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Canadian comedian brings "God is a Scottish Drag Queen: Holiday Special" to Washington

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Photo courtesy of Mike Delamont
Photo courtesy of Mike Delamont

After delays due to the pandemic, comedian Mike Delamont will bring his award-winning show "God is a Scottish Drag Queen: Holiday Special" to the Washington Center for Performing Arts in Olympia this holiday season.

Delamont, who is originally from Victoria, BC, has been doing standup comedy for 10 years and sketch comedy for about 17 years.

"I was always a theatre kid in high school and kind of stuck with it and started doing the fringe festival circuit in North America right out of high school," Delamont said. "I enjoy being on stage and being able to entertain people. I love creating shows and figuring out the... craft of it and all the behind-the-scenes stuff that the audience doesn't get to see."

Delamont's performances have allowed him to travel across the globe, but in March of 2020, everything was shut down and he could no longer perform in person. Since then, the comedian had to cancel 350 shows in six countries.

"I was able to do a few little shows in the fall of 2020 — very tiny, socially distanced, small shows — and then things shut back down again, and they've only just started. Probably [just] in the last month, I've gone back on the road," Delamont said.

During the shutdowns, Delamont did what many artists did: he switched to online performances. After conducting a handful of Zoom shows, he concluded that comedy doesn't always work well when done virtually. He didn't enjoy those shows as much, and he felt like his audience wasn't getting what they wanted at that point.

During fall of 2020, he released a pandemic version of "God is a Scottish Drag Queen," which was filmed in front of a live audience and was posted as a film special on his website. He also released it as an album and a digital show. Delamont has created several versions of the performance; the holiday special edition is the most popular.

Photo courtesy of Mike Delamont  

"I was doing a monthly cabaret show, and there was always a through line of some plot that went through all the sketches, and that month — I don't know why — we were doing a battle of the bands between Jesus and Satan," Delamont said.

"If you look at the Sistine Chapel image of God, he's wearing a gentle pink negligee — it's very feminist. It's like a rom-com, when the boyfriend sleeps over and wears the mom's robe, and at the same time, the face is so angry. So [the guy who created the character Ria and I] really liked the idea that this very angry character was so gently dressed and the juxtaposition of that."

From there, the idea for "God is a Scottish Drag Queen" was formed. The first night Delamont performed it, he wore a fiery red wig and what he describes as Lady Gaga glasses, but instead of a Scottish accent, he first tried an English one.

"The English accent felt too strict, like a headmaster," Delamont said. "I changed the wig to a black bob and glasses at the tip of the nose and a Scottish accent, which really worked — if the character was mad, you know they're in on the joke."

Delamont began brining the character back on stage every month thereafter.

"It's the character I've done the most. I liked it the most, so I decided to create a one-hour show of that," Delamont said. "I certainly didn't think when we created the character over 15 years ago that I'd still be doing it now."

A fan of Christmas
The comedian is a huge fan of Christmas. He explained how most performers pull from the same four Christmas stories, including A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker. Then a question entered his mind: What does Jesus think about his dad's birthday?

"The idea of the original show was that God would come down and set the record straight on things," Delamont said.

"The nice thing about this show is that there's very little religious content in it," he added. "It's very themed, but it's very holiday. It has strangely become the most popular show in the franchise, and it's my favorite."

According to Delamont there are 17 major holidays between mid-November to mid-January. So his character talks about Christmas, Hannukah, Saturnalia, Yule, Jim Carey's Grinch, eggnog, and everything in between, including what really happened at the birth of Jesus.

"The nice thing about this show is that it's a comedy — it... feels like that's what people really want right now," Delamont said. "People are really... stressed, and things are a little broken these days. It seems that if people could get out for a couple of hours and get out in the world and have a giggle and a rum or eggnog, I think it'll do the world a good."

"Maybe don't bring the kids, but you can bring grandma. It's a nice escape... a welcoming and inclusive escape," Delamont said. "It's a nice way to ring in the holidays that is not the same four shows that everybody does every single year."

"God is a Scottish Drag Queen: Holiday Special" will take place in Olympia on Dec. 3 at 7:30p.m. For event and ticket information visit www.washingtoncenter.org/event/gisdq-a-christmas-special.