The Hells Angels are “very good guys,” Quebec comedian Mike Ward says during the latest episode of a popular podcast hosted by American media star Joe Rogan.
So good, in fact, that the biker gang “protected” Ward after outraged Quebecers threatened to kill him over a joke about a missing girl, the comedian told Rogan.
“The only corporate gigs I’d ever do were shows for military, police officers or the Hells Angels,” Ward said on the profanity-laced show, which was uploaded Wednesday and already has more than 308,000 views on YouTube alone.
“And then I realized,” Ward continued, “that when you talk to a group of cops or a group of Hells Angels — they’re the same guys.”
“They have the same mentality.”
Rogan replied, “The only difference is that you can call the cops — they’ll come help you. The Hells Angels won’t do (anything.)”
Not true, Ward said.
Ward, whose dark and abrasive style has landed him in trouble in his home province, told Rogan that in 2008 he joked about the disappearance of Cédrika Provencher — a nine-year-old girl who had vanished a year before — and Quebec’s revenue agency.
Revenue Québec had frozen Ward’s bank accounts, and Ward shared with Rogan the joke he told at a festival gala about the relentless tax collectors: “If you owe them eight dollars, they’re going to kidnap your little kids. They are the ones who have (Cédrika)!”
Three weeks later, Ward said, a popular Quebec television host called Cédrika Provencher’s grandfather live on air and informed him that Ward had made a joke at his granddaughter’s expense.
Before long, Ward’s manager was receiving threatening messages. “My manager calls me, and he’s like: ‘There are people who are going to kill you,’” Ward told Rogan.
Ward said he looked out his window one day and saw people lined up across the street from his home.
He said he learned two or three years later that the Hells Angels had stationed people at each end of his street to keep an eye on protesters. “They had told their dudes … to watch the people who want to kill Mike Ward,” he said. He marvelled, “the Hells Angels protected me.”
Rogan mused that “a lot of Hells Angels are probably good guys.”
Ward replied, “It’s the same with the Mafia guys.”
“If you don’t owe them money, they are good guys.”
The Hells Angels are considered an outlaw motorcycle gang by federal and provincial authorities. A war between the Quebec branch of the Hells Angels and the rival Rock Machine during the 1990s and early 2000s left more than 150 people dead, including an 11-year-old boy.
Ward is no stranger to controversy.
He was fined $42,000 by Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal in 2016 for making a joke considered in poor taste about a disabled boy.
Ward contested the decision, and the matter is still before the courts. He told Rogan the entire legal ordeal is likely to cost him about $200,000.
“I’m going to be 97 years old by the time I get the verdict,” he joked.