When Lachlan Patterson moved from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Los Angeles, he left his native Canada with what he felt was a good deal of solid material.
"I think I had a lot of comedy about Canada, and there were a lot of references to Canadian pop culture that I had to get rid of, which was a little heartbreaking because some that stuff was my favorite," he says. "But moving to the United States was great. When I moved to Los Angeles, I went to the local comedy clubs right away, and these comedians were destroying. I got to see the best at their best. It was really great to see that."
Patterson knew then he would eventually thrive in Los Angeles. "My dad, when I was a kid, always put me in class with the older kids, and on teams with older kids," he explains, "He wanted me to play against better people than me so I'd improve faster. That's why it was great for me to come to Los Angeles and see all this great comedy. I thought, 'Okay, that's how good I want to be.' It inspired me to work harder and push myself to improve."
Upon arriving in the U.S. in 2007, Patterson was already getting recognition. "I booked a Live at Gotham on Comedy Central the day I landed, and I remember I got my Social Security card the day I shot it." That appearance got him further notice in the U.S. "I got a lot of work out of a five-minute set, so I was very fortunate in that respect."
He continued honing his craft in Los Angeles, and headlined clubs across the country on a fairly regular basis. By the time he was selected as one of the 100 comedians for last year's Last Comic Standing, he was ready. With each set he crushed it, gaining praise from the judges -- Roseanne, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Russell Peters -- and huge laughs from the audience.
"Remember the old days when you could make up a password, and the internet was like, 'Hey, that sounds like a dandy!'" he tells an audience. "Now it just insults you as you try to type it. 'Weak! You're an idiot! Why don't you throw in a few numbers in there so you forget it in the morning?'"
The fact that comics were recruited for the last season and not part of a vast auditioning process made it a much better competition, and brought out the best in each comic.
"I think that helped sort of weed out the people that just kind of had five minutes," he says. "They also eliminated the audience voting and they put in expert judges, and I really liked the judges they picked. I really felt more comfortable being told I was not funny enough by them."
That wasn't very often. Patterson finished second overall, which was good enough to get him headlining a different club every week since the show ended. Traveling the country more has expanded his comedy. "It's been exciting going to all these different cities and meeting all these different people and learning about all these different cultures in America."
While America has become more homogenous over the years, there are still unique aspects to different cities that he will talk about with local audiences. "I was in Arizona and I said, 'Everything is beige. You guys really like the color beige.' And everyone laughed. No one would get that unless they'd been there. There must have been a sale at Home Depot."
In learning about different cultures in America, Patterson is finding some odd behavior. "I was onstage the other day and asked, 'How old do you have to be before you start putting plates on your walls?' And a lot of the audience didn't get it, especially the black people, because I guess that's not part of their culture. But I'm fascinated by this thing where you take your plates and put them on the wall and that's art."IF YOU GO:
Lachlan Patterson Rick Bronson's House of Comedy 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday $17.50-$22.50 For tickets, call 952-858-8558 or visit houseofcomedy.net 18+; 21+ later shows