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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A Coeur d’Alene native who left for London in 1997 returns to deliver comedy

Dave Fulton, who grew up in Coeur d’Alene, has called London home since 1997. The comedian and actor is back in town this weekend, performing his standup routine at Hayden Cinemas on Friday and the Spokane Comedy Club on Sunday.  (Courtesy photo)

It’s not uncommon for comedians to emigrate to America. However, Coeur d’Alene’s Dave Fulton checked out London in 1997 and stayed.

“Two stand-ups, Greg Proops and the late Mitch Hedberg, talked me into it,” Fulton said. “Greg said, ‘You do jokes well and it’ll go over well in the U.K.’ Mitch said he recently played there and they didn’t get his humor. He said, ‘My jokes went over their head. They like simple comedy. You’ll do great there.’ ”

Fulton scored television work and fared well delivering his self-deprecating humor in England, Ireland and the Netherlands. After performing a one-hour show at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Fulton never looked back and married, adopted a child and bought a house in London.

“It all worked out,” Fulton said after landing at the Spokane International Airport. “I have no regrets”

Fulton, who still owns property in Coeur d’Alene, often compares Idaho and America, in his stand-up.

“It’s fascinating how different the places I lived are,” Fulton said. “We treated COVID seriously. The people in Idaho’s attitude toward a flu that can kill you was, ‘Well, we need to buy more rifles.’ ”

The Coeur d’Alene High School alum, who owns seven guns, doesn’t want to disarm Americans.

“You can have guns, but don’t be an idiot about it,” Fulton said.

When Fulton returns to Coeur d’Alene three or four times a year, he can’t believe how much the city has changed.

“I don’t recognize the town I grew up in,” Fulton said. “That especially is so over the last three years. I realize how lucky I was growing up in Coeur d’Alene during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

“It was this sleepy little town. Everybody kind of knew each other. If you carried around a gun, you were an idiot and Coeur d’Alene was affordable.”

Top tier celebrities, like Justin Bieber and various members of the Kardashian family, didn’t vacation in Coeur d’Alene then.

“Bleep those guys,” Fulton said. “It’s weird how many very successful celebrities … live in North Idaho. The millionaires per capita in Idaho is crazy. It’s strange how much things have changed over the years.”

Fulton, who has a degree in music composition from the University of Idaho, will poke fun at social disbeliefs, American politics and Idaho when he performs Friday at the Hayden Cinema and Sunday at the Spokane Comedy Club.

“There’s so much to talk about with America,” Fulton said. “Idaho is for people too lazy to move to Florida. It’s amazing how you filter the news here.

“If there is a fire in the U.K., the story is reported and that’s it. People in the UK hope it doesn’t happen again. But in America, you dwell on the tragic fire and you devote a week to the fire getting people’s opinions. I’m not trying to be vicious. I cut my teeth playing truck stops in Montana and Oregon. I wouldn’t be who I am without growing up there and starting my career there.”

But Fulton, who loves working on motorcycles and ice climbing, prefers living in Europe.

“For what I would pay to go to the Schweitzer, I can go snowboarding in the Alps,” Fulton said. “I have a life in Europe. I couldn’t be happier.

“I have a 9-year old son. There’s no way that I could raise him in Idaho, which has the worst education system in America. My son deserves better. He’s the most amazing person I ever met. My son is Black. So I completely support Black Lives Matter, but some people here believe if you support Black Lives Matter, you’re supporting a terrorist group.”

Unlike many American born comedians, Fulton has a global approach.

“I’ve played in 28 different countries,” Fulton said. “I’ll be making my debut in Sri Lanka soon. The world is a fascinating place. I get to experience so many things around the world.”

However, there is one product that Fulton can only obtain in America, which he is purchasing in Coeur d’Alene at midnight, an hour after an endless flight from London.

“I’m picking up brown sugar frosted Pop-Tarts right now,” Fulton said. “I love those things. America is where they’re sold. They’re worth the trip back to Coeur d’Alene.”

Fulton will hang around the area for a week.

“It’s good to be back,” Fulton said. “This is where it all started for me and I get to perform here and people will see that I’m as much of an idiot as the next guy.”