StFX alumnus plans return to campus for 25th anniversary
Gerard Francis Donoghue (Gerry Dee) was interviewed by Yanik Gallie on February 7, 2019. Donoghue’s work in comedy includes being a sports reporter with The Score, an actor in Trailer Park Boys: The Movie and a co-creator of the tv-series Mr. D. The humorist from Scarborough, Ontario is going on a tour across Canada starting March 1 in celebration of his 20th stand-up anniversary.
Donoghue is about to perform stand-up on the road again and his creative writing process still happens without the audience in mind. “If it sounds funny to me, that’s my starting point. Hopefully it will translate to the audience,” Donoghue affirmed.
The cross-country tour is scheduled a few months after Mr. D’s season finale on December 19, 2018. After filming eight seasons of Mr. D, Donoghue said “the success speaks for itself. We had a great team over eight seasons. One of the challenges was writing fresh and funny scripts. I had a great group of writers that were equally a part of the project. Without them, it doesn’t go eight seasons.”
The episode workshop was one of the more fun parts of the tv-series. Donoghue recalled, “we would sit in a room about six or seven of us and throw out ideas. We would think about what characters were doing in their own stories. Everyone would discuss around the table, it was a very collaborative effort. Someone would jump on one of the ideas and slowly start to build a story from there.”
Donoghue cherishes his relationship with co-creator Michael Volpe, “he was someone who believed in me right out of the gate. We’re lifelong friends now. He was a great collaborator and equal partner on the show. We still keep in touch, so we might do something down the road.”
Getting to know the Volpe family was “one of the best parts of that show” for Donoghue. He attributes networking with Volpe and comedians Mark Forward, Jonathan Torrens and Emma Hunter as a reason for the longevity of Mr. D’s comedic success.
A couple of winters ago, I saw Donoghue perform stand-up in Saint John, New-Brunswick. Donoghue made a hilarious entrance on-stage wearing a Sea Dogs jersey and was quick on his feet the rest of the show. By “trusting my instincts as a writer and actor,” Donoghue swiftly moved his audience to humility and laughter.
Donoghue is a graduate of Physical Education with honours at StFX. He completed the degree as a concurrent program with Education in 1994. “It was a great time for me, I miss it dearly. My 25th anniversary is coming up this year so I’m going to get out there soon,” he hinted.
Donoghue will perform stand-up at Halifax, Nova Scotia in the superb Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on April 23. It is his only scheduled tour appearance in the province so far. Additional Canadian cities for the tour have yet to be announced. Follow Donoghue on social media for more information on his whereabouts and projects.
Tickets to the Halifax show are now available for purchase at gerrydee.ca. A ticket for the performance on April 23 costs from $49.50 to $79.50 depending on the proximity of seat to stage. Celebrate the last day of exams with friends at this timely stand-up performance.