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                There's no Place Like Home. Talks with Daryn Jones

He's witty and he's unpredictable. Daryn Jones has been keeping busy doing standup comedy, writing, acting, and hosting MTV Live.  This fall, he joins the CBC family as the host of Over the Rainbow, an unscripted search for the perfect girl to play Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's next big Toronto production of The Wizard of Oz.  

We sat down with this Victoria native about being unscripted, pets...and how there really is no place like home.

HL: So tell us how you got involved with this cool new project!

DJ: It happened very quickly. I got a call from the CBC while I was over working at MTV.  And they said they'd like for me to come over to the network and work on a few things, the first one being Over the Rainbow.  

HL: And how will that work?

DJ: The concept is that we're looking for someone to play Dorothy  in the next big Andrew LLoyd Webber production in Toronto. So the winner will play Dorothy on stage, I think 2 weeks or so after the show is done. It's a big prize!  And they outlined that it's a live show, with two shows a week and over a thousand people in the audience. I do live TV all the time, and thought that this would be a great opportunity to do something a little different. I'll be bringing my own humour, tongue in cheek irony to the situation.

HL: Do you have any background in musical theatre?

DJ: I cannot sing and I cannot dance.  

HL: Sounds perfect.

DJ: But I'm a standup by trade.  I'll be admiring the talents of the potential Dorothys, and bringing some fun to it, too.

HL: You're a writer as well.  Will you have a hand in the scripting elements of the show?

DJ: You bet! I'll definitely have a part in that.  I think a lot of it will be off the cuff, and having fun playing with the judges and the thousand audience members who will be there every night. Anything can happen.

HL: Especially when you're wrangling pets.

DJ: Yes!  People are really excited about this.  There's an animal element, as we're looking for the dog as well. I've been saying though,  "Its 2012, why does it have to be a tiny dog?" 

HL: Right. Why does it have to be a dog at all? I've got a pretty talented cat.

DJ: Well this is my point, right? I think we've evolved to the point where Toto could be a Great Dane.  A cat? Why not! The time is now.

HL: Any other interesting things happening that you want everybody to know about? 

DJ: I'll be doing standup comedy, presenting at the Country Music Awards, some work with Hockey Night in Canada...lots of great things happening with CBC going into fall. 

HL: Your face won't be unfamiliar to our Vancouver Island audience.

DJ: No, I come from Victoria and have lots of family in the area.  I love the city! When I'm there it's strictly vacation...which is the very best way to enjoy the Island.  

HL: Anything you've missed about Vancouver Island, having been away for awhile?

DJ: White Spot.

HL: What? 

DJ: It might seem crazy but I don't care. Whenever you're on the Island you have to go to the White Spot for the Triple-O burger. Out east there's nothing good like that. Nothing.
Never take it for granted.


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