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  • Writer's pictureDavid Reuben

Terry Clement

Just Damn Funny

In vaudeville to be successful you had to play and instrument, sing, dance, tell a joke and take a pie in the face. Mr. Terry Clement would be a hit in any era, he plays guitar, sings, tells jokes, and would take a pie in the face for a laugh. Maybe even dance if you ask nicely.

I first met Terry Clement in 2000 when I just started The Comedy Green Room and was looking for interesting unknown acts to add to the website. The first time I saw Terry was at an open mic in Toronto Canada. If Pee-wee Herman, Andy Kaufman and Sam Kinison had a love child then boom Mr. Clement. In those days Terry’s act consisted of original comedy songs, a cow mascot on stage with him, and wrestling figurines, Terry Clement would do anything for a laugh, and most nights the audience was shocked, in awe of him, and enthralled by his act. On one occasion he finished his act by walking on the tables in the front row sat down on a customer’s lap and proceeded to eat the customer’s dinner. He also got a standing ovation that evening.

Mr. Clement was born in Mississauga ON and grew up in Brampton ON. His mother was ill throughout his childhood and his father was crippled by addiction. According to Terry, “I developed a certain kind of “gallows humour” to use both as a defense mechanism and as a weapon when I saw fit. I was a terrible verbal bully in my youth, but I attacked everyone fairly.”

Humour was a very important part of his life growing up and early on he learned that laughter is the best medicine. Terry states, “humour had a massively positive effect on my Mother’s life. She lived twice as long as the doctors gave her, and she always credited us taking the piss out her situation for her longevity.”

Terry started performing as soon as he could walk and talk. He was cast as “Peter Rabbit” in Kindergarten and continued to perform in school plays through high school. While in high school Terry joined a band and started writing comedy songs while teaching himself guitar. Terry tells us, “I started singing in a band when I was in high school. The only parts of the songs that I wrote were the melodies and lyrics until I actually started patching chords together myself. This led to an incredible amount of song writing, all pop songs and some that would stick with me my entire career. I learned to play by watching people I liked on TV and imitating them and by using a book that showed you how to make chords.”

When you see Mr. Clement playing the guitar and singing it is very much like watching a rock and roll star. According to Terry, “as a result of being “self-taught” I often make chords that I don’t know the name of or use an alien fingering technique... I strum on the neck of my guitar instead of over the hole... I play with the strap low, like a Ramone.... etc.”

Terry has been performing stand-up comedy for over 20 years and his style is considered to be psychedelic comedy, which is very similar to the first TAPE CASSETTE he released called, “Psycho-coustic Comedy Mayhem” in August 1999. Terry Clements comedy journey seemed to start and end in the same place. According to Terry, “I put little thought into what “kind” of comedy I am doing. This is why I use so many different mediums in what I do. I use drugs to make strange associative leaps in the narrative of whatever I am working on. While I write a lot of what I do sober, I am still convinced that cannabis and alcohol have a profound effect on how I come up with the ideas I do. I guess that after 10 years of being a “comedian” I looked at what I was doing and thought, this is what I do... psychedelic comedy.”

Like most successful entertainers, Terry’s family played a major role in his development as a performer. His late mother and lovely wife were the ones who pushed him into comedy. Enough cannot be said about Terry’s wife Cheryl and her belief in his talents. Terry is a glowing husband when it comes to Cheryl’s part in his career, ‘Cheryl BELIEVES in what I create even when the times come when I don’t. If I ever have ANY type of financial success it will be largely if not mostly because of her. She keeps me on track and working, and she is John Lennon and I am her Yoko Ono.”

The first comedy club Terry Clement worked was Comedywood in Toronto ON which was owned by Hypnotist The Incredible BORIS. According to Boris, “Terry always had the passion and determination. I remember him not having a headshot, so he sent me a polaroid. His comedy could only be compared to an onion - strong and powerful, but as you peel the layers would deliver the laughs, sometimes to the point of tears. His material was carefully planned and would push the boundaries of traditional thinking. He needed a platform, a stage to relay his thoughts and practice his delivery.

Next, Terry moved on to the world-famous Yuk Yuk’s chain of Comedy Clubs which founded by Mr. Mark Breslin. As Mark states, “I never took a chance on headlining him. Terry, like everyone else, started at the bottom and worked his way up. But the qualities I appreciate in him are the originality, complexity, and fearlessness he brings to his work.”

Today, Mr. Terry Clement has achieved personal and artistic successes both in Canada and Internationally. Terry has performed at the Cape Town Comedy Festival in South Africa and the Reading Music Festival in England in addition to spots on the Paramount TV show "The World Stands Up" in the UK. He Terry has also been nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award as well as a COCA Comedy Artist of the Year Award. He has toured across Canada and the U.K. performing at comedy clubs, colleges and "alternative’ comedy venues.

Check out Mr. Terry Clement many projects both in Canada and Internationally, be prepared to be shocked, in awe of him, and enthralled by his act.

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