Toronto’s comedy community is paying respect to Troy Dixon, who was involved in a fatal car accident on the night of Saturday, December 6.
A Humber College comedy program grad, Dixon went on to do standup at clubs all over North America. The calm, relaxed comedian would often tackle sensitive subjects such as racial discrimination. “But he would approach it in a very nonchalant, matter-of-fact way,” says former classmate and Sketchersons member Norm Sousa. “He went beyond standup,” says comedian pal Dave Merheje. “He was very animated, and it wasn’t even like he was trying to tell you a joke. He would act out situations as though he actually was the character he was playing.”
He was perhaps best known for appearing on the videogame-based web sitcom Pure Pwnage as the Halo-obsessed Terence “T-Bag” Brown. The series, currently in its eighteenth episode, is filmed primarily in Toronto and has spawned an enormous cult following of gamers worldwide. One of the show’s creators, Geoff Lapaire, who started filming episodes when we was a U of T student, says Dixon wasn’t a huge gamer but liked Rock Band and Street Fighter. “He knew enough about gaming to talk to the fans.” The future of his character is still undecided.
In August 2008, Dixon appeared at the Bloor Cinema for a sold-out double-episode Pure Pwnage screening that attracted people from all over Canada and the U.S. and as far away as the Netherlands and Australia. “He stayed and signed autographs for two hours, because he knew people had travelled far to get there,” says Lapaire.
The multi-talented model/actor/comedian was also a skilled musician and producer. He wrote the lyrics and provided the vocals for “Straight Outta Blood Gulch” for Pure Pwnage. He’s fondly remembered for sporting a Dr. Dre T-shirt, playing any keyboard that happened to be nearby, and spontaneously bursting into song at barbecues.
Sousa says that Dixon will be remembered as one of the first people from the new generation of Toronto comics to pass away. “Older comics always talk about people their age who have died, but he was the first one out of the 20-30 age group.” Fellow comedian and friend Nathan Macintosh says Dixon was “a super, super nice guy who will be really, really missed.” He recalls texting back and forth with Dixon the night before the accident. “When I think about it, I’m like, ‘Man, I wish I could just call him.'”
Macintosh, as well as Dixon’s friends Trixx, Merheje, and others perform a tribute show at Second City on December 14.
Photo courtesy of Pure Pwnage.