Bruce McCulloch premieres Young Drunk Punk in Calgary

Bruce McCulloch of The Kids in the Hall comedy troupe premieres a one-man musical show at the High Performance Rodeo. Young Drunk Punk is a look back at his days growing up in the Calgary punk scene.

High Performance Rodeo show lets former 'kid' relive Calgary youth

Writer, actor and director Bruce McCulloch brings his new solo show to Calgary as part of the High Performance Rodeo. (CBC)

Bruce McCulloch, probably best known for his work with the comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, returns to his former hometown this week to premiere a new show at the High Performance Rodeo.

Young Drunk Punk is a one-man performance that lets McCulloch relive his days on the punk music scene in Calgary in the 1980s. The show runs from Jan. 16-18.

McCulloch spoke to Doug Dirks, host of the CBC Calgary program The Homestretch, Monday.

This transcription has been edited and condensed. 

  • Click here to listen to the full interview from The Homestretch:

Q: Tell us a bit about the show.

A: It's a night of comedy and music and it sort of starts with my days as a young, drunk punk in Calgary to my transformation into guy who wears his pyjamas and has young children.

Q: What was your life like back then here in Calgary?

A: I was an angry, young man listening to rock music, trying to figure out whether I should take a swing at my dad or not. 

Q: What kind of a kid were you?

A: Actually sports were very important to me, I was a distance runner and a competitive weightlifter. But once I found rock music it was a place to put my weird anger from my broken home I think.

Q: Was it difficult for you to open up about your personal experiences?

A: Sometimes I cringe. I tell a story about a bad sex weekend with my wife in this show at one point. I guess as an artist — which I half-laughingly call myself— you have to do that. I 'm also writing a book so I have been kind of going into this material in a different way that is both exciting and kind of creepy.

Q: What was it like to move from Calgary to Toronto and start with the Kids in the Hall?

A: A lot of us went, so it was really comfortable. We were actually lucky, when we were in Calgary we started out at Loose Moose Theatre and we had a show called Late Night Comedy. We actually succeeded quite quickly. Then we went out to Toronto and there was a terrible year or so where we couldn't, as they say, get arrested. That was good for us, we had to come together because we were failing, before we succeeded.

Q: What would that young punk think of the man you've become?

A: I think he would think (I'm) a bit of a boring guy .But he would actually say, 'Wow, you've still got really nice hair.'

Young Drunk Punk runs from Jan. 16-18 at the Martha Cohen Theatre in the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts in Calgary.