So four guys walk into a comedy club . . . and end up making a hilarious and sentimental film about their attempts at performing stand up comedy. Mark Myers is about to become a father for the first time, but before his baby arrives, he sets out to accomplish two of his goals: make his own full-length film, and try stand up comedy. His three friends Sean Menard, Shane Cunningham, and 71-year old Bert Van Lierop accompany him on this journey.
The film’s title is a play on words, as it hinges on the delivery of a newborn baby, and the fact that in stand up comedy, the delivery of a set is what makes a comedian funny. Before starting this film project, Myers worked at Muchmusic, talking with musicians and working on reality TV shows.
He dreamed of making a movie before turning 30, and while he was unable to meet that deadline, he still invested all of his efforts into this project. The movie opens with Myers’ brother describing a dream he had about Myers’ film being called Deliver, and thus the seed for the film’s title is planted.
Despite the film’s premise as an exploration of the world of stand up comedy, there are many poignant moments as well. The many faces of fatherhood are explored, as Menard’s father is diagnosed with cancer just as Myers’ baby is about to enter the world. While it does deliver many laughs, the emotional moments in the film are just as important to the pacing of this unusual story.
“I have had people tell me that the film had an unexpected amount of heart,” Myers says, “ It made [them] laugh, cry, or even want to be a better dad.”
The documentary was filmed primarily in the Toronto area over the span of three months, with interview footage from the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal constantly spliced into the movie. The crew was lucky enough to interview some famous comedians for this project, including greats such as Russell Peters and Bryan Callen. Several comedic sets are also featured in the film that are sure to elicit laughs from even the most stoic viewers.
Myers cites Steven Spielberg as an inspiration behind his production of the film, as he made it with a general audience in mind. “A lot of people can relate to the film,” Myers says. “There is no exact demographic [that it’s targeted to]. I just want to make people feel something.”
The candid narrative of Delivery paints an uplifting portrait about comedy and life. Cunningham is a charming yet socially awkward comedian, Van Lierop is downright hilarious, with many good stories to tell, and Menard’s final moments with his father are simply heartbreaking.
Finally, the passion that Myers has invested into this film really shines through, as he proclaims about his work and his stand up set, “I don’t want my kid to be proud of what I said, but rather to be proud of what I did.”