Arts & Entertainment
4 min

Debra DiGiovanni and Darcy Michael, best friends for now

Comic duo take their tour and friendship to Ottawa

BFFs Debra DiGiovanni and Darcy Michael are performing in Ottawa on Oct 24, 2015. Credit: Submitted

Queer comedian Darcy Michael and comedienne extraordinaire Debra DiGiovanni are delivering Ottawa a double dose of fun with their Best Friends . . . for now tour.

In Peterborough on Oct 23, 2015, the pair performs at Ottawa Little Theatre the following night. Here’s an edited version of Daily Xtra’s three-way phone interview with the talented twosome.

Daily Xtra: Let’s take it back to the beginning. When did you two crazy kids first meet?

Darcy Michael: We go back about nine years, right, Deb?

Debra DiGiovanni: Yeah, that sounds about right. It was one of the first times that I performed in Vancouver. It was at a club that was only alive for gosh, six months? I know this sounds completely cheesy, but it was just one of those little magical evenings where we kind of saw each other and we made each other laugh and it was a real instantaneous bond. From that night we’ve been as good friends as we are now.

People talk about comics being super supportive of each other but simultaneously competitive. How do you balance those two forces in your friendship?

Michael: We just don’t tell each other shit.

DiGiovanni: (laughs) I’ve perfected silent crying. I’m crying right now, you have no idea. No, I think there’s a small group for each comedian, that you have your people who you can celebrate with. You don’t celebrate with everyone. When something huge happens I know Darcy feels very comfortable calling me and I feel comfortable calling Darcy. Competition is hard and we work in a very hard industry, so I think it’s important to be able to celebrate. It sucks when you can’t tell someone that something amazing has happened. No joke, I’m always happy for Darcy and I know Darcy’s always happy for me.

Michael: When Deb got Last Comic Standing I was just squealing with delight. The night that we got the phone call that Spun Out was getting a full season I got very drunk in Debra’s hotel room.

When Darcy unveiled his new look a few years back he embarked on the One Skinny Bitch tour. Debra, you’re the best person to tell us: Did the weight loss really turn Darcy into a bitch?

DiGiovanni: (laughs) It amplified an already-present bitchiness. There’s nothing better than someone who’s struggled with their weight who kind of conquers it. Someone who has a metabolism the speed of light who just eats chips you’re like fuck, I hate that person. But someone who gets his shit together through his own doing and exercises and deals with having celiac, there’s something joyous about that. You can’t be mad at someone who works really hard and gets results. But the question about bitchiness: it’s impossible to be bitchier than Darcy. I try, but I put my back out trying.

Michael: You’re going to slip a fucking disc. I should say I was one skinny bitch. I chubbed out a bit again. I had nachos for breakfast today because I was up at 6am for a radio interview. Tomorrow I’ll go to the gym.

DiGiovanni: A good balance.

Darcy, you recently tweeted that talking to a 21-year-old made you feel like you should check your mailbox for an old age security cheque. Debra, are you more down with young people than Darcy?

Michael: Yes.

DiGiovanni: I feel old a lot but I also have this unfortunate situation where I’m emotionally like a 17-year-old girl all the time. I was watching The Voice last night and I had a moment where I realized I’m in my 40s and I have to stop loving Adam Levine so much. I think that my gift is my curse and my curse is my gift. I’m just still at heart a teenage girl who wants to talk about boys and stay up late and have an extra soda pop at dinner.

Michael: How many minutes did we spend at Fran’s Diner in Toronto looking at Justin Bieber pictures on Instagram? Forty minutes?

DiGiovanni: That is classified information.

Let’s talk about diva requirements. What are your biggest pet peeves about life on the road?

Michael: I would say the company, but I guess Deb may get upset about that.

DiGiovanni: Burn. It’s hard to eat on the road, it’s hard to sleep, any sort of normalcy is impossible. It either feels like drudgery when you’re alone or with a group of people you didn’t sign up to be with. But when Darcy and I tour together you kind of slip into this vacation mode, which is fun, but dangerous. You eat too much, you drink too much, you do things too much. It makes for great shows, but there’s a lot of coming down afterwards. A lot of shaking wrapped in a blanket.

Michael: (laughs) I was going to say I prefer a hotel room with a kitchen. I take sage with me. That’s my big, weird diva requirement.

DiGiovanni: You take it everywhere you go.

Michael: I do. I’m always ready to smudge the shit out of assholes around me.

What kind of topics will you be delving into at your upcoming Ottawa show?

Michael: Me, me, me.

DiGiovanni: I think with Darcy and I, the reason our show goes so well together is because we’re both really honest talking about what we’re doing right now in our lives. One of the unwritten rules is don’t do jokes on the same topics. Don’t do jokes on this, you’re going to step on my jokes. I never worry about that. Darcy and I might have jokes that are in the same neighbourhood but it’s not the same street. It’s always going to be different slants.

Michael: I agree. We both draw from our own worlds so we’re not comics talking about specific topics. It’s more stories about our own lives. If you come to the show you’re going to leave feeling like you know everything you need to know about both of us.

DiGiovanni: It’s like a therapy session but more laughing.

Michael: It’s like we found a way to get therapy, but charge people for it.

DiGiovanni: Yes! God, we’re geniuses.