The night began with three fat guys and ended with one skinny one. Comedian Lachlan Patterson walked onto the Comedy Mix stage and his first joke was pointing out the obvious difference between himself, a tall somewhat attractive type, to his bearded and heavily bellied counterparts. The audience cackled like a pack of rabid hyenas, and the show began. We were his for the taking, eager to be entertained, and I wanted to know why.
In 2010 Lachlan Patterson was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and in 1992 he graduated from high school, the same year The Tonight Show began. It is completely irrelevant. This interview contains fart noises.
Nicolle: Two minutes before you go onstage, what is happening inside your brain?
Lachlan: Probably going through my notes so that I don’t forget to try the new jokes I’ve written down. I always forget those. And, I always check my teeth and my fly before I walk out. I always think my fly is down. I think people look at my crotch onstage.
How does being a comedian change the way you look at the world around you? Are you constantly searching to find humor in mundane situations?
Becoming a Comedian has definitely made me look at the world in a much more skewed perspective. I became a judge of everyone and everything around me. I write down things that most people forget a second after they see it. Things that most people can let go of I take personal in an attempt to create comedy. It’s damaging to my soul I’m sure but I don’t really know any other way to write.
Do you find that once people know your profession there is a pressure to constantly make them laugh?
Yes, but then I get all serious and everyone leaves me alone. I was never the big mouth at the party telling jokes and making people laugh, I was always the dude on the couch watching people and how they behave or didn’t behave.
Do you consider yourself naturally funny or does it take practice to get up on stage and make people laugh?
I think I was funny my whole life but I didn’t know how I did it. Getting on stage for the first four years taught me that I wasn’t funny, I was a clown, and that wasn’t the kind of funny I wanted to be. I wanted to be funny in a way that I could respect and StandUp has helped me accomplish that.
Scenario: you tell a joke and no one laughs, what is going through your head?
I’m pissed because it’s a reminder that I still don’t know exactly what’s funny. But I move on, to the next joke quickly, I don’t let it get me down onstage, I punish myself afterwards with a thought in my head like “really dude, you thought that would work?” Usually when no one laughs it’s because my ego convinced me that it was funny, however, in reality I was too proud to think it might not be ready for the stage.
You have been building a name for yourself for quite awhile, what is your “ultimate” goal?
I don’t really know if I have an “ultimate goal” figured out yet. World domination maybe. I know that my next goal is to produce my comedy special. I have been working out material for a long time now and I think it’s time for me to get it filmed and out for the world to see. I don’t think enough people really know that I’m funny and I want to make sure they can see how talented I am (insert fart noise).
Aside from that my goal has always been to challenge myself comedically. I do take television roles that I like and even enroll in the odd improv class and have been working on several characters that I hope to implement into my stand up more regularly.
Do you ever worry that you will run out of funny things to say, or lose touch with the kind of humour that people are into?
Okay, that’s a tough one, I mean I worry about writing good comedy all day because it’s hard, but I’m never going to lose touch with anyone because I write about what I find funny. I write for me, I just use a language that the audience can understand too. Comedy is how I express my feelings. So if people don’t laugh, I think one of two things: I didn’t translate it into their language or they just suck. Usually, they just suck (huge fart noise).
Why standup comedy? I mean, what happened in your life where you decided hey! that would be a good idea?
Haha, I was probably really desperate to find myself. I always was told that I should become a standup comedian but I never took those people seriously. It sounded weird. And, like everyone, I was scared to death of it. I was just at a place in my life where I was desperate for guidance and didn’t know what to do but I knew there was this one thing people kept telling me to do so I said f— it, let’s try this out. I had nothing to lose, I was living with my parents, going to community college that I hated while working a dead end night job and I just wasn’t happy. I was young though, and I think that helped give me the courage to change. It’s much harder now.
What has been one of your biggest accomplishments, career-wise and in your personal life?
I think the Tonight Show was my biggest accomplishment career wise and personally as well because it earned me some respect in the Comedy World. I remember coming back to Vancouver the weekend after taping that set and some of the local comedians were asking me more questions about comedy and my beginnings. They were suddenly interested in what I had to say where-as before, rarely did anyone care. Personally, after the Tonight Show, my relationship with my father got easier. I noticed he had started to back off on me a lot about my “future plans.” That was very special for me. To me it meant he was proud of me.
Is your business ever changing or is making people laugh relatively unchanged?
The business of Comedy is ever changing. It’s a cycle of styles that become more and less popular. I remember 10 years ago people were jumping around on stage and making big gestures in some attempt to mimmick what Dane Cook was doing, now, it’s almost the opposite, where comedians are doing there best to look uncomfortable onstage in attempt to mimmick their favourite “ironic indie comedian” or something.
What is the secret to making complete strangers laugh?
The secret to making strangers laugh is fart noises.
Actually it’s not a secret making strangers laugh. The weirdest part is that those people in the audience can’t wait to laugh. They’re dying to laugh, they paid money to do it. It took me a long time to get that through my head. Now that I accept that they don’t hate me, I can just go out and be myself.