Northeast Times

Comedian Chris Kattan to perform at Helium Comedy Club

Former ‘Sat­urday Night Live’ cast mem­ber Chris Kat­tan will per­form at He­li­um Com­edy Club Sept. 26-28.

“The main things to re­mem­ber if you want to be­come a stan­dup com­ic is to have lots of con­fid­ence in your­self and be­lieve in what you’re do­ing,” said com­ic act­or and Sat­urday Night Live alum Chris Kat­tan, set to ap­pear Thursday to Sat­urday, Sept. 26-28, at He­li­um Com­edy Club, 2031 Sansom St. in Cen­ter City. Of course, tal­ent doesn’t hurt either, which is ob­vi­ous in Kat­tan’s case. And for now, after dec­ades of do­ing tele­vi­sion and film, Kat­tan, 42, is con­cen­trat­ing on show­ing those tal­ents as he does stan­dup com­edy in front of live audi­ences.

“My pref­er­ence is to make people laugh, even stand in front of them and watch them laugh,” he ex­plained. “There’s enough ser­i­ous­ness in the world, so I like be­ing one of the few people who can make oth­ers feel good about them­selves and en­joy life. Not many people get that op­por­tun­ity.”

In fact, Los Angeles nat­ive Kat­tan ad­mit­ted he was prac­tic­ally born to make people laugh. The son of Kip King, act­or and founder of the renowned com­edy troupe The Ground­lings, Kat­tan re­mem­bers stand­ing back­stage to watch his fath­er and oth­ers per­form.

“For a young boy, it was great,” he said. “I’d watch my fath­er and people like Paul Re­ubens and Phil Hart­man and some of the oth­er great sketch comedi­ans of the day. And it all made a ter­rif­ic im­pres­sion on me,” he said.

That, he ad­ded, was the start of mak­ing him want to fol­low in his fath­er’s foot­steps. “You know, any­thing that helps you can also work against you, es­pe­cially try­ing to join The Ground­lings. Just be­cause my fath­er was one of the ori­gin­al mem­bers and a founder didn’t mean I was funny and would be ac­cep­ted on those grounds alone.”

But the young per­former had no trouble even­tu­ally prov­ing him­self, as he did later when he moved to New York to join the cast of SNL in 1995. Be­fore he left that show in 2003, Kat­tan had cre­ated many mem­or­able and quirky char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing Mango, Mr. Peep­ers, Gay Hitler and, most not­ably one-half of the But­abi Broth­ers with fel­low SNL (and Ground­lings) cast mem­ber Will Fer­rell.

Kat­tan said most of his char­ac­ters came from “anxi­ety or an al­ter ego. Ser­i­ously, most came from whatever I thought would make people laugh. I think they did and still make people laugh today. They are not tem­por­ary. I have al­ways felt that hu­mor that lasts forever is the best, which is why I stay away from polit­ic­al stuff for the most part be­cause that hu­mor doesn’t seem to last too long.”

He ad­ded that in­vent­ing those char­ac­ters and just be­ing on SNL was a great ex­per­i­ence for him. He said, “Over the years, there were chal­lenges on the show, but chal­lenges are what make you feel stronger, al­though maybe not at the mo­ment they’re hap­pen­ing to you. Be­ing on that show also cre­ated many great friend­ships so that SNL is still like my home base no mat­ter where else I go and no mat­ter what else I do.”

Today, as he tours com­edy clubs around the coun­try, he said that much of his ma­ter­i­al is im­pro­vised and de­pends on how much space he has to jump around.

“I do a lot of char­ac­ters in my show, but I also like to im­pro­vise a lot be­cause that’s what I’ve been trained to do. And I might talk about per­son­al things like the loss of my fath­er or do some tap dan­cing. Whatever. And through it all, I love get­ting in­volved with the audi­ence.”

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