The Arrogant Worms have spent over three decades making fun of a big dumb world. Their songs have been played on the radio, the internet, and in outer space (on the space shuttle Endeavour). The Worms began at Queen’s University in 1991 when some members of the student cabaret group, The Queen’s Players, started writing songs and sketches for the campus radio station CFRC. Soon the group became The Arrogant Worms (Chris Patterson, Mike McCormick, and Trevor Strong) who have since toured ceaselessly across Canada (and select other parts of the world), released 13 albums, and recorded with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Their song, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, has been covered by bands such as Captain Tractor and The Longest Johns, and their Happy Happy birthday song is a viral sensation with over one hundred million views of the various fan videos on YouTube. More than thirty years after they began, The Arrogant Worms continue to provide tuneful and silly escapism for everyone who needs it.
The Arrogant Worms have spent over three decades making fun of a big dumb world. Their songs have been played on the radio, the internet, and in outer space on the space shuttle Endeavour. The Worms began at Queen’s University in 1991 when members of the student cabaret group, The Queen’s Players, started writing songs and sketches for the campus radio station, CFRC. One day they send off a cassette of their song “Canadian Crisis Song” to the CBC radio show Basic Black. To their surprise the show decided to play the song. All they needed to know was the name of the group—eventually they came up with one: The Arrogant Worms.
The Worms began as a four-piece group consisting of Steve Wood, John Whytock, Mike McCormick, and Trevor Strong. They played any place that would have them—bars, street corners, fringe festivals—as they slowly developed their signature style of “singing songs and yammering on” that would make them the mildest form of famous. They released their first album, cleverly titled “The Arrogant Worms” in 1992 which contained the song, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, which has since been covered by groups including Captain Tractor and The Longest Johns. Steve Wood departed soon after the release of the album, making the group a Trio.
In the following years the Worms toured relentlessly across Canada, often crossing the county multiple times in a year, first in Mike’s Plymouth Horizon, and then in their brand-new Chrysler mini-van (which were all the rage at the time). Their second release, Russell’s Shorts, came out in 1994 and contained the song, Carrot Juice is Murder, which became the number one song on the Doctor Demento Show in 1995. Later that year they released their third album C’est Cheese, which also marked the departure of John Whytock from the group due to his desire to have some sort of life.
Deciding to remain a trio, Mike and Trevor searched intensely, but briefly, for a new member. Soon Chris Patterson, who they knew from the Queen’s Players, joined the group, adding a much-needed element of dance to the stage show. From there, their slow rise continued unabated, and soon they were playing theatres instead of bars and making main stage appearances at folk festivals across Canada. Since then, they have played Parliament Hill on Canada Day, a wedding at the Grand Canyon, and with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra—a show that was recorded and released on DVD.
Now, over three decades into a career where they have released 13 albums, they still create—putting out a new song every month on their Patreon page. The Arrogant Worms continue to provide tuneful and silly escapism for everyone who needs it.
New York City Central Park
Adelaide Fringe Festival
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Phil Hartman Comedy Festival
Television: National and regional television appearances in Canada, The United States and Australia including MTV, NBC, CBC, CTV, FOX, Global, MuchMusic, Bravo and The Comedy Network.
Florida International Festival of the Arts
Port Fairy (Australia) Folk Festival
Winnipeg Folk Festival
The Grey Cup
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
The Grand Canyon
Radio: Public and commercial radio appearances and airplay in North America and worldwide including Dr. Demento, CBC, NPR and BBC.
Did We Ask for Your Opinion?
“Hilarious and poignant” - The Tampa Tribune
“Perfect showmen” - All Music Guide
“Canada’s secret weapon number one” - Vh1.com
“Certifiably demented” - The Toronto Star
“These guys are too much fun for their own good” - Dirty Linen Magazine
“Take along some Depends” - The Manitoban
“Quirky and remarkably talented” - Tampa Expression
Other Things That May or May Not Add To Our Credibility
Life Cycle of The Arrogant Worms
The year was 1991. Presumably, some significant world events occurred. The world truly changed in the fall however, when something truly magnificent happened in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. A beacon of hope was lit and has shone brightly ever since – The Arrogant Worms. The Arrogant Worms began as a comedy troupe performing songs and sketches on campus radio. The early feedback on the live shows was clear: lose the sketches. So the songs endured and they all remain because the band hates to throw anything out.
The songs were written to make fun of a big dumb world. Luckily, the world is still dumb and The Arrogant Worms (Mike McCormick, Chris Patterson and Trevor Strong) still have plenty to sing about. The shows are fast, furious and family friendly. The wit is quick, the satire is biting and the musicianship is second to none. Their appeal has earned them fans from kids to parents to grandparents to Princess Leia.
The Arrogant Worms have sold more than 160,000 copies of their 13 albums. Their most recent offering is SPACE, a collection of 16 new songs released in 2014 that bravely tackles the hard issues like Local Politicians, Yoga Pants and Uncomfortable Chairs. The band has played on three continents to crowds as large as 100,000 and were recognized in 2003 as the Touring Act of the Year by the Canadian Arts Presenters Association. The Worms have entertained at corporate functions, sung anthems at sporting events and emceed at major festivals. Their songs are in school lesson plans, in textbooks and even played on the Space Shuttle. On earth or in space, everyone digs these Worms.
The Arrogant Worms are as comfortable on the radio or on camera as they are on stage. Their energy and showmanship were captured on the DVD of their concert with the renowned Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The DVD also features appearances by Worm pals figure skating champion Kurt Browning, astronaut Chris Hadfield and actors Tom Cavanaugh (Ed, Love Monkey) and Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly).
In recent years the Worms have been pleased to donate their time and talent to the cause of literacy in Canada through Frontier College and were twice awarded the Peter Gzowski Award for their efforts.
So nearly a quarter century after they began, The Arrogant Worms continue to provide tuneful and silly escapism for everyone who needs it. And if you think you don’t need it, well you’re wrong. You do. The Arrogant Worms know what’s best for you and what’s best for you is The Arrogant Worms.