Ronn Vigh: So, I hear you’re currently in Canada?
Lachlan Patterson: I’m in Calgary. I’m originally from Vancouver so I book a lot of gigs and have a lot of relationships out here. It’s great because I get to see the difference between the countries.
RV: Many headliners say they have to alter their act from city to city based on politics and demographics. Do you find that’s the same for performing regularly in both Canada and the United States?
LP: Some comedians definitely have to change wherever they go but I don’t really talk about politics. If you have to change something based on that for wherever you go, it just doesn’t feel authentic. I just talk about my life and what we as human beings can relate to. I want someone to hopefully listen to my album 10 years from now and still find it relatable. I recently watched a comedy special and the comic was talking about Trump running for president and how ridiculous it was. The whole premise didn’t really hold up.
RV: Oh by the way, I was doing some online research of you and there’s another Lachlan Patterson?
LP: Yea, I know of at least one other Lachlan Patterson. He’s a celebrity chef in Colorado. He’s been on Top Chef, Martha…. I got one of his credits on IMDB once.
RV: I’d love to be on Martha or even better on her cooking show with Snoop Dogg?
LP: What? She has a cooking show with her and a dog?
RV: Snoop Dogg. The rapper.
LP: Oh, but how much better would it be if it was like actually a cooking competition between her and a dog?
RV: I’d watch it. You mentioned that the stories you tell obviously shift with your life. Has the process of bringing these stories to life shifted at all through the 20 years you have done stand up?
LP: I still do the notebooks. I don’t do the phone.
RV: Yea, I never use the phone. OK, I actually did for the first time the other night when I was working on new stuff and it screwed me up. The phone kept locking and it would take me 15 seconds each time while delivering punchlines to figure out how to access my notes.
LP: Right and it also looks like you’re just looking at your phone, which is rude. They don’t know you have notes on there. And, if you’re a notes person, then accessing your phone during your set is the equivalent of pulling notes out of a briefcase on stage.
RV: Yea, I’m never doing that again.
LP: I don’t think you can switch once you do the writing process. I’m always working on improving my stage performance and trying to bring more life to the jokes, more personality and more details. These days I’m taking more about my relationship. My girl being pregnant. It’s much more therapeutic and interesting if I’m sharing that stuff than talking about the George Forman grill. Though I really did burn my hand on that thing
RV: Congratulations man! Are you dating a comic?
LP: No. I’ve always tried to steer clear of dating comedians. There’s not enough room in a relationship for two insecure people. I couldn’t. I don’t know how people do it. I couldn’t imagine competing or thinking that my girlfriend is getting better at comedy than me. Or worse. That’s always awkward too, when something successful happens to one of you but not the other.
RV: I ask a lot of headliners this. Have you ever regretted telling a joke?
LP: Oh yeah, definitely! I used to tell a joke about fat people and I feel bad about even telling it now. As a young comic, you’re just trying to get laughs. I was just trying to get those laughs and feel what it’s like to succeed as a comic. What I’m writing now is more important to me. I can say this is why I wrote that and stand behind it.
RV: I find in the beginning a lot of comics, including myself, are just out for shock value and laughs more than depth.
LP: Right! I have to ask myself, why am I writing this? What’s the point of this joke? I love to have a set where there’s a point to everything… and it also crushes.
RV: On the road to becoming a national headliner, have you ever been given any bad advice?
LP: As a young comic, about five years in, I lived in L.A. and there’s a famous club where you have to line up all day once every four weeks for a spot. I’d get on and do three minutes, then I would have to go upstairs and listen to the owner give his opinion, which was always terrible. He would always tell me that I have to do tall jokes. That’s all he wanted to hear. I don’t agree with that because really on stage nobody knows exactly how tall you are. After shows, so many audience members would see me at the door and say, “You’re a lot taller than I thought you were.”
RV: If you were talking to a comic who was about five years in, what is the best piece of advice that you could give them?
LP: Instead of trying to develop, go through the material you already have and expand it. You want less setups and more punchlines. Why develop new set ups?
RV: I think that’s great advice. I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco. Anything else that you would like people to know?
LP: I’m going to be recording my album. People that are reading this come to the show please, your laughs will be recorded.
RV: Oh! Punch Line and SF in general is a great place to record!
LP: I’ve been listening to a lot of albums and an audience can be too good or too loud. I think San Francisco and Punch Line is great to record in because it’s got that sort of slightly critical, intelligent audience that does not laugh at just every little thing.
Lachlan Patterson performs at Punch Line San Francisco on Dec 6, 7, 8. One show Thursday. 2 Shows on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $18.50 - $24.00 in advance
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