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Gerry Dee Talks New Book, Tour Dates, & Life As A ‘Sports Dad’

Beloved Canadian comedian Gerry Dee has spent decades bringing laughter to audiences across the country. After breaking into the world of on-screen comedy with his TV series ‘Mr. Dee,’ which ran from 2012 to 2018, Dee became the host of Family Feud Canada in 2019, and a regular on the series Animal Control in 2023. However, his most significant role to date is being ‘Dad’ to his three kids. As an active ‘volleyball Dad’, Dee organized the inaugural BioSteel All Canadian Girls Volleyball Games in 2023 to promote and support the sport in Canada.

In 2024, Gerry Dee has a big year ahead: he’s touring in support of his recently published memoir ‘Funny You Should Say That’, and he continues to film for Animal Control and Family Feud. In January, all seasons of Mr. Dee were released on Netflix Canada. We caught up with the fast-moving comedian to discuss his recent achievements and his insights for the year ahead.

It looks like 2023 has been a crazy year for you. Have you had time over the holidays to relax with family?
My 3 kids are very into volleyball, so it keeps us busy. December is a little quieter because of the break. I’m actually heading out west next week to start filming Season 2 of Animal Control.

And your birthday falls right on New Years Eve, December 31st. What does that night look like for you?
I was born at like, 11:40 pm… when I was younger my birthday was a bit more social. But now I’m probably in bed by 10:00, so I don’t really get much benefit from it (laughs).

How has your time on Family Feud been this year? Hopefully it will return for a 6th Season?
I love it. You know, when I was asked to do it I was very excited, because it’s such an iconic show. And now in season 5 this year, I’m just really starting to find my own groove. It’s such a great job, and I get to meet all these great people from across Canada.

Mr. D has just arrived on Netflix Canada this month. What does this accomplishment mean to you?
It’s been a really cool moment. When the show launched in 2012, we weren’t sure where it would end up. CBC was so great to us, and now to have it on Netflix is next level. In some ways, you know, the show has been done for 5 years and it still keeps going. I think people are really finding it now… with TikTok and everything else.. it’s really getting a second wind. I feel like it never really got its first wind or took off on a universal scale. So it’s exciting.

And Animal Control has moved into Season 2. What can you share?
We’re just up to our shenanigans again. We have a tremendous casting crew on that show lead by Joel McHale. It’s a great group of actors. I’m a smaller part of it, but I’m excited to get back to filming.

Tell us about your new book. It’s been 10 years since you wrote your first one, what inspired you to put pen to paper again?
I never dreamt I’d be an author… I was approached to do a book in 2012 and so I did. But the second book, I reached out and thought maybe it’s time to do another. I don’t think I’m much of an author, I’m a comedian that wrote a couple books. There is a big difference between me and Margaret Atwood. This new book is more of a memoir, a personal anecdote. I’ve shared stuff in the same way I share things on stage. So you get to know me better, and there’s a few laughs too.

 

 

Even though you wear many hats in your professional career, your biggest title so far is ‘Volleyball Dad’. You organized the first BioSteel All Canadian Girls Volleyball Games, a showcase of the country’s best 16-and-under and 17-and-under female players. Why did you decide to get involved and promote girl’s volleyball?
I used to be very involved in minor hockey, and I used to run a hockey school and camp back then. I always felt it was nice to recognize and bring together the best players. We get the most excited at the World Championships or the Olympics because we get to see the best compete. So I thought, why not do something for girl’s volleyball, which is much bigger than boy’s volleyball? There’s more to be done in Canada with volleyball for both boys and girls. I have a son that plays too. But this was an opportunity to give girls recognition. I come from a golf world too, so the tournament is kind of like The Masters. You get an invite, there’s no try outs. I had some great sponsors too, lead by BioSteel, Mizuno Canada, Greenpark Homes, and Burrow Canada.

A lot of people chipped in to make this happen. I’ll be doing it again next year, and trying to find a new title sponsor. It’s a
great opportunity … according to our data we reached 62 million people. CBC was a great partner, they streamed it live
with commentators for us.

Your three kids are in their teens now. What’s your best advice for any dad who is making the transition from ‘dad’ to ‘teen dad’?
That’s a great question. That’s probably a whole book right there (laughs). We are very lucky that our kids are great. It’s a tough age for both boys and girls. We’ve all been through it, it’s a different world now with social media. We still have a long way to go, but we’re so happy that our kids have managed to stay in sports and stay focused on some goals. I think the biggest thing is getting your kids into stuff young. They don’t always land on something, but keep trying, because having a passion for something will just keep them busy and keep them out of trouble, you hope. So whatever it is, just get them to do something to help keep them on track a little bit. You’re trying to raise them to be good kids, but you’re also trying to raise them to be good citizens. I think it all ties into how you keep them busy and how you find a balance for everything. That’s what the book will be called.. balance and busy. Now that’s my next book in 10 years.

TORONTO, ON – MARCH 28: Comedian Gerry Dee attends the NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics at Scotiabank Arena on March 28, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

I’ll watch for it. As for the next 12 months, 2024, what are your hopes for the new year?
I’ve got a new show that I’m working on, I can’t say much about it, but I’m hopeful that it comes to fruition. I hope my stand
up tour can start taking me to the US and other places around the world. But most of all, I just hope my family stays
healthy and happy. Physical and mental health is all I care about at the end of the day. That everybody is healthy. There’s a
lot of ups and downs in life, and a lot as a teenager and a kid, so I try to focus on that stuff as much as I can.

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