Mr D. & Tennis

by Flora Karsai

Summer 2012

Did you know Gerry Dee was a provincially-ranked junior? A+

Gerry Dee began his comedy career in a very different fashion. Born in Scarborough, Ontario the son of Scottish immigrant parents, Gerry spent 10 years as a high school phys-ed teacher before making his move to standup comedy in 1999. Gerry was the first Canadian ever to win the prestigious San Francisco Comedy Competition. He was named the ‘Best Comic in Canada’, and has appeared at numerous comedy festivals and on television shows all over North America. In addition to regularly performing stand-up to sold-out crowds, Gerry can be seen on The Score in a segment called Gerry Dee: Sports Reporter, and in his new sitcom Mr. D on CBC TV. Gerry was a provincially ranked tennis player, played Varsity hockey at St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and is a two handicap golfer.

Q: In addition to your success in hockey and golf, you were also a provincially ranked junior tennis player in Ontario. Do you remember your best ranking or tournament result?

A: I think I was 29th in Ontario in U14. That was my highest. Best result for me was a doubles result with my partner Matt Goldman. I remember it was red clay in Oshawa and we were playing the #1 seeds Dilworth and Ledowsky. We lost 7-6 in the third. Even though we lost in the first round it was still the best result I was a part of. Matt went on to become one of the best in Canada which helped. He was definitely the reason we almost pulled off the victory.

Q: Which was your home club as a junior? What do you remember about it?

A: My home club was Bayview Village. When I was about 14, there was a younger member who was about 10 who always wanted to hit with us. We didn’t think he was good enough. His name was Daniel Nestor.

Q: First tennis racquet?

A: Yamaha, which got stolen when I went to use the bathroom at the mall. Bayview Village had no washrooms when they first opened and we had to go across the street.

Q: Did you have a nemesis as a junior?

A: Gord Quinton (I think that was his name). I seemed to meet him every match. I was 4’9” and he looked about 6’2”. I was way out of my league with guys like that. Then there was a whole higher level again with guys like Gerard Ronan, Andrew Sznajder and Bryan Gyetko. Way out of my league. Dean Zimmerman and Charles Messow were also good and a year younger. I never played winter tennis and you can’t keep up with those guys if you didn’t.

Q: You taught high school phys ed for 10 years. Did you teach tennis?

A: I taught it in PE class but nothing serious. I pretty much stopped playing tennis at about 16 yrs old.

Q: You covered the Rogers Cup in Toronto a few years ago for The Score. Did you get to interview Roger Federer?

A: I never got to interview any players, just fans.

Q: When you interviewed Michael Jordan, you challenged him to a game of golf. Who would you challenge to a game of tennis?

A: Hmm. I am so bad now, I wouldn’t even take a chance. Maybe my wife. I know I can always beat her.

Q: If you could interview anyone in the tennis world, who would it be and what would you ask them?

A: Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Bjorn I would ask what it was like to play John and John I would ask if he ever regretted any of his antics while playing.

Q: What can we look forward to in the 2nd season of your CBC show Mr D?

A: More Gerry thinking he is a good teacher and still wanting to teach phys ed.