In some circles he’s known as “Dave Juan.”
In different ones, he’s “The Man With the Magic Inseam.”
And in others, still, he goes by, “Suspect described as 6 ft. 3ish, 175-lbs, dark haired Caucasian male, with an obnoxious, almost aggressively happy smile plastered on his face. Please do not attempt to apprehend as he is considered something of an enchanting dick of a do-gooder who will delight children, charm celebrities and woo your grandmother and her friends.”
So it’s only fitting that the fellah that authorities have finally identified as Dave Kelly will be putting all of those monikers to good use Tuesday night — the unholy Hallmark holiday of St. Valentine’s Day — for one of his Dave Kelly Live events at Theatre Junction Grand.
The show, the 11th such talk show-esque experience with Kelly as the host and local luminaries as his couch co-horts and musical acts, will provide the kindling for what one can only hope will be an evening for …
“For banging?” Kelly says with a laugh when asked if the show was booked for maximum baby-making potential.
“Kind of. Well, we did a show mid-Feb last year and it was just the way the calendar worked out. And then this year it was even closer to Valentine’s and it was, ‘Well, let’s just do it and see what happens.’
“So, yeah, people are going into some serious love in this show.”
How could they not? Joining Mr. Wake-Me, Bake-Me Loverman for the evening will be the equally as smouldering, seduction machine, Calgary country artist Paul Brandt.
In other words, it promises to be an irresistible aphrodisiacal pairing that should push your special night into sexy, sexy overdrive.
“You see me and him on the sofa together — is that the thing that just gets your wheels going?” says Kelly, playing coy. “I don’t know.”
Well, should the sit-down submission to Kelly’s line of questioning not set temperatures rising, Brandt will also perform a duet with his wife that should very much be in keeping with the theme of loooooooooove.
Oh, and the rest of the night, will also feature some foreplay by way of regular Dave Kelly Live segments, including Show and Tell (wink, wink?) with his former guest host on the A-Channel’s Big Breakfast/Citytv’s Breakfast Televesion, Tara McCool — a will-they or won’t-they relationship that got Calgarians out of and back into bed for much of the ’90s and early oughts (spoiler alert: No. They never did. Nor will they ever. Stop asking. Pervert).
There will also be the slightly less so tingly segment with the nonetheless wonderful Mr. Jim Button, owner of Village Brewery and all-around community builder.
Kelly calls him “my Ed McMahon,” who hangs out and adds a chuckle or two to the proceedings.
Over the past year, while the inspirational Button has been courageously battling cancer, they’ve also added a special feature where they fulfill one of the wishes on Jim’s Bucket List, which have ranged from him singing a cappella with The Heebee-jeebees to performing a choreographed dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
“Except it’s fucking bullshit,” Kelly says laughing again. “What I do is just humiliate him every show.”
This week, however, Button is planning on getting his good friend back for all of the bucket dumping so, again, it should be a pretty wonderful night.
Then again, for Kelly, an actor and host who has become a somewhat ubiquitous figure in this city, through his one-man performances, other acting gigs and corporate and special event emceeing, they’re all pretty wonderful nights.
He originally launched the variety show two years ago unsure of what it was, what it would become, but wanting to try something new. It has grown and blossomed into a pretty great night out for the people who knew him from those TV days, those who’ve discovered him through the many onstage productions at local companies and people who were just looking for an interesting and different night out on the town.
And the fact that he’s not only been able to draw out the who’s-who of Calgary stars, including everyone from Mayor Nenshi and Dave Dickenson to Jann Arden and Danny Vacon, has proven to be a pretty winning formula.
It helps, perhaps, that the format — while, true, having been done by others in the city such as the old Hot Nuts and Popcorn crew to the current, popular, Wednesday night faithful Late Night At the Plaza — is one that Kelly has made his own, one that utilizes all of his talents and shows him in his best light while also showing his guests in theirs, perhaps also in a different one that people might be used to.
“What I’m trying to do is combine my theatrical work with my interview work, so that I create a theatrical experience that then affects the interview,” he says.
“So that’s all airy fairy, but the fact that there’s a live audience, the fact that I tell stories and create this dramatic tension or this storytelling thing in the show, by the time I’m sitting down with Paul (for example), he’s been there, he’s been in all of this, he’s not going to be, ‘Now I can just do my six rote answers that I do to any interview for the same questions I’ve had for the last 20 years,’ kind of stuff.”
He continues. “It’s not like I’m trying to Barbara Walters it and make everyone cry, that’s not the point. The point is that I want people in the room to feel like they’re getting a truly, genuinely human experience.”
If the banging and baby-making follows?
That’s just a bonus.
And you’re welcome.
Dave Kelly Live takes place Tuesday night at Theatre Junction Grand. For tickets go to davekellylive.com.
Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for theYYSCENE.ca, and the co-host of the show Saved By the Bell, which airs Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. on CJSW 90.9 FM. Follow him on at Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He likes beer. Buy him one.