“Bill,” said Jon Dore — right into the mic on my digital recorder so I would hear it many months later– “when you are listening to this back, put ‘The Story of Everest’ into  YouTube. It changes everything.”

Dore, who is back Friday nights on HBO Canada with new episodes of Funny as Hell, was talking about the moment he realized there weren’t just three rules to comedy, or a golden pyramid of funny, or whatever else might have been taught at comedy school.

What opened his mind up to all kinds of possibilities was what he calls “The Story of Everest,” or “The Thimble Collection,” a sketch on Mr. Show. That series was a mid-’90s sketch comedy series from HBO. Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, John Ennis, Tom Kenny and Jay Johnston were among the performers.

Before he saw Mr. Show, Dore says he was rather conventional as a young stand-up performer. “I just wanted the audience to have a good time no matter what it took,” he says. “Then I slowly discovered TV shows like Mr. Show. That’s how you do comedy. It doesn’t have to come in threes; comedy can come in 11s. you don’t have to face the audience, you can face the wall.  All of a sudden there were no rules and that got very exciting to me.”

Check out the Mr. Show “Everest” sketch here. It is hysterical.


Read more here at this feature I wrote about Dore and the series for The Canadian Press.

Watch Funny as Hell with Jon Dore Friday nights on HBO Canada or on demand at HBO GO.

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