Wawa Boy Hits It Big
Most of the Wawa residents know who Peter Zedlacher is. You would have to live under a rock not know that this talented young man has made it big in the world of comedy.
Recently it came to my attention that Pete has been named nominee for best male stand up comic at this years Canadian Comedy Awards to be held on Monday, October 18, 2010 in Toronto as part of the Canadian Comedy Festival where he is up against 4 other Canadian Comics.
This is a big honor for the local boy who won the award in 2006 (it now sits on his moms mantle where she proudly shows anyone who visits). But when I asked his mom, Lynda, if she was proud of him being nominated yet again she told me “that is an honor, but what I am really proud of is that he was just nominated for a Gemini award in the Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Program or Series! THAT is a really huge honor!” In this case he is up against such big names as Rick Mercer, Wendel Meldrum, Lisa Durupt and Benjamin Arthur.
If you want to learn more or join his fan club you can go to www.zedlacher.com, his official website.
In Pete’s own words, here is his biography:
Stand-up comedian Pete Zedlacher was born in Wawa Ontario Canada, a small mining town in Northern Ontario with a population of 4500 (now 3300) people. Throughout his school days Pete was an excellent student, always bringing in good grades but he took a keen liking to comedy and theatre. After class, he’d be seen rehearsing the school play, hitting the books, then hitting the real homework, watching re-runs of Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman. He knew from a young age he wanted to make people laugh.
After high school graduation, the Wawa-boy had to make a tough decision, study engineering at the University of Toronto or studying acting in New York. “Whenever I’m gigging at a Legion Hall, I remember that I’d made... A terrible decision,” jokes Zedlacher. At the age of 19, he set out for New York City to study at the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
Studying acting for film, television and theatre under the direction of some truly talented Instructors, Pete found himself immersed in creativity. Still, having enough time on the weekends to attend tapings of his show Saturday Night Live. “I must have seen a couple dozen taping during my time in New York,” he said, often talking to cast members after the show and getting advice. Pete graduated at the top of the class and received a standing ovation at the graduation ceremony. “I’m glad my parents got to see that.”
His time in New York was busy, the school years, the auditions and live theater work. Pete worked extensively in New York’s theatre scene, even performing Off-Broadway in the holiday hit, “Merry Christmas Miss Molly”, which was received with critical and commercial success.
Like a lot of Canadian performers working in the United States, legally working south of the border can be a huge ordeal. So, after 4 years in the Big Apple, the Canadian headed back up north, and moved to Toronto which is still Pete’s home today. Soon after arriving in Toronto, the theatrical actor ran into a hurdle. The Toronto theatre scene was very different from the New York scene, often casting performers from within instead of looking at the entire pool of talent. So, itching for stage time and a creative outlet, Pete jumped into stand-up comedy. The first few years of comedy found Pete all over Toronto’s famed comedy scene. “You can perform every night of the week here, sometimes 2 even 3 times a night.” And with that stage time, came a comic talent, and soon stand-up took the reins.
In the 11 years Pete has been performing as a stand-up, his comedy has taken him around the world, from performances across all the provinces of Canada (including Nunavit), the United States, the Dominican Republic, Germany, England, Holland, Greece and even Afghanistan. He’s appeared in his own 1-hour comedy special called “Comedy Now” which aired on CTV and the Comedy Network, which in subsequent re-runs landed the second highest ratings in the series history.
In 2006 Pete’s appearance at Montreal’s famed Just For Laughs Festival aired on CBC, launching his career into another level. Other television appearances also on Open-Mike with Mike Bullard, and SUNtv’s Toronto Show. He’s also a frequent guest on TSN’s Off The Record, and MUCH MUSIC, co-hosting the heavy metal show “LOUD”.
Pete’s acting credits include CBC’s The Sean Cullen Show, The Comedy Network’s Puppets Who Kill, CTV’s Sue Thomas F.B.EYE and roles in the feature films American Pie Presents The Naked Mile and Phantom Punch along side Ving Rhames.
Pete is most proud of his “tour of duty” entertaining the Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan. In April of 2002, making him the first stand-up comedian to perform in the war-torn country.
Performing for the troops has become Pete’s favorite arena of performing, traveling around the World from the deserts of Afghanistan to the top of the world in the North Pole.
Most recently Pete toured with The Just For Laughs Comedy Tour all across Canada and currently works as a writer and performer on Canada’s late night talk show The Hour With George Stroumboulopoulos.