Jasen Fredrickson, left, and John Bisbikos, right, will be performing in Rocanville on Feb. 16.

Comedy show a fundraiser for Rocanville hall

February 9, 2018 10:48 am
Kara Kinna

Fredrickson has roots in Rocanville area, looks forward to performing

Two comedians will hit the stage at the Rocanville Community Hall on Friday, Feb. 16, and one of them—Jasen Fredrickson—has roots in the area and says he is looking forward to the show, which is a chance to raise money for the new hall.

“My mom was born in Moosomin. My family is out there, and Owen (Wilson) is my cousin,” says Fredrickson (Wilson helped organize the comedy show). “We come from a big family with a lot of cousins. Our grandfather and grandmother had five kids, and just in Owen’s family he has three brothers and a sister and they are starting to have kids as well.”

Fredrickson lives in Calgary, but says coming back to Rocanville always feels like coming home for him.

“There is a little bit of down home feel because I summered in Rocanville. I spent a lot of summers there coming from Alberta and travelling out there,” he says.

Fredrickson is in his 24th year of performing as a comedian, and has been a professional headliner for about 15 of those years.

“I’m at the point in my comedy show where I’m promoting shows now, and I’m producing shows,” he says. “I’m leading the professionals/amateur night at Yuk Yuks, and right now it’s going a couple times a month.

“Every comedian has their own style and delivery with their own material. Mine is mostly observational, based on my life.

“The comedy show itself—we’re going to make them laugh, and that’s a guarantee. It’s going to have topics that everyone can be able to relate to, and that’s what comedians should be doing is trying to develop material that is universal, that hits the most people.

“As far as the style, it’s just sort of my own personal observations and weird sort of sense of humor that I’ve developed. I like to make people laugh and that’s really what it comes down to.”

Fredrickson has performed in Rocanville before, and says the show went well, but he hopes he is even funnier this time.

“I think the comedy has become more polished and more refined and I like to think I progressively get funnier each time people see me,” he says.

“I like going to small towns because I think they’re more inviting and welcoming, and there’s a community feel in the smaller towns, plus I have family out there, and you can’t beat that.

“In the city you just get lost, you just become a number and people objectify you a little more.

“I grew up small town and now I live in the city, but my heart is still with the small town. I like to get out of the city and the noise.

“I find it’s more comfortable being around a tighter community like that. As far as the entertainment, it’s at a premium when you go to a smaller community, and everybody goes out to the same thing, and it’s great to see and it’s fun to be part of. When I’m performing that night, I know that’s the event in the area, that’s what’s going to be going on and that’s the place to be.”

Comedian John Bisbikos will be opening for Fredrickson in Rocanville, and Fredrickson says he’s glad to have Bisbikos join him.

“As far as a small-town crowd it’s about putting them at ease before getting into the show, making them comfortable, and then they know what to expect,” he says.

“That’s why I’m thankful John’s going to be there to open for me.

“There are a few things that come into play (when choosing an opening act). As far as the show is concerned, do I think he can get in front of a small town crowd and make them laugh? Is he comfortable enough doing that? How many times has he performed? Does he have the experience in front of the crowds and does he have good experience? It isn’t just getting in front of crowds. It’s getting in front of crowds and being able to make them laugh.

“I’ve performed with John before, I’ve seen him before, and I’ve seen his tenacity and I know his personality. And I have travelled on the road with him as well, and that’s a big part of it.

We are going to be hopping in the car for nine-plus hours together, so can I tolerate this guy, can he tolerate me, are we going to get along, can he drive a standard?” he says with a laugh.

“I like John, and he’s moving his way up the comedy chain and he wants to do this, and I think it’s another opportunity for him where he wouldn’t otherwise be able to perform that weekend.”

Fredrickson has had a number of jobs in his lifetime, including serving with the Canadian military. He currently works in IT at an oil and gas company and does his comedy on evenings and weekends.

What led him into comedy?

“Growing up I’ve always loved comedy and watching comedy on television,” he says. “There was ‘Evening at the Improv’ when I was growing up, and then there were the standup comedians who had specials on where you’d watch three or four comedians. This was even before ‘Just For Laughs’ was putting stuff on TV.

“I’ve always loved watching comedy, I’ve always loved hearing people laugh, I love making people laugh, I love theatre, I love performing, so it’s always been that way with me.”

Owen Wilson, who is Fredrickson’s cousin, and who is organizing the comedy show for the Rocanville Community Hall Committee, says the committee thought a comedy show would mix things up a little bit.

“We’re still working on fundraising for the hall so we can’t just always have a cabaret, we wanted to switch things up a little bit. We wanted something a little bit different than a band,” he says.

“We printed 300 tickets and it would be great to sell all those, but anything 100-plus is going to be a good show.

“It just supports the hall and the community. It’s just another evening out.

“Every dollar is a good dollar. If we could raise a couple thousand it would be great.”

Wilson says Fredrickson’s last show in Rocanville went over well.

“Him and another guy came last time and they both put on a pretty good show,” he says.

The show takes place Friday, Feb. 16 at 8:30 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm.

Tickets for the show are available at Conexus Credit Union in Moosomin and Rocanville, at Decker’s H20 in Rocanville, or by phoning Owen Wilson at 435-9596.

All of the proceeds from the show will go toward the Rocanville Community Hall.