Canadian comedian Mike Delamont admits that ‘God is Scottish Drag Queen’ is a blasphemous title for his one-person comedic stand-up show, but he hopes the messages of the show strike a meaning with the audience.
Delamont played the title character, God, in front of a half-packed at the Prince Rupert Lester Center on Jan. 19, with follow-up shows scheduled for Terrace on Jan. 20, Kitimat on Jan. 21 and Smithers on Jan. 22.
“The title very much scares people off. But I think when people come … I hope that they find a deity with a lot of heart and is very silly,” he told The Northern View. The show highlights God’s character as a very human entity with an understanding that he can make mistakes.
On stage, ‘God’ is dressed in a lime green floral skirt, white blouse and matching jacket. ‘God’ explains that he is often asked why he wears a dress but clarifies he wears a 1980s lady’s power suit, which “is masculinity at its best.” It’s a sexy chesterfield, he said, with the shoulder pads being hugs for his neck.
Arriving in Prince Rupert the day before the show, Delamont was quick to pick up on Rupert’s characteristics and had the audience in stitches, making jokes about the local changing weather, potholes or puddles, yellow drinking water and anti-show letters he received from some residents before getting to the city.
While the title may be off-putting to some people it captures the interest of others.
“If people are upset about the show, it is because they have read the title and think it is a comedy that belittles faith. It has never been somebody who has actually seen the show. The people who take the risk and buy a ticket realize that in this show, God is the comedian, not the punchline,” he is reported as saying in a 2020 Okanagan Times Chronicle article.
Prince Rupert theatregoers were kept laughing throughout the performance with interaction and were encouraged to sing ‘500 Miles’ minutes before the comedian even took the stage.
Spot-on with his deep knowledge of biblical references and storytelling in his material, the comedian told The Northern View he has been “athiest since day one,” but has always found the historical side fascinating. It was 15 years ago when comedy became his regular job.
He started comedy in high school and moved on to sketch comedy, where he said his ‘God’ character came out from.
“Then, in 2011, I was at a bunch of terrible jobs and didn’t like my life. I thought, well, I should do something creative,” he said. “I liked this character the most and audiences liked it the most. So I thought, well, let’s see if it has legs. I certainly didn’t think that 12 years later, I would still be doing it.”
His wife grew up in a religious family and writes the material which has a solid theological base but still makes those comedic cuts.
“We write it to be funny and then as time went on, we wanted to add a lot of heart to it. We wanted to have a bit of a message to it. Comedy is the best way to get a message to people because it’s … a spoonful of sugar.”
Using the book of Leviticus as an example in the comedy routine, his message of all or nothing and not ‘cherry-picking’ religious points to use for advantage comes across clearly. So does the anti-homophobic message, as well as the message of self-love.
Delamont said the messages are unique to the individual.
“It’s for you to get - if you get something out of it … I don’t want people to feel the show punches down at anybody. I want to be supportive. I want it to be a safe spot for folks. I want it to be an engaging message.”
The comedian said he constantly revises and updates the material in his shows to keep them fresh. God is a Scottish Drag Queen is one in a series of four, which he hopes to bring to Prince Rupert and the North Coast soon.