It’s something I can’t really pull myself out of,” says Toronto comedian Mike Kiss of making audiences laugh. Having just wrapped up his latest performance of Deadpan Powerpoint — Kiss’ popular two-man comedy act with longtime friend and collaborator Ted Sutton — at last week’s Toronto Sketch Comedy Fest, he’s back to the drawing board, creating new material for upcoming shows.

“Our idea was to deliver lectures on ludicrous topics in a manner completely devoid of emotion or inflection,” he explains of Deadpan Powerpoint. “We’ve all been in meetings, being given information from someone who’s really only ore important than we are because he’s wearing a suit and tie, so we wanted to be those guys.”

While his first love may be comedy, Kiss’ 1983 Datsun 280 zx Turbo comes in a close second. “They were always my favourite cars when I was a kid,” says the graduate of Ryerson University’s Screen Writing program, of the dark grey vintage car he bought six years ago in Ohio. “It had been on blocks in storage for 10 years. The price was right and I decided to buy it.”

And the day he picked it up, all the stars aligned. “I started it, a huge cloud of smoke came out, and it ran perfectly,” he recalls. “I turned on the radio and it was pre-tuned to a local classic rock station and the first song was Van Halen’s Jump. It was a neat moment for sure.”

Although Kiss doesn’t do much city driving, preferring to ride his bike instead, three years ago though, he did embark on a 21-day road trip on old Route 66, driving 10,000 km in his vintage coupe from California to Chicago. “It seemed that wherever I stopped, I met some old guy who remembered the first [Datsun] he owned,” he says.

These days, his car is reserved primarily for summer country drives. “It’s really great to have the T-top down so you can hear the wind and the engine,” he says. “I just like cruising. That’s where the car just feels it’s best.”

– Heather Buchan is a Toronto-based journalist whohas worked at various magazine
including Hello! Canada, where she cut her teeth in the world of celebrities.