Comic couple to get married on stage — if he wins the marriage debate
Tim Gray, Dana Smith to appear on CBC's The Debaters, wedding may ensue
Half of a local comedy couple is preparing to get married on Sunday — while the bride is preparing to talk her way out of it.
Dana Smith and Tim Gray will take part in CBC's The Debaters at Club Regent Casino Sunday afternoon, and the stakes are high. The pair are arguing for and against marriage, and if Grey wins, the couple will get married immediately after the debate, on stage.
The two comics recently sat down with Up to Speed's Ismaila Alfa to talk about Sunday's show, which starts at 2 p.m. as part of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival.
The following interview has been edited for clarity.
Q: I'm going to start with you, Dana. Why are you doing this?
Dana: Well, I mean I think it's every little girl's dream to be on The Debaters, you know.
Q: You're pretty confident in your argument here, I'm assuming. Tim, why would you say you guys are doing this?
Tim: Because I really want to get married to Dana. I love her so much [laughter] and this was the only way she said she would do it.
Dana: A little back story: Tim has already proposed to me years ago and I said no. To be fair, I had already told him that I didn't want to get married, so it's his fault, entirely his fault.
Q: Let's back it up to that moment. This is around the time I first met Tim. You weren't in Canada when he asked you.
Dana: I was on a Fringe [Festival] trip to Paris with some buddies, and Tim flew out to surprise me, and surprise me he did when he —
Tim: Paris, France, not the Paris of the Prairies.
Dana: — Paris, France, and he proposed to me on the streets of Paris —
Tim: Yeah, with the Eiffel Tower glowing up in the background —
Dana: Oh, it was beautiful. It was beautiful, if I wanted to get married. [laughter] And if I had not told him just one month before that I did not want to get married!
Q: Oh, here we go. So how will you feel, then, Dana, if Tim does win the debate?
Dana: You know what? I just think that we'll be putting something to bed. It'll be like, 'Let's just get this over with,' because I don't think he's ever going to stop. You know what I mean?
Tim: For Dana, it's like doing the dishes.
Dana: Yeah, exactly. Like nobody wants to do it but somebody has to get it done.
Q: I'm just loving this. So Tim, what are your arguments for marriage?
Tim: Well my arguments for marriage is, and Dana can't contest this, is we've been together for seven years, we love each other very much, we're going to be together for the rest of our lives, I love her more and more every day. Every day that goes by, week that goes by there's something new to fall in love with —
Dana: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [laughter]
Tim: And why not? Why not get married? It's like going to Las Vegas and not getting married, right?
Q: So Dana, what are your arguments against marriage?
Dana: Well I mean, we're just in such a good place already. You know, we're gonna be together forever no matter what, you know. I don't have to marry Tim. I already get his health benefits, you know?
Q: So Tim, if you win this debate, you two are getting married on stage at Club Regent. What will the wedding ceremony look like?
Tim: It'll be fairly short and sweet but we will have, we have bridesmaids and groomsmen lined up. We've got some outfits, I have my ring. It's going to be … about 10 minutes in length or so. Lara Rae, who is the artistic director of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, she's going to be officiating it. Dana and I are going to do our own vows —
Dana: If. If. If. All of this —
Tim: My ducks are in a row.
Q: Dana, what do your family and friends think of all this?
Dana: You know, I think that they're really, really excited because I feel like they know that this is the only way that I would ever go through with it, the only way that I would ever do this. So I think that they're just happy that it's happening in some way.
Q: If Tim wins, you two will have one of the best proposal stories ever — one of the best wedding stories ever.
Tim: It's like a two-part proposal story. It would be a great web series.
Q: It might seem like a publicity stunt. What do you have to say about that?
Tim: Dana and I are comedians, to say that it's not entirely, partly serving the fact that we want to make a name for ourselves in comedy, uhh, I mean, The Debaters is one of the best jobs to get as a comedian and we were trying to, banging our heads against the wall about how can we get on this show, and it was Dana's idea actually that we do this premise. And she was like, 'Yeah, I want to marry you so much, Tim —'
Dana: Ha, yeah, okay.
Tim: It was her idea.
Dana: It was my idea. And to the publicity stunt thing, I say aren't all weddings a bit of a publicity stunt?
Q: She's still building her argument here!
Dana: I just thought of that on the spot. I'm going to put that in my debate.
Q: You're so quick on your feet, Dana. So does the crowd have to bring wedding presents just in case?
Dana: No, absolutely not.
Tim: No, we'll take loose cash.
Q: You know this is so fun and I was really looking forward to speaking with both of you. Because as I'd mentioned, I'd met Tim in Toronto —"
Tim: On my way to Paris —
Q: And you got stuck in Toronto for a bit.
Tim: I got stuck in Toronto.
Q: And I was like, 'This is so romantic, what you're doing.' And now I'm talking to both of you and I'm like, 'This is so romantic, what you're doing!'
Q: Tim, Dana, good luck with the debate. I can't wait to hear how it all goes down.
Dana: Thank you so much.
With files from Ismaila Alfa