The Arrogant Worms played to a near-full house at Casino Regina Saturday night. In one way, it’s not surprising, since they are the guys who wrote the original version of ‘The Last Saskatchewan Pirate’ (covered by Captain Tractor about 15 years ago), and have built up a small but loyal following thanks to incessant cross-Canada touring for the early part of their careers. They’ve got a few fans.
The Arrogant Worms are the last vestige of the kind of humour I called ‘Safe For Morningside’ (you know, Peter Gzowski’s old show. Don’t tell me you don’t know who Peter Gzowski is …). Lorne Elliot and Brett Butt were the best at it, but the Worms are pretty good. It gently makes fun of Canada and Canadians in a bygone era – the rural-small-town Canada that we thought was out there in the 1970s and 1980s. “Laughing at ourselves” constituted at mocking the size of our country, cows, and whatever else … listening to the Arrogant Worms is like imagining your high school class cut-up at your 25th anniversary of your high school reunion, if you went to a high school with a bunch of suburbanites who ended up in middle management.
Which is fine. If you can still find a few chuckles in the 18th time you’ve seen a Red Green episode on The Comedy Network, the Arrogant Worms are for you. Witty and safe, it’s not as if the trio will suddenly release a thrash-metal album or walk on stage one day pissed and tell the audience something about sex and travel – in that order. They interact with the audience fine – they joke about their tour, which is taking them from Winnipeg to Moose Jaw, to Regina, and then to Lloydminster (social climbers), and they joke about the domed stadium (“Hey, just use this room!” “Right, with very little players …”). All in all, it’s safe, predictable, warm, and a little bland. Just like the country they mock. (Except for the warm part. At least last night)