Comedy clan brings dad jokes to fore

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Mark Canny has been performing stand-up for three years and now shares his tips and tricks at The Comedy Emporium workshops.
Camera IconMark Canny has been performing stand-up for three years and now shares his tips and tricks at The Comedy Emporium workshops. Credit: Daryl Wilson

Growing up with four older siblings, Mark Canny has always found a place for comedy in his life.

Despite a penchant for cracking jokes, Canny didn’t consider pursuing his passion until his eldest son Jackson showed an interest in trying out The Comedy Emporium workshops.

Just three years later, Canny has become a regular on the Geraldton comedy scene, sharing his hilarious and often groan-worthy jokes at nearly every single Comedy Emporium show.

Now Canny’s wife, Kim, and 16-year-old son, Ethan, have also jumped on the stand-up bandwagon, making for fun-filled family activity.

“With the family all being involved in comedy, something funny will happen and someone will go ‘that’s mine! I’m keeping that’,” he said.

“There’s some things that are hilarious that me and my wife purposely won’t take into comedy because it might be embarrassing to the kids.

“We tend to pay out on each other which is good. We’re in our 40s so we’re just doing it for fun and enjoying it.”

Originally hailing from Mingenew, Canny moved to Geraldton as a teenager after receiving a scholarship to attend St Patrick’s College.

To further his studies in electrical engineering, Canny and Kim moved to Perth in the early 1990s.

After living in the big smoke for 13 years, the family moved back to Geraldton when Kim’s father became terminally ill.

“It was unfortunate circumstances; my father-in-law had cancer and was only given a certain amount of time to live,” Canny said.

“Getting that news, we decided to come up and spend as much time with him as possible.

“As the kids are getting older now and looking at university, we might be drawn back to Perth.”

When he’s not cracking jokes, Canny works as a program manager for the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Although the role doesn’t provide much comedic content, the 46-year-old is constantly jotting down potential jokes on his phone and tablet.

While many jokes never see the light of day, the ones with potential are tried out with The Comedy Emporium crew.

With everyone offering tips and tricks at the workshops, Canny said the collaborative community of comedians in Geraldton was extremely helpful.

“My wife and I have been running the stand-up workshops prior to each show,” he said.

“The last show it really helped out because we had three new people and they got really good support through it.

“Each show we do new material, so usually you’re just refining the jokes in the workshops and then doing them on the night and hoping it works.

“I would never have done (stand-up) if it wasn’t for the workshops and the process of getting that support with developing up your jokes.”

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