Feeling burnt out after eight years pursuing a part-time career as a stand-up comic in Halifax, Dan Hendricken returned to his home province of Prince Edward Island with plans to concentrate on work at an island brewery rather than his comedy.
Ironically, though, while so many other artists found themselves without work when the pandemic hit, being on PEI at that time was a bit of a blessing.
“When COVID-19 hit, there was no better place to be if you are a stand-up with pretty much everything open, and I found myself getting back into it almost immediately,” he says.
Fewer restrictions on PEI may have meant more opportunities to perform, but they didn’t typically allow for developing new material. So, Hendricken is once again packing his bags and leaving island life behind for Nova Scotia.
“I want to go back to Halifax to do weekly open mics and start the process of writing a new album,” he says.
As Hendricken knows, that process can take time.
“I started performing comedy eight years ago, and after a certain point, I built up an hour that I was proud of and decided to record it,” he says.
The result is Last Call.
Set to release digitally on November 5 on Canada’s Comedy Records label, the live album recorded at Charlottetown’s Trailside Music Hall highlights Hendricken’s reputation as “the golden retriever of a human being.”
“That is a bit of a joke,” he says. “My friends kept calling me that because I had long hair and a big beard, and I’m just a very happy-go-lucky kind of guy.”
The description also refers to Hendricken’s comedy style. Steering clear of any real controversy in his routines, Hendricken prefers one-liners and short stories over things like politics.
“It is all very lighthearted,” he says. “It is a good way to give people a heads-up of what’s in store for them.”
Hendricken’s path to recording Last Call began growing up watching stand-up on television.
“I always watched it religiously on television,” he says. “And when I first went to Halifax, I started going to the Yuk Yuk’s open mic and decided to give it a shot. After two or three times, I got a laugh or two, and now it is a big part of my life.”
With his return to Halifax following the release of his debut album, it will be almost full circle as he continues to make audiences laugh.
Audiences will get their first opportunity to see what Hendricken has been up to as he will headline two shows at Halifax’s Good Robot Brewing Co. on November 12 & 13.
Dan Hendricken’s Last Call will be released digitally on November 5 on Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music and more. Visit comedyrecords.ca for more information.