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From psych unit to stage, Newman tells jokes in Surrey, White Rock in May

Jamaica-born comedian says he tries to ‘bring the crowd together as one’
Touring comedian Cedric Newman will perform on stages in Surrey and White Rock this month. (Photo: screenshot)

Some people might recognize Cedric Newman from CTV’s Amazing Race Canada a couple of seasons ago, but his real career is in comedy.

The veteran joke-teller is on a tour of B.C. that includes shows in Surrey and White Rock in the last half of May.

Newman recently moved from Toronto back to Montreal to help care for his ailing mother, who has dementia.

That’s no laughing matter, of course, unless Newman tackles the subject himself.

“I’ve talked about my mother’s dementia in my show but generally I do observational comedy, you know,” he said in a recent phone call, and was quick to give an example: “You know, I had an ex-girlfriend who was bisexual and she turned bipolar, and I didn’t get a chance to say bye-bye, just things in my life.”

He tries not to touch political jokes.

“The most I did was in Winnipeg where the potholes are so bad, you know. I said that if a Ukrainian came around here, was Russia here first?”

Newman was contestant on Season 8 of Amazing Race Canada with his son, Tychon-Carter Newman. They father-son duo didn’t win, but the experience gave the comedian fodder for his show.

He’ll perform May 17-18 at Yuk Yuk’s Surrey (at Elements Casino, Cloverdale) and then twice on Saturday, May 25 at Oceana PARC Playhouse in White Rock.

The Jamaica-born Newman, 53, got into comedy a quarter-century ago, at age 28.

“I worked at a psych unit full-time and took acting classes, and a fellow by the name of Brad said, ‘You’re pretty funny, why don’t you try comedy,’” Newman recalled. “I knew it would be hard, but what he said stayed in my head for years, and I started writing jokes. It took me three years to go up there.

“I do it full-time now,” he added, “but during COVID I had a mechanic’s certificate and went back to work in a garage.”

Speaking of the pandemic, it was hell on performing artists including Newman.

“It’s so funny too, because when I talk to audiences now, they’re very socially awkward because the pandemic made people timid,” he revealed.

“As a comedian I try to bring the crowd together as one, you know, so the 20-year-old and the 60-year-old are able to come together as a group,” Newman elaborated. “I feel probably closer to 60 but my stuff can appeal to the younger cats, too. I want them to say, ‘Yeah, I can relate to this,’ no matter who they are.

“The hard part right now is that with younger people, their attention spans are so short. I’ll be talking and then something will distract them for a second and I’ll go, ‘Hey, it’s not TikTok, I’m over here talking,’ you know. It’s crazy how short the attention spans are. I can’t talk to kids anymore.”

Tickets for Newman’s show at Elements Casino are $25 on In White Rock, seats are $30 on the website, with guest comedians Rachel Schaefer, Harmeet Singh Kohli and Lisa Person.

Garry Yuill, CEO of Icarus Capital/Yuk Yuk’s Media, said Newman’s current B.C. tour is part of the company’s expansion of shows in theatres across the province.

“We are thrilled to showcase Cedric’s new material, aligning with our mission to elevate Canadian comedy and connect with audiences across the region,” Yuill said. “This also offers a sneak peek into our forthcoming touring endeavours.”

Eric Y. Lapointe, COO of the comedy company, said Newman’s performances in White Rock cap “a really successful year with shows averaging well above 350 sales per evening. We couldn’t be more excited to have a remarkable conclusion, with Newman headlining the marquee event, and we look forward to an exciting second season in 2024-25 for White Rock, and now Abbotsford.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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