Charlie Adam takes on comedy following retirement from teaching

Charlie Adam of Honora Bay had the audience in stitches during his Island debut held last week at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre. photo by Michael Erskine

LITTLE CURRENT—Not only is there life after retirement for former high school teacher Charles Adam, but that life is turning out to be pretty darn funny—on purpose. For the last one-and-a-half years, Mr. Adam has adopted the patronymic of Charlie and taken to the stage as a comic.

“For years I have been writing funny things in a journal-style book,” he said. That collection of anecdotes and humorous musings has formed the basis for his comedy writing. “I shortened them up and did some editing,” said Mr. Adam. The result of that trimming and slimming began with a five-minute clip, but grew to about “20-25 minutes that I am pretty proud of.” He also has a good sized body of work that he is still working up.

They say that in comedy timing is everything, but Mr. Adam notes that “you can have all the timing in the world, but if you don’t have the material you aren’t getting very far.”

Mr. Adam went to the four-day Sudbury Laugh Out Loud event, where comics with five years or less experience onstage can take to the mic. “I said to myself ‘I am going to submit a video of the stuff I put together’,” he said. “I got accepted.”

While he didn’t finish in the top three “I did well, I wasn’t in the bottom either,” he said. That performance, and his video, led to two shows in Windsor, a show in Thunder Bay and a stint at Toronto’s Yuk Yuks Comedy Club for new talent. He is also now a regular at the Sudbury Comedy Scene held at Sudbury’s Little Montreal on the last Friday of every month.

Mr. Adam is now also trying his hand at promotion, and his first comedy show took to the stage at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre on Friday, June 24.

The Expositor dropped in to catch the action and soon discovered aching ribs were on the agenda.

The lineup included Cole Leonard, Phil Rawson and 18-year comedy veteran Michael Hamilton, one of the co-hosts of Sudbury’s Comedy Scene. Mr. Adam emceed the event.

“I always told jokes to my students to try and get them to pay attention,” said Mr. Adam. Likely, the material he used in the classroom was somewhat different than his Friday night material—which featured a routine focussed on men’s fixation with women’s chests.

“I have the nickname Mr. Clean,” said Mr. Adam, and in comparison to most stand-up comics’ acts, his language is most definitely PG-13. Even the other acts at the comedy evening at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre were relatively tame in language.

For a first time event, Mr. Adam can rest easy on his producer chops, as the venue was very well attended. The comedian hopes to make the comedy evenings an annual event.

As to the question of ‘was he funny?’ the answer has to be a resounding yes. Not Tonight Show calibre just yet, but pretty darn impressive for an almost novice.

“At nearly 60-years-old, I am not only the oldest comic in Northern Ontario,” he teased the other comics while running his hand through his just beginning to grey locks, “but I also have the best head of hair.”