Manitoulin Island comedian Charlie Adam to headline for Mike Bullard

Comedian Charlie Adam.

LITTLE CURRENT—While he thoroughly enjoyed being a high school teacher on Manitoulin Island, Charles Adam has found a second career that has become an obsession for him.

“I loved teaching, but being a comedian is an obsession, an addiction,” stated Mr. Adam. “It is certainly lots of fun. It’s one of the most addictive things I’ve ever done in my life.”

Mr. Adam recently finished in a first-place tie at the Timmins Comedy Festival qualifying round (held in Timmins March 12). The Timmins Comedy Festival is to be held at the end of the month, but participants had to win a qualifying round to open for the headliner at the festival. “The reward for the winner of the qualifying round (who was determined by audience members voting) was $250, and to be able to open for Mike Bullard at the festival.”

“I will be opening for Mike Bullard in front of about 285 people at a dinner show to be held April 29 in Timmins and the fellow that tied me for first will be opening The Naughty Show the same night in Chapleau.”

“My comedy is pretty clean, at times sexually suggestive, but  you won’t hear any f-bombs at my shows,” said Mr. Adam, who noted, “I will be performing in Chapleau on April 30 as part of the festival. My wife’s family is from there, so it should be fun performing.”

Mr. Adam has been retired from teaching for seven years. For many years, he has been writing funny things in a journal-style book. “I had a journal that I kept for a long time and would write down things I thought might be funny, mostly based on life experiences.”

“I’ve performed across the province,” Mr. Adam told The Expositor. “The most prestigious show I’ve performed at was the Thunder Bay Comic Festival. I needed to perform 30 minutes of material at that show.”

“The biggest crowd I’ve performed in front of was a fundraiser at the Caruso Club in Sudbury. There were 500 people in attendance and I was one of two or three amateur comics to perform, with the rest of the 24 performers being musicians,” said Mr. Adam.

He has also performed at Toronto’s Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club and in Ottawa four times at new talent shows there.

“I also produce shows too,” said Mr. Adam. “A couple of years ago, I produced a show for Toronto comedian Garrett Jameson and recently for Derek Seguin in Sudbury.

Mr. Adam explained, “it was very tough to get through the pandemic. I did a couple of Christmas parties on Zoom and they went well. But if you don’t receive immediate feedback and laughter from the crowd, it’s not the same.”

Now that the regulations for the pandemic have been lessened, “I think people have been pent up for so long, they are looking for things that they can do out in public that they can go to and enjoy themselves,” said Mr. Adam. “But I find people are still very cautious. In most of the places I’ve performed over the past few months, I see masks on most people and they are still social distancing.”

“Windsor is my hometown, and I’m hoping to have a couple of shows there in late spring or early in the summer,” continued Mr. Adam. “And I’m looking for venues for a couple of comic buddies to bring to the Island.”

 “Long term, I’m hoping to get more exposure and be able to perform more shows. I performed at a show in Thunder Bay (pre-covid), and not long after that I was lined up for gigs in Windsor and Detroit, but this was all washed away when the pandemic hit,” said Mr. Adam. 

“A lot of this business is self promotion and working with other comedians that you get to know on the circuit,” added Mr. Adam.  As a teacher and a precursor to his current career, he had used comedy in class. “I used to tell jokes to my students to get them to pay attention.”