When Sheldon Elter first introduced it back in 2001, Métis Mutt was an eight-minute comedy sketch about his struggles with drug use and alcoholism.
Elter remembers trying to be edgy with his comedy, but it resulted in a bit of backlash.
“I really think I thought I was being like Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock at the time and just not fully aware of the power of my words,” he told CBC’s Edmonton AM.
“I don’t think I was fully prepared to receive any kind of backlash with the kind of jokes I had been saying — which were a lot of racial stereotypes.”
Now Elter’s show is back in Edmonton after a successful stint in Toronto. It’s now a one-man play that uses comedy to deal with heavy topics such as domestic violence, bullying, racism and shame.
Elter said he has come a long way from that initial iteration of Métis Mutt, which started with a simple realization. “I had to come to terms with what I was saying and the responsibility that I had with saying those words,” he said. “It was just some hard lessons that I had to learn.”
The name of the show comes from the feeling Elter has when he describes himself as Métis, which is an old French term for mixed.
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