Who is Darren Frost?
“Frosty is perhaps the most dedicated and intense comic I've ever had the pleasure of sharing a stage. He brings out the best and worst of me. As a friend, he is ferociously loyal and loving. I couldn't wish for a better friend.” – Kenny Robinson
"I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Canadian comic more committed to the edge, to transgression, and to the brutal honesty of his act. Such is his talent that he gets audiences to go to some scary places they would not visit with anyone else" – Mark Breslin
“Following Darren Frost is like trying to do a puppet show in Manhattan five minutes after tower one fell.” – Mark Christian Walker
“Frosty knows the business of show. I believe more than people give him credit for. Put Darren Frost in charge of The Comedy Network and I guarantee people would start watching it again. He believes in Canadian content and giving people a chance to create that content.” – Johnny Guardhouse
“Darren has always been that hardest working comic who no matter what will always stand up for what he believes in.” – Kate Davis
He is a fantastic father and a kick ass husband. I never would have thought all those years ago, that he and I would be married with kids. Mind blowing. Frosty more so than me. – Johnny Guardhouse
Darren Frost venomous onstage and the sweetest person off stage! - Mark Christian Walker
So here is the quote for Darren. I am using a good roast joke in this quote. "Darren Frost has been a solid Pre-9/11 friend in and outside of the comedy world. He has been fair and helped me out more than anyone I have known in this unfair comedy business. But often he can hold a grudge more than he holds his kids. He is a very funny “no bullshit” guy with a heart bigger than any audience will ever see." - Dave Martin
The first time the author saw Darren Frost perform stand-up was sometime in 1992 or 1993, he was killing with the “Happy Clappy Fun Boy” persona. Dressed in silly pants and a Gazoo t-shirt. Then in around 2000, I saw Mr. Frost standing on stage at the Famed Toronto Yuk Yuk’s Tuesday Amateur Night arms crossed for 2 hours wearing a super hero costume and being “Fudge Boy” with a scowl on his face while his buddy Jack Norman introduced 15 newbies to a crowd waiting for the amateurs to fail.
Around 2012, I watched Darren perform at a fundraiser for the late great Jo-Anna Downey and he was breathtakingly funny. Dark, dirty, intense and compassionate, Mr. Frost stole the show on a night when every major comic in Canada were in attendance.
I was lucky enough to have lunch with Mr. Darren Frost in May of 2017and peel back the onion to find out Who Is Darren Frost? Talking stand-up comedy with Darren is like opening an encyclopedia of stand-up past, present and future. This man knows his comedy and backs up his knowledge with a fierce work ethic and unmatched intensity.
Darren Frost was born and raised in a town called Brantford Ontario. His childhood and family life has been the cornerstone of his act for the last 25 years. According to Mr. Frost; “It just switched from my own childhood to me being a father once I had my own. I tend to talk about what is going on with me at any given moment and currently my family is my life.”
After high school, Mr. Frost got a degree in Marketing and Business which has come in handy in the comedy business. “After years of hating myself in marketing, I would have gone back to school and become a lawyer. I have a degree in marketing and business so it helps greatly as no one can ever fuck me over without me knowing they are fucking me over.”
Darren spent his 20’s in his car touring throughout Canada developing his unique comic voice. Along the way Mr. Frost got into acting and has appeared in many big budget movies and television shows including Mr. D and the Hairspray remake in 2007. Darren remembers; “One day Gerry Dee called me an offered me the role as the angry French Teacher, and I never auditioned.”
The early 2000’s was also a boom to Mr. Frost’s television commercial career when he was dominating the small screen with numerous commercials including winning the prestigious Kari award for Best Performance in a Commercial in Canada. Suddenly, the commercial work dried up when producers started to “Google” his stand-up act. According to his wife Brandee and good friend Mark Christian Walker; “Darren’s commercial work dried up because producers could not separate his stand-up act from his commercial work. It was frustrating but my husband stood by his belief in himself and his stand-up craft.”
Cartoon voice work replaced television commercials as a source of income and the acting in small and large screens projects continued. I asked Mr. Frost how he keeps up with his busy schedule of touring voice work and acting. “At various times, one takes the place of another. With the acting that I do for cartoons, I can see an end date coming so I book stand-up for after that. I really try and keep my schedule open to anything and everything. You have to be committed and organized to make it all work and for the most part I do it but it isn’t easy.”
Like most successful stand-up comics, the road to success has not been coated with yellow bricks. There has been major success and major disappointment, but Darren has survived in the cut throat world of Canadian stand-up comedy. Brandee states; “Darren is his own worst enemy and is hyper critical of his stand-up.”
Who writes 40 hours of uncensored material and then moves on to all new material? Who does the most open mic shows 23 in Toronto when there was hardly any open mics in the early 2000’s? Who does 22 shows at Just For Laughs 2005 in Montreal?
