in a new land. That includes never underestimating the power of the people that make up a community (which came in handy when he personally had to spread the word and sell tickets to comedy shows that he helped put together in a number of small towns in New Brunswick shortly after his arrival there), and do your homework by familiarizing yourself with what makes a community tick (which was embodied with the catchphrase that Mullinger developed and used as part of his stand-up act, which involved a local landmark or business that were currently located where a branch of the Zellers department store chain used to be).

Brit Happens* (*Or Living the Canadian Dream) is not just a comedian’s memoir, but also doubles as a handbook to how a comedian can survive in such a difficult – yet sometimes lucrative – way of making a living. So let James Mullinger be your guide to how you can do what you enjoy and conquer the impossible … yet be ready to pay those dues on that journey.

Oh, and by the way, an official welcome to Canada, James, eh?

Stuart Nulman
By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

Other articles from – –

Caerula Mar Club a new standard in paradise – South Andros Bahamas


Hottest bikini’s for 2022 – SHAN Collection from Montreal

Is it possible to get an A for a 5-paragraph essay assignment in 1 hour? We can safely say yes, a student can get an A+ mark if he turns to EduJungles


The ultimate guide to planning a long family staycation in Canada

To guarantee that everyone has an amazing time, careful planning is necessary when organizing a lengthy staycation. Here’s the ultimate guide to planning your family staycation in Canada. Canada, with its vast landscapes, diverse cities, and rich cultural heritage, offers endless possibilities for a memorable family staycation. Whether you’re exploring the stunning natural beauty of

Meal kits

Cost vs. Convenience: Analyzing meal kits and traditional cooking

In this modern world and modern times, convenience often takes priority over cost, especially when it comes to food. Meal kits and traditional cooking represent two different approaches to home dining, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages. Analyzing these methods through the lens of cost and convenience provides insight into why individuals might

Condo renovations

Condo renovations Dos and Don’ts: Expert Tips for a Successful Project

Embarking on a condo renovations journey can be both exhilarating and daunting. Imagine transforming your living space into a stylish haven that reflects your personality and meets your needs. While exciting, the process can be full of challenges and unforeseen hiccups. That’s why we’ve gathered some condo renovation dos and don’ts from the experts to

Terrific Hair

Terrific Hair Means Tamanu – Earth to Body

Curly, straight, thick, thin, kinky or silky, tamanu loves and makes terrific Hair.  And scalps. Nutritionally dense yet gentle, tamanu is an effective and versatile nut oil. It stimulates, helps promote growth. prevents hair loss, reduces scalp itch and irritations and adds a natural sheen! Make tamanu a part of your hair and scalp care

Understanding the 4 legal process after a DUI Crash

A single mistake can have serious consequences, especially when driving under the influence. The aftermath of a DUI crash extends beyond physical harm and property damage. It involves a complex legal process that may feel overwhelming. As a responsible citizen, it’s vital to grasp the legal system and your rights in such situations. This blog

personal injury lawyer

Pedestrian accident: How a personal injury lawyer can help you

Accidents involving pedestrians can be life-altering. You could be walking down the street or crossing a street. A vehicle’s sudden impact can change everything right away. If you’ve found yourself in such a situation, you might be wondering how to move forward. This is where a personal injury lawyer steps in, offering crucial help and

Mtltimes Subscription

The latest on what’s moving Montreal and the world – delivered straight to your inbox