He's best-known for the hilarious personae he played on Kids in the Hall – from a quirky cop to Cabbage Head – but when beloved Canadian funnyman Bruce McCulloch performs this week in Vancouver, he'll be playing a decidedly different character: himself.
Directed by One Yellow Rabbit's Blake Brooker and featuring long-time collaborator Brian Connelly of legendary Toronto bands Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and Atomic 7, Young Drunk Punk chronicles Mr. McCulloch's life, from his early days as a young punk in 1980s Alberta to his flannel-clad stretch in grunge-era Toronto to his pajama-donning days as a family man in the Hollywood Hills.
Along the way, he tells darkly hilarious – and mostly true – tales, among them a bad sex weekend with his wife, getting mistaken for a pedophile at a junior high production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and feeding his dying father applesauce then later dropping his ashes in a Safeway dumpster.
But Mr. McCulloch says the show is anything but a vanity project; rather, after years of working behind the scenes writing film and TV scripts in Hollywood, he was keen to reconnect with audiences – many of whom also feel like they don't quite fit.
"I reveal stuff about myself, but it isn't just about me. It's about everybody and their weird things," says Mr. McCulloch, who is working on a companion book. "The lucky thing about finding Brian and doing Kids in the Hall was I thought I was the only person who felt the way I did – and then I realized there are thousands, if not millions, of people, and that we're all outsiders."
Mr. McCulloch also weaves in comedy and a couple of songs, and sometimes works in tales that are à propos to the city where he is performing – like the time he was in Vancouver and a friend of his, who was a nurse, made him take ecstasy.
But at bottom, he says, Young Drunk Punk is part success story, part cautionary tale.
"I say in the show, 'Never trust a man who says "Trust me,"'" quips Mr. McCulloch, who, despite his colourful history, is reluctant to offer life advice. "I don't know how good my advice would be. I think it's more, 'Don't do some of the things that I've done.' "
Young Drunk Punk is at the Firehall through Saturday.