The answer to these questions and many more is Mr. Darren Frost!
“Darkness Within”: 40 hours of uncensored comedy DVD Box Set? He is the only comedian in Canada to independently release four full length stand-up comedy DVD’s. Darren states; “Because no one had ever done it before in the world to my knowledge. My past is the past I try and write for the future so all that material is dead to me. I still do it from time to time but I want to get new thoughts out and purge the past and that is what the box set does for me. I also concentrate on what I can control not what some booker is looking for that exact moment in time. So, I started doing the have a new hour thing before it became the norm and the thing to do.”
“Once again no one ever thought about doing it when I did the record for Toronto shows. I did 23 and my goal was 25 and this was a time where there was not the same number of venues like it is today. Would I do it now fuck no but then I wanted to do it because it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Mr. Frost remembers; “The just for laughs thing was simply finding a comic that could kill clean or dirty with different material which not a lot of comics have the ability to do. I did regardless of if they aired my gala or not.”
Both Mark Christian Walker and Mr. Frost himself verify that Darren’s nasty show performance at Just For Laughs 2005 was the only performance every censored by the festival. Darren has never again appeared at Just For Laughs even though he killed at all 22 shows including the nasty show.
Many more accolades have followed including Halifax Comedy Festival, Stromlo and the CBC Debaters, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. the Seattle International Comedy Competition 2007 and a Comedy Now special. For three years he was the host of the popular weekly Sirius XM radio show Anything Goes which has been nominated two years in a row for a Canadian Comedy Award. He was twice awarded top ten comedy moments of the year by a Toronto entertainment magazine.
Mr. Mark Christian Walker says that Darren Frost is “Mr. Saturday Night” and can do anything in Comedy. He has a vast toolbox of comedy technique but has not been able to go hit the next level because he stands up for what he believes in and is loyal to his act and his comedy friends. In fact, many club owners & producers seek Darren’s advice and counsel on comics and shows but refuse to book him.”
According to Mr. Frost; “I used to be a lot more outgoing but now I keep to myself. I’m older slower and not willing to play the game as much. It is sad what this business does to its older comics cause in America all the big comics are over 40 for the most part. In Canada, the industry thinks your career is dead after 30 if you haven’t become one of the five they are pushing from year to year. Hey, I got to 45 before I slowed down. It’s been a good run.”
The author, David Reuben, does not agree that Darren Frost has slowed down in fact he is just heating up. He has balance in his life and does not have the crazy itch to be out every night at an open mic. Darren’s wife Brandee concurs; “That when Darren works with Kenny Robinson or other close friends, his love of performing is recharged and he bring people into this energy.”
Mr. Frost is touring with his good friend Mr. Kenny Robinson and sell out venues across Canada. A fun night of XXX Rated Comedy titled "rank n vile".
Mr. Frost states; “Now when I do the rank n vile show with Kenny or take the bull by the horns and do my own tours it is to large crowds cause of LEGWORK. While other comics get hammered and try to finger fuck wait staff I am back in my room sending out posters and press releases. This is not rocket science for every 50 press releases I send I might get one bite. It’s all old school marketing but it still works. It is slowly diminishing due to online and social media but it still is effective.”
Never one to mince words Darren continues; “Now who knows how long I will still keep doing it but I will tell you this. No one can take away my accomplishments. You can say I was a cunt but you can’t take away what I did. Some things no comics have ever done in this country and I have to say that because no one else will. I hate to brag but after 25 years in the biz I noticed that the industry doesn’t have the same rules for everyone. The music should do the talking but it rarely does in this country. So, I have to remind people what I have done or no one will know which is sad but that is life.”
Mr. Frost is loyal to friends and the author has been helped my him numerous times, whether it is a charity show or some advise. Newbie comics have been helped my Darren and even taken on the road with him. The success of young comics like Bobby Mair, Kathleen McGee, and Mayce Galoni thrills him and Darren is always there for the underdog comics. “When I was young my influences were Sam Kinison, Emo Philips, and Woody Allen. As I grew I started to really appreciate guys like Kenny Robinson and Mike Wilmot. I also like underdog comics who I think are hilarious and will never understand why they are not bigger like Rob Ross, Dave Martin and Mark Christian Walker.”
Happily married and raising three preteen sons, Mr. Frost has changed his focus to family. He is up every morning and takes the boys to school no matter what time he gets home from a gig. Darren works on comedy, cartoon, or acting work till 3pm and then picks up the boys. He does not stay away from more for more than 9 days now. According to Darren; Family comes first now, I thought comedy would be my legacy but now I see my children will be my legacy.” Like Mr. Frost said early in his career when a joke worked. “Good For Me”
For More information on Mr. Darren Frost visit http://www.darrenfrost.com/ http://ranknvile.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/darren.frost.581
Mention you found out about Darren Frost on www.thecomedygreenroom.com