Dan Roberts of Crash Test Dummies fame appears to have another entertaining rival in his family.
The Roberts clan was in front of their TV Sunday night to watch eight-year-old son Sidney's appearance on ABC's America's Funniest Home Videos.
Sidney's mother, Sheri Kidd, sent the video to the show's website, afv.com, around Halloween last year. She says they were just notified the video, shot by Dan, featuring "Sidney getting the bejesus scared out of him," was chosen to go to air.
Says Dan: "We were at the Halloween store near Polo Park in Madison Square at a yard display where an innocent-looking little girl is supposed to pop out like a devilish ghoul." Sidney, who's quite a ham, was trying to get a scary display to work, tromping on the floor triggers and making impatient "C'mon" gestures with his hand to his ear — but nothing was happening. Then mayhem ensues.
The family's not expecting a big cheque for the video. "I don't think we're finalists or they would have flown us out there," says Dan.
But AFV deemed it a hilarious video all the same, and Sidney's popular uncle, Dummies frontman Brad Roberts, who lives in New York City, was notified to catch it. "He'd be mad if he missed it!" says Dan.
Is Sidney showing showbiz tendencies? Says Dan, who plays bass for the Dummies, "He's a good singer and loves an audience and he's a very funny guy. He comes by it honestly from my father and his father and Uncle Brad."
THE LADIES ASSOCIATION OF WITTICISM & JOCULARITY: It's no secret the Winnipeg comedy scene is dominated by young men — about 50-strong, a good showing for a city this size. Unfortunately, the dozen or so female comics seem to come and go.
If 30-year-old standup vet Melanie Dahling has her way, many new comedians will graduate from her classes for female comics, six at a time, and start balancing the male-female ratio on city stages.
Dahling, who's also an actress (Customer Relations, Tales from Makeout Point, Vinnie's Tale and Euphoria), has graduated from the sex-and-female-problems brand of comedy. She plans to help students try a breadth of topics, work up their concepts and come up with solid acts that appeal to a wide audience.
Sunday classes begin March 1 with a performance-evaluation night at the end of the month, for $125. For more info, call 204-228-9874.
TWO-HORSE OPEN SLEIGH: Jason Syvixay and his Downtown BIZ gang, who hosted an evening sleigh ride to show off downtown Winnipeg's new spots last week, was so excited he stood up with the owner of Don Bowden Hay Rides and cheered the horses. Meanwhile, 21 members of the media, local tourism types and city-planning students rang their cowbells and waved at passersby.
Syvixay's plan was to introduce the crowd to spots such as Nick's, Rudy's Ice Bar and Carbone. Spotted on the sleigh ride: Ron Cantiveros of the Filipino Journal; Jason Wikis and Brenlee Coates of Pegasus Publications; CBC's Katie Nicholson, Laura Glowacki, Josh Ginter and Kaj Hasselriis; CTV's Karen Rocznik; Winnipeg Free Press books editor and wine writer Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson; reps from Tourism Winnipeg such as Cody Chomiak and Gillian Chester; and city-planner types such as James Cook, plus most of the Downtown BIZ gang.
NICK'S — A TREAT: Even though the brand-new restaurant at 287 Broadway is still partly shrouded while construction continues, Nick's has been open for three weeks. It looks like a casual diner but the delicious, healthy food is made by real chefs, namely husband-and-wife team Nick Graumann and Ana Danaskin, plus their popular cook, Rico Morales-Morales.
Nick and Ana met and fell in love in cooking school in Charlottetown, so their food has a Maritimes influence. Even if you've turned your nose up at vegetarian food before, do try the vegg-o-rambo sandwich. "It's a manly sandwich," Graumann says proudly.
WINNIPEG'S NEW ICE BAR: Every week for the next two months, the white-tented Ice Bar outside Rudy's Food & Drink is open for partying Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, with sofas, tables and a huge bar all made of crystalline ice. Yours truly posed the streamlined Stephanie Voyce on the dazzling ice divan, vamping on an exotic fur.
Rudy's served sleigh riders fancy drinks and sophisticated tapas-type foods in the ice bar — and people were encouraged to dance in their scarves and tuques.
Got tips, events, special events going on? Call the tip line at 204-474-1116 or write Maureen Scurfield c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, Mb. R2C 3BX.