Hes a comedian who professes not to tell jokes. Rather, Daniel Packard gets all the material he needs from his audiences through the raucous and hilarious discourse he incites usually on his favourite topic of sex and relationships.
In that regard, hes less a comedian, more a "Group Sex Therapist." (The pun is definitely intended).
Picture daytime TVs Dr. Phil, but instead of the burly Oprah boosters incessant, metaphor-driven tear jerking, Packard makes use of good-natured ribbing to inspire a cease-fire in the battle of the sexes.
The audience is a key element in his unscripted freestyle performances. Not a believer in the vengeful god standup comic that strikes down anyone who dares speak out, Packard shuns intimidation tactics and willingly takes hits from those who disagree with his train of thought. Literally. Hes known to hand out elastic bands for the audience to fling at him, should they wish. Not as visceral as rotten tomatoes but the sentiment is there.
The unique open discourse equal parts theatre, standup comedy and self-help seminar has won Packard fans on both the comedy and fringe theatre scenes. He was a headliner at the 2004 Vancouver Comedy Festival and a Best of the Fringe pick at both the 2003 Vancouver Fringe Festival and the 2002 San Francisco Fringe Festival.
A guest last summer of Buffalo Bills standup comedy night, hes stepping things up on his return visit to Whistler with a show on Saturday, April 9 in the soft-seat theatre at MY Place, part of the Whistler Arts Council/MY Place 2004/05 Performance Series.
Packard is spicing up the performance with a dose of local flavour by seeking rants/questions about the single life from the Whistler community. The top five questions will be awarded a pair of tickets to the show and the topic/question will be addressed. Questions can be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the deadline for submissions April 4, 2005.
For Packard, the element of uncertainty is part of the fun.
"The idea is to create as much chaos as possible," he has said. "To loosen everybody up and enjoy the beautiful, chaotic, weird moments."
Tickets to see Daniel Packard are $20 for adults, $17 for students and seniors, available at the MY Place box office. For more information call 604-935-8410.
To hear sound bites of past Daniel Packard performances check out www.danielpackard.com.