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Comedian Ron James is back in Duncan with his Pedal to the Metal show

The Canadian comic makes a welcome return to the Valley on April 30.

Canadian comedian Ron James is returning to Duncan on Sunday, April 30.

You can catch this live-wire legend at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre starting at 7:30 p.m.

James is delighted to be returning to the Valley’s big theatre.

“I love that stage. I’m serious. It’s always a live room. It’s always packed. I love playing Duncan. It’s a good town,” he said.

“And, I think I’ll be staying there for several days, too. We’ll be going back and forth. It’s a great time to come to B.C. I’ll get an extra month of summer.

“It’s been three years since I’ve been out there. I think the last time I played there my series had just been cancelled and so it was great to get out there and commune with all the good spirits that started me off in this game. But I’ve written three national specials since then: I write a 90-minute special and then I cut it down to 43 minutes for the TV show.

“So, you’ll be getting a whole new show out there. I like to throw in a few ‘Best Of’ things, too, because people like those but for the most part it’s 85 per cent new. That’s a good thing.”

James travels across Canada quite a bit but not as much as you might think.

“I take the road in chunks. I’ll do B.C. this spring. I did Atlantic Canada in November and December and then I wasn’t on the road this January to March. I was doing individual gigs instead. That was good because it was a tough winter out west. But for the next year, I’ll be going full tilt.”

Or Pedal to the Metal, which is the name of the comedian’s current show.

“This will be the last one of Pedal to the Metal, so I’ll have to find a new title,” he said. “But it’s been great. It’s sneaking up on 20 years I’ve been running my trapline across this country. I’m now about to start writing my ninth one-hour special. It has been a victory in baby steps, though. I’ve built it one kilometre at a time. The timing was right to hit the country when I did pouring the foundation in Canada with Terry McRae.

He did his first tour through B.C. in February 2001-02.

“What a run that was. The only benign corner of the country I had on that run was Duncan. I damn near met my maker. I was stuck on mountain roads a yeti wouldn’t wander. It’s been a great adventure. I’ve gotten rewards from people and places in this country that are far more profound than just a pay day.”

It keeps him going.

“To step outside the myopic perimeter of the Big Smoke and embrace a wider world of wonders is just such a reward. They’re so star-struck here in Canada with everybody who’s famous in the States. They’ll prostrate themselves at the altar for ex-pat Canadians who’ve done well but meanwhile me and mine are pulling a living from the country one kilometre at a time. That’s who I tip my hat to is these legions of solo acts who bravely muster their muse to travel within the country and make a living here.

“I like this country and I like touring it and a thousand people laughing in Duncan sounds exactly the same as a thousand people laughing in Los Angeles.”

James is going to be in Duncan just before a provincial election and he’s gleeful about the timing. He always sits down ahead of his show to get a little local background and this will only add to the fun of that for a comedian who loves skewering politicians with his particular brand of needles.