HE has the swagger of a rock star, the charm and charisma of a talk show host and the playful sense of mischief of a great storyteller. Oh, and he swears like a trooper.

Tom Stade has the kind of natural stage presence that can put an audience at ease before he has barely opened his mouth and he was on his usual top form at Warrington's Pyramid, a regular venue on his tour schedule – and one of his favourites if you believe him.

One thing is for sure, the Canadian-born comic has built an adoring fanbase in the town. He was met with cheers as he arrived for the sell-out show before being ushered behind the scenes and, on stage, he had the audience in the palm of his hands from the get-go.

Some comics have a highly rehearsed, polished act and are otherwise a bit rigid but the joy of Tom's shows are that they are fluid and spontaneous.

It was a night that everyone could relate to as the 48-year-old's current act is about finishing his 'tour of duty' as a parent as his youngest child, Kira, 18, has just flown the nest.

So after comparing bringing up two children to Oliver Stone's Platoon and combat duty in Vietnam, he talked about the different attitudes and experiences of his generation and his children's in a way that was as insightful as it was hilarious.

But instead of reeling off stories and punchlines, Tom, who has lived in the UK for 18 years, got to know his audience.

He picked out a member of the crowd who was a similar age to himself as well as 22-year-old Tom – the audience's youngest member – to refer back to and prove his points, always with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

Many others on the front rows were also brought into Tom's gags but they had nothing to fear as the comedian made them feel more like old friends than the butt of a joke.

Because of that, and Tom's style and confidence, the atmosphere on the night was never less than buoyant.

It's the sort of experience where it's not about the punchlines – you are grinning, nodding and laughing constantly throughout. How Tom is not a bigger name in the comedy world is anyone's guess. Go see for yourself before the secret gets out.