Special to the Parade
Valley Star Awards winners for Comedy Show of the Year 2012, Bernie and Red, are back and will be performing throughout the Valley in the month of January until early February. The husband and wife comedy and music team are returning with a whole brand new show.
Since their first visit to South Texas, Bernie and Red have built a faithful following for their distinctive comedy and for the entertaining musical content of their shows.
“Shows” is the operative word here. Every year Bernie and Red write and produce a new show, so if they are returning to a location, they will always present a new show.
Right now they have eight or nine different shows up and running, including this year’s new show, so check advertising to see which show is playing where.
Like a lot of Winter Texans, Bernie and Red have been married for quite a few years. In fact, they just celebrated their 47th anniversary, having met as teenagers in the 60’s in their home town of Liverpool, England, and yes, they were regulars at the Cavern and saw the Beatles live on countless occasions.
A piece of showbiz history will be on view during this year’s tour. On a thrift store visit several years ago, Bernie found a pair of trousers that were custom made and worn by the famous comedy legend Red Skelton and he’ll be wearing them on this tour. After that first purchase, Bernie began to look for more Red Skelton memorabilia and he has since built quite a collection, some of which will be on display at their shows as well.
Bernie and Red are well known for poking fun at the retirement/Winter Texan/RV lifestyle. Their signature tune, as it were, is “SKI Club,” the story of a retired couple who are Spending the Kids Inheritance (S.K.I. get it?) and it is definitely the most requested number at their live shows. However, in 2011 they added a new number which is already matching “SKI Club” in popularity. Entitled “Walt Across Walmart,” this piece tells the story of a couple who practice their ballroom dancing skills while shopping at Walmart. Set to the tune of “Waltz Across Texas,” this piece hit a nerve with Winter Texans and “due to popular demand” is now available on CD.
An integral part of this show is the very distinctive comedy, a result, no doubt, of their British upbringing, combined with over 30 years of performing to North American audiences.
Although they have lived in Canada since the mid 70’s, they return annually to the UK, a trip which is also an opportunity to “re-charge their batteries” as it were. “There is still a difference between British and American humor,” says Bernie, “and we like to feel that we are able to make the British humor which we feature in our show, a bit more accessible to Americans.”
“The trips to the UK enable us to get back to our roots and the feisty verbal interchanges that are part and parcel of big city life in the UK. It gives us no end of comedy material for our show,” explains Red.
Interestingly enough, it was the big city life that they wanted to get away from when they immigrated to Canada in the 1970’s, and they succeeded, eventually settling on a small acreage and raising livestock and ultimately half an acre of organic blueberries. “I picked over 1,000 lbs of them this summer,” says Bernie. “I’m looking forward to getting on the road and having a rest!”
Although it won’t be much of a rest, with almost 40 shows between now and the end of March and as many years in show biz, there are no signs of slowing down for Bernie and Red. In fact, it could be said that the over 60 age group, who make up the majority of their audience members, is a “growth market.” “We seem to have found a recipe for a funny and entertaining show and the crowds continue to come back for more” says Red. “And as long as they return, we’ll deliver the goods.”
In addition to their Valley Star award, Bernie and Red were also voted Duo of the Year at the F.A.M.E awards ceremony, here in the Valley in February 2012.
You can learn much more about Bernie and Red by visiting their website, www.bernieandred.com
You can also find them on Facebook, just go to Facebook.com/bernieandred.
Pre-sold tickets are available for all their performances.
This year, as they do every year, Bernie and Red are presenting a number of different shows.
See listings in this and other local publications for details.