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'Pretty nuts': High-energy comedy show coming to area

'My act is typically an hour and 15 minutes and it's like firing me and my story out of a cannon,' stand-up comic Eric Johnston says ahead of March 24 show
Eric Johnston will bring his stand-up comedy to The Queens in downtown Barrie on March 24.

The laughs come to downtown Barrie next week with a show described as “high-energy storytelling."

Eric Johnston brings his UntouchaBULL comedy tour to The Queens Nightclub on Friday, March 24.

The Hamilton comedian has been on his current tour since November and stops in May, just in time for Johnston to get married.

“I’ve been all over Ontario, into Quebec and the States. It's been pretty nuts,” Johnston explained.

The 32-year-old says he has been working as often as he can, knowing that's how comics get the gigs they want and the possible break they need in show business.

During the pandemic, when restrictions were limiting how and when live performances could take place, Johnston was grinding anyway he could.

“I’m a by-any-means-necessary type guy, so even during restrictions I was doing anything I needed to perform," he says. "I was doing Zoom comedy shows, backyard shows, I even ... did a show in a farmer’s field. I sold 150 tickets in the middle of an apple orchard, building a stage out of apple boxes and plywood.”

Johnston admits he hasn't been to Barrie in years, but is excited to do so.

“We’ve just missed Barrie, to be honest, all around there, but somehow it hasn't lined up," he says. "I often do the Muskoka area and so we ended up going right past Barrie. I’m really happy to be in town on the 24th.”

For those who haven’t seen him perform, Johnston describes his show as “high-energy storytelling.”

“My act is typically an hour and 15 minutes and it's like firing me and my story out of a cannon,” he says. “I talk about me, my family, what it's like growing up in Hamilton, and what it's like being a performer from that region. Just about everything.”

His act includes stories of his father, legendary Canadian wrestler 'Bullwhip' Danny Johnson. As with most wrestlers, Bullwhip was known for travelling from town to town to perform in front of crowds of less than 20 people or up in the thousands.

“In the last year and a half, I have put 70,000 kilometres on my car doing stand-up since everything opened up more,” Johnston says. “I always say I live the exact same life as my father. I just don't take the bumps. My dad was pretty beat up after 25 years on the road as a wrestler, but when he wasn’t wrestling he would pick up a job as a truck driver because he missed the road. I’m very much the same.”

The hard work seems to be paying off for the younger Johnston, who just filmed a guest-starring role on a network television show ... but he can't say which one.

On top of that, he lived out every Hamilton performer’s dream this past New Year’s Eve.

“I just did a major New Year’s Eve countdown show on CHCH-TV that had over a million people watching,” he says. “I’m a Hamilton guy and I’ve embraced my city as my own. I always say if The Arkells did it and didn't get stabbed, I can do it. I’ve been on TV in 170 countries, but if I’m on CHCH Morning Live, my phone is blowing up with people telling me they saw me.”

The UntouchaBULL Comedy Tour stops at The Queens Nightclub on Friday, March 24. Tickets are $20 and are available by clicking here.