BRENT BUTT as Brent Leroy
Brent Butt was born and raised in the small farming community of Tisdale, Saskatchewan (population 3000). As the youngest of seven children, one does what one can to be noticed, and at an early age Brent discovered that being funny was a good way to get and hold people's attention. When he was 12 he watched a stand-up comic on television and immediately told his mother that he was going to become a comedian. She replied, "Fine, just do it outside."
Brent honed his comedic storytelling prowess at the local coffee shop, where he and his friends would sit around - literally for hours at a time - discussing everything from world domination, to the most comfortable kind of socks. Brent insists, "Coffee shop conversation was a great way to learn comedy. It's relaxed and conversational and the jokes build naturally without forcing them.
In high school Brent performed stand-up comedy at variety nights and drama nights. When he was 20 a comedy club opened up in nearby Saskatoon, and Brent moved to the city to pursue a career in humour.
He moved through the ranks incredibly quickly, and within four months of his first amateur night appearance, he was offered a tour on the road. After a year he was headlining in Toronto, and after only 4 years, he was showcased in his own gala performance at the world's largest international comedy festival - Montreal's Just For Laughs. Brent became a regular at Just for Laughs as well as appearing on numerous national and international television programs. Aside from his own national special Bedtime with Brent Butt, he has been seen on CTV, Global, A&E and HBO. His one-hour TV special entitled Comedy Now-Funnypants earned him a Gemini Nomination in the category "Best Comedy Performance". He was named "Best Male Stand-Up in Canada" at the 2001 Canadian Comedy Awards and was subsequently selected to represent his country on the World Comedy Tour in Australia. He followed that by hosting the Just For Laughs Asian Tour in Singapore. His invitation to appear on the CBC 50th Anniversary Special entitled All-Star Comedy Homecoming secured his reputation as one of the funniest people in the country, as he performed alongside the most noted comedic minds from the past 5 decades of Canadian entertainment.
In 2007, he, along with his Corner Gas co-stars, took home the Gemini for best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series. In 2008, Butt was honoured to join the ranks of Bob Newhart, John Cleese, John Candy and others when he received the Comedy Network Sir Peter Ustinov Award at The World Television Festival in Banff.
Over the years, Butt, who claims he never really went after an acting career, landed bit parts in various productions such as 2000's Duets, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, the Bob Saget directed TV movie Becoming Dick, and episodes of The Kids In The Hall, The X-Files (1998) and Millennium (1997). Who knew he was cooking up his own series, Corner Gas, set in the tiny town of Dog River with an odd bunch of archetypal characters? "It came together pretty quick, if you don't count the 17 years of being on the road as a standup" says Butt of the series for which he's presently writing the sixth season.
Brent not only stars but also wears several hats as creator, writer, showrunner and executive producer. He has also directed several episodes. Corner Gas has become a Canadian icon. "For the first time in a generation, the highest-rated sitcom on primetime schedules here is a Canadian show, not American."(Hollywood Reporter-March 2005). Corner Gas remains one of the top ranked Canadian programs in any genre this season and ranking as high as No. 12 on Canada's Top 20 list of programs.
Corner Gas was nominated for a 2004 International Emmy Award surviving three rounds of preliminary judging from over 500 judges in 38 countries. Corner Gas has been nominated and won numerous Gemini Awards over the years, Canadian Comedy Awards, Director's Guild of Canada Awards, Writers Guild of Canada Awards and was voted "Funniest Show on TV" by TV Guide readers. Brent Butt has made his home in Vancouver for the last 15 years, and continues to tour the country with his unique brand of stand-up comedy, performing in theatres and as a much sought after corporate entertainer. "I love what I do." Butt says. "I still look at it as just having coffee. Only now it's with a thousand or so people at a time."