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  • Writer's pictureDavid Reuben

Daryl Makk

On The Road Again!

I recently had lunch with Mr. Daryl Makk while he was in Toronto performing at Absolute Comedy. Daryl was the first Western Canadian based Stand-Up on The Comedy Green Room way back in 2001. It is always great to catch up with an old friend.

If you look up the definition of Stand-up Road Warrior then you will find Daryl Makk's photo and biography. Mr. Makk's story is one of travel, travel and more travel.

Mr. Daryl Makk was born in Edmonton Alberta and only lived there till he was six years old. Daryl's dad worked for a company that moved him with every promotion. From age 6 to 18 the Makk family was on the move to Calgary, Winnipeg, Regina, back to Winnipeg. By grade 12 Daryl was in his 8th school and back in Calgary where he graduated as a straight "A" student.

Young Mr. Makk was the skinny new kid in school who avoided being bullied by using humour as his weapon. Daryl remembers; "the constant moving and travel helped prepare me for the road and new places. I was always the new kid. Mom had a great sense of humour and influenced me".

Fast forward to the early 1980's in Winnipeg where the Canadian Comedy Boom was starting to spread its wings. The late great Kerry Telmage was running a comedy show in a small room in Winnipeg and Daryl always wanted to try stand-up. Well, Daryl tried stand-up and found his true calling. For 2 years he worked in and around Western Canada learning the stand-up ropes, but by 1986, Mr. Makk had to drop out of stand-up do to family commitments. Daryl states "my new wife didn't want to be part of the entertainment world. So, after 2 years I dropped out for 7 years. I returned in 1993 right about when the boom was over".

Returning to stand-up in 1993, Daryl won a comedy completion in Winnipeg and started working professionally as a stand-up comic. No longer the skinny new kid in school, Daryl is a very athletic 6 foot 3 inches but now used his gift of humour to re-educating the sheeple of the joke at a time. In 1997, Mr. Daryl Makk relocated to Calgary where he still resides when not touring the world.

"Daddy Makk" as he is known to both friends and foes is a major influence in the growth of Western Canada's comedy scene. His delivery is very laid back and friendly yet intelligent style. Daryl says; I have never heard it described as such. I guess being the new kid I developed an easy way to talk to strangers and that just morphed into my stage style".

Mr. Makk has toured in Canada, Costa Rica, Europe and Australia and finds that the common thread in all audiences is that they love to laugh. Daddy Makk comments; "for the most part people have a similar outlook on many subjects. I have found some regional differences that do make some jokes only work in certain areas. It comes down to reading the crowd and knowing where I am at the time. When in a new town it is important to know you are the fish out of water and are now in their tank. Embrace it". Daryl Makk favourite place to travel to is Australia where the people are great to hang with.

Season 8 of "Comedy Now" in 2005 kicked off with Daryl's episode which David Reuben president of The Comedy Green Room had the pleasure seeing being taped. It aired on CTV and is in reruns on The Comedy Network.

Mr. Makk's kindness to up and coming comics is legendary and the Western Canadian comedy scene is the major beneficiary. James Moore, founder of "Comedy Monday Night" says; "there would not be such a strong comedy scene in Calgary if Daryl was not as generous with his time, and knowledge". Both out of town and local newbies are welcomed by "Daddy Makk". James Moore states; many new comics that relocate to Calgary start out living at Daryl Makk's home".

As James says; "Daryl has so many tools in his comedy arsenal that he can play to any type of crowd". In fact, in September 2015, James and Daryl were doing a cross Canada tour and made a stop in Ottawa. On this night James was hosting and Mike MacDonald was the special Guest Middle Act. James remembers; Mike MacDonald destroyed and got a standing ovation. Most comics would be intimidated but "Daddy Makk went up to close the show and also destroyed and got his own standing ovation".

"Daddy Makk has been on CBC radio and XM satellite radio often airs his first album "Herding the Sheeple". His comic influences are George Carlin, Bob Newhart and Steve Martin and when starting out in Winnipeg Daryl was lucky enough to work with and learn from some major touring acts.

Daryl Makk opened for Engelbert Humperdink. Emo Phillips, John Wing Jr., Bob Marley, Bob Saget, Derek Edwards, Ed Byrne, Chris Titus, Mike MacDonald and Harland Williams to name a few. The author, David Reuben, posed the question of how he has changed over the years as a performer and person. "Over the years I feel as though my mind has opened up to many aspects of society. Having to relate to different audiences around the world has given me a much broader look and approach to many topics. And over the years I have also learned to relax more on stage with less fear of forgetting my material and just keeping it flowing like a continuous conversation filled with jokes".

Daryl's sister Shelley told the author, David Reuben, that as a young boy Daryl was always quick witted and very bright. "The family always expected young Daryl to do something in academics and that the family had no history in show business. However, Shelley also states; our mother had a great sense of humour". Shelley remembers that the first time she says her brother on stage she did not know what to expect. "I really admire my brother for how hard he has worked at stand-up comedy and what a great performer he has become".

Mr. Daryl Makk has combined his love for the outdoors with his love of comedy. Many of his tours are done by Motorcycle across Canada. In fact, he offers an "Introduction to Touring Workshop" to Motorcycle dealerships across Canada. These workshops cover topics such as the proper way to tour by motorcycle for the budget minded consumer or the lover of high end gear.

"The Planet Tour" was a Web-TV series that follows "Daddy Makk" with his Motorcycle as his home & office where he pushes his gear and limited space to the max. Mr. Daryl Makk believes; " You haven't seen the planet until you've viewed it through your own 2 wheels". A book on Daryl's life on the road is in the works.

With a full schedule of comedy shows and writing projects, Daryl Makk is a busy man who camps in the summer and goes skiing and takes long hikes in the winter. "I love to do long days' outdoors and get away from the Matrix of society. It cleanses the mind and more people should do that in my opinion".

Whether you see Mr. Daryl Makk on a Motorcycle, or in a Comedy Club stop and say hi. Daryl Makk is one of the nicest people in Canadian Comedy.

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