It’s a new world out there and if a comic comes to town, you’re more than welcome to send along a few hints well before the show.
As the Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour rolled into town Wednesday evening, host Steve Patterson was encouraging the audience to go ahead and Tweet him (@patterballs) with requests.
“If you have a sense of humour, you will love this show,” promised Patterson, ever the perma-host in preparation mode.
Patterson was just in town last month with CBC’s The Debaters—pure coincidence—and said he was pleasantly surprised by the Kelowna Community Theatre and audience, pegging the city for one similar to Kamloops before he arrived.
“This is how you want to see comedy,” he said, “In a proper venue, with good sound, good lighting, where you feel you can pause in the show without hearing something go wrong behind the bar.”
Patterson has made a career out of providing the master of ceremonies function to everything from the Gemini Awards to the Canadian Comedy Awards to corporate functions and said he likes the Just for Laughs tours because they provide the best comics and give him a chance to return to his stand-up roots.
Ordinarily, if Pepsi’s Canadian division wants to throw a function in Vegas, Patterson flies in to add a little flavour of home, but when Just for Laughs comes calling he books out of all other opportunities, he said.
On tour with the best British comics in this rotation, Patterson’s roll in this show is to keep the audience punchy in a tour that picks up steam as it crosses the country.
“The thing about the UK is that they have many more opportunities to talk about the news and stuff, so the comics are up on things,” he said, noting these comics are used to doing mass audience shows that go well beyond Canadian late-night television offerings.
“Night after night we’re trying to out do each other, taking breaks to see a few Canadian sights in between.” And that had Rob Broderick (Abandoman), Matt Kirshen, Stephen K. Amos, Hal Cruttenden, Terry Alderton and Sean Meo racing around West Edmonton Mall this week, testing the water slides and the shooting range—at separate times, Patterson assured.
Patterson has a business degree and was destined for law school when some friends signed him up to do a comedy set and he was literally thrown on stage, no script prepared.
As for the raw edge to Just for Laughs, Patterson admits he’s been known to shock on tour from time to time. “There’s definitely some eyebrows that get raised by CBC fans,” he said.
The second show of the Capital One Just For Laughs Comedy Tour stops at Kelowna Community Theatre tonight (Nov. 17).