British Columbia

Comedian plays illness for laughs with one-man show on testicular cancer

Ten years ago, Richard Lett was diagnosed with testicular cancer. What better way for an actor, comedian and poet to reflect on it than launching a one-man comedy show about it?

One Nut Only runs for five night at the Havana Theatre in Vancouver from May 21-25

Richard Lett hopes the one-man show will inspire other men to think more about their health. (Richard Lett)

Ten years ago, Richard Lett was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

And what better way for an actor, comedian and poet to reflect on it than launching a one-man comedy show about it?

One Nut Only opens Tuesday at The Havana in Vancouver, and Lett, 59, says the performance is about putting a light spin on a heavy subject — looking for the humour in a bleak situation but also delivering an important message about men's health.

"We [men] die of everything faster and younger," Lett told On The Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

"Men's lives are valuable to the world but also to themselves. And that's one of the things I think that gets lost with guys."

Richard Lett prepares for an ultrasound as part of his cancer treatment. (Richard Lett)

Lett's journey began 10 years ago with what started with a doctor's visit for ringing in his ears.

However, he wisely mentioned to the doctor that he was feeling pain in his testicles as well.

"He gave a little squeeze and immediately started writing in my chart and I said, 'Is that unusual?'" Lett recounted.

"He said, 'I've never felt anything like that before.' Not the answer I was hoping for."

Ultrasounds, surgery, and 40 rounds of chemotherapy followed. Lett had to lose his left testicle.

"Old lefty had to go. That was a deal-breaker, trying to kill me."

Comedian Richard Lett, missing his hair after numerous rounds of chemotherapy. (Dale Tidy)

These days, Lett says the cancer is behind him. The show came later as what he described as part of his recovery.

He's hoping the show encourages men to look after their health better.

One Nut Only runs for five nights at the Havana Theatre in Vancouver from May 21-25.

Listen to the full story:

Ten years ago, Richard Lett was diagnosed with testicular cancer. What better way for an actor, comedian and poet to reflect on it than launching a one-man comedy show about it? 11:22

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