Arts & Culture News

Sugar Sammy Says It's the Comedian's Role to Go After Sacred Cows

International touring comedian Sugar Sammy will perform at the Dallas Comedy Club on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19.
International touring comedian Sugar Sammy will perform at the Dallas Comedy Club on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19. Justine Liphay
When it came time to start a comedy tour in America, Canadian comedian Sugar Sammy decided to start with the red states.

"Whatever comes in and gives me something new to deal with, I welcome it as long as the timing's right," Sammy says. "It can give you some amazing, unique moments that will never happen again."

So, naturally, part of the start of his tour will take him through Texas, including a stop at the Dallas Comedy Club in Deep Ellum on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19.

Sammy is the kind of comedian who doesn't like to stray from the tougher topics, especially during contentious times with an audience that may not swing the same way.

"It's fun to have that discussion, that dialogue as well," he says. "I feel like that's what's missing these days. People commit to one point of view, and they're not going to change their mind on anything, and you end up losing a lot of your humanity.

"I always feel like it's fun to have that dialogue and see those points of view and see if someone else has a point of view. It's not a bad thing."

Sammy performs for audiences around the world and can put on his act in four different languages. The languages and subjects may be different, but Sammy says there's a universal truth he likes to drive through all of them.

"You have to go after the sacred cows," Sammy says. "It's your role to go after the sacred cows no matter what the consequences are. I've never lost sight of that."

The comedian says this is especially needed during uncertain times of global conflict.

"These are the times when people need a release more than ever, and I feel like comedy can be a very liberating experience and have a liberating effect of addressing things," Sammy says. "Comedy can be that first instigator of opening up those subjects to discussion and seeing them under a comedic light that can sometimes make them easier to talk about."
Sammy says he's looking forward to using his shows to learn more about America's culture, especially its political climate.

"Our [Canadian] conservatives aren't the same as your Republicans," he says. "We're right wing but our conservatives on our Canadian right, they're like your Democrats. I think that my point of view, I feel, is a very centrist point of view where it's a roast and I'm making fun of both sides. It's a rare perspective to see in the culture anywhere. Whatever happened to have critical thinking and seeing the good and flaws on both sides?"

Sammy says he's also seen how comedy can be a great unifier by highlighting similarities across cultures.

"There's some stuff that's uniform, but I think that even though my show in France is completely different from my show in America from my show in Canada, there's universal themes that can translate to anybody," Sammy says. "But some things are so culturally specific that they're written for that market. The great thing is the American stuff that I do works in Canada because the world is so exposed to America and pop culture."

Sammy also thinks of himself and his comedy as centrist because "it's just who I am."

"I'm not just going to be a side because all of my friends are on that side," he says. "I think I'm mature enough to be friends with people. It's OK to have a different opinion from someone else and be friends with them and I think people need to be reminded of that. It's my truth and I try to find the funny in everything."

No matter what the subject, Sammy says funny comes first, especially if it's a hot-button issue that can easily cause someone to lose their sense of humor.

"It stays playful and doesn't become preachy or a sermon up there," he says. "Sometimes I feel like people are so adamant about making a point that the comedy gets lost. You have to never lose a sense of that."

Sugar Sammy will perform at 8 and 10 p.m. on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at the Dallas Comedy Club in Deep Ellum. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at Dallas-ComedyClub.com/SugarSammy.
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.