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Comedian is an advocate for mental health

Taz speaks to all ages, from pre-kindergarden to college and university students.
Big Daddy Taz kept the crowd entertained with his comedy act at the Happy Nun Café on Saturday, May 21.

FORGET - Making people laugh is a gift. Making people laugh for hours on end is a talent, and Big Daddy Taz has that gift and talent.

He now lives in Winnipeg, Man. but originally came from Saskatchewan. He was born in Regina and grew up on a farm outside Saskatoon.

Taz kept the sold-out crowd on their toes throughout the evening after a delicious meal made by Gayla Gilbertson at the Happy Nun Café.

As a young child, Taz always joked around. It was his way to deal with bullying and teasing he received throughout his life. Although the jokes helped to a point, it did create anxiety for the comedian as a young man.

The anxiety became more intense and soon panic attacks would go with the anxiety and then depression. It was not a laughing matter.

Taz became an advocate for mental health. 

“Men tend to hide depression,” he said. “The stigma that men need to be strong often makes them struggle alone.”

He has suffered from this condition for a majority of his life and decided it was time to end that stigma and talk about it.

Covid, like for so many people, created a challenging time for the comedian. There were no acts to be had due to the restrictions and lockdowns yet the bills continued to come in. This had him struggling with depression.

People would call Taz looking for his knowledge and help. He would freely give this to help others yet struggled with following his own advice.

Often, people go to the doctors for a broken bone, or to the dentist for a toothache, yet avoid the doctor when one’s heart is broken.

“This had to change,” said Taz.

Incorporating mental health into his acts gets the message across, that there is nothing wrong with getting help.

“We all need help at one time or another in our lives,” he said.

Taz speaks to all ages, from pre-kindergarten to college and university students. He has toured all over North America to speak on self-love. Even when we are different, we still have to love ourselves and at times this becomes difficult.

Finding that trusted person to talk to is so important. Just to vent without opinion. When a person has anxiety, often they just need an ear.

The comedian has cracked jokes since he was eight years old. It was natural for him to make people laugh. He got his start while living in Calgary, Alta. He was a bouncer at a night club there and when the opening act did not show up, Taz was approached about filling in. He jumped at the chance and this would be the start of his career.

This is his 31st year of entertaining crowds all over. He has gone as far as Mexico and did have plans to tour overseas but Covid took care of that.

The café has tried for two years to obtain Big Daddy Taz’s talents, but once again Covid would not allow this to happen till now.

It is not just going on stage and telling jokes. One must feel out the crowd and see which lines bring the most laughter to the crowd and go with that.

The comedian often pokes fun at himself while on stage and will also get the crowd involved. The laughter was heard outside the building and was a welcome change, being able to enjoy time with friends, in a relaxed atmosphere.

Taz praised the café for the excellent meal and that he enjoys small towns, as it is great food and great people.

Laughter is good for the soul and the best medicine.