Worming their way into the Canadian consciousness

Arrogant Worm Trevor Strong has finally found a use for his psychology degree. The singer from the Canadian comedy band has managed to write a book between gigs. Get Stupid is a self-help book with a twist.

Arrogant Worm Trevor Strong has finally found a use for his psychology degree.

The singer from the Canadian comedy band has managed to write a book between gigs.

Get Stupid is a self-help book with a twist.

“Ignorance is bliss, so why know yourself?” said Strong from an Alberta hotel room before an upcoming night gig.

The book also explains how to “smother your inner child” and how to “blame others for your problems,” he said.

It’s tongue-in-cheek – much like the Arrogant Worms music.

Strong met his fellow band mates at Queen’s University in Kingston more than two decades ago.

“We were all in a group called the Queen’s Players that did musical comedy, skits and songs,” he said.

Then three of the members branched off and started doing sketch comedy and songs for campus radio and in local bars.

“But we weren’t very good actors,” said Strong. “So we dropped the sketches and went with what was working.”

Their quirky songs about Jesus’ brother Bob, the last Saskatchewan pirate and the day Tim Hortons ran out of coffee, started to get some broader radio play.

“And one day CBC called us and asked our name because they wanted to play one of our songs,” said Strong.

But the guys didn’t have a name.

So, based on the adjective-noun combo that had worked for so many other bands at the time, like the Tragically Hip and the Barenaked Ladies, the trio sat down with a list of adjectives and a list of nouns.

“And we just stared crossing them off,” said Strong.

They ended up with the Arrogant Worms.

It stuck.

Now, 20 years later, the group is still singing about all things funny and Canadian.

“We try to get at least one song about Canada on every album,” said Strong.

“It wasn’t until later that we realized how unusual it is to have so many songs about Canada.”

It obviously made an impression on Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. During one of his space flights, he took an Arrogant Worms’ album with him to space.

On another mission, his wife chose the Arrogant Worm’s song Dangerous to wake up the astronauts one morning, during the mission.

“It’s definitely something we weren’t expecting,” said Strong.

Touring for two decades, the Worms have covered a lot of Canada, but have never gone to the Northwest Territories, Nunavut or Newfoundland.

“Newfoundland already has lots of funny people who sing songs,” said Strong. “They don’t need implants from Ontario.”

The trouble with touring in Canada is everything’s so far apart, he added.

“You drive eight to 10 hours, then the show is the relief.”

The Arrogant Worms write lots of songs about Canada because it’s home turf.

“Most comedians write about what they know,” said Strong.

But the Worms give local politics a wide berth.

“We decided early on to steer clear of social commentary,” said Strong.

“And we don’t do anything topical because that only has a short lifespan.

“It’s not our thing.

“Our goal isn’t to change the world,” he added.

“We just want to make people laugh.”

The Arrogant Worms are at the Yukon Arts Centre on March 16 at 8 p.m.

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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