Stop me if you've heard this before ... which you might have. A few weeks ago, I sent papers a story about a promising comedian, Lachlan Patterson. Now he's one of the three survivors in Thursday's "Last Coming Standing" finale. Here's the updated version I sent:
By MIKE HUGHES
Lachlan Patterson gets a lot of questions, but this one tops
(or bottoms) the list.
“I really hate it,” he said, “when people say, ‘How come
you’re not famous?’”
They might quit asking now: Patterson has added a little
fame, as one of three “Last Comic Standing” finalists; if he wins Thursday, he’ll
get $250,000 … and a development deal for a possible NBC show.
As luck would have it, Patterson already looks like a TV (or
movie) star. He’s 6-foot-4 and handsome.
“My initial impression, when he walked out, was, ‘Oh, This
guy looks like a mannequin. What is he going to do?’” recalled Keenen Wayans,
one of the judges. Others probably wondered the same thing, Wayans said: “If
you don’t fit in that (visual) mold, the audience is always going to doubt you.”
Then, Wayans said,
clever material erased all doubts. “He’s very sly, you know …. And crafty, as
He’s sly and shy, a quiet Canadian whose dad had warned him against
a comedy career. The dad is a high school guidance counselor, Patterson said,
and “has access to all the information on jobs.”
He was also Patterson’s coach in baseball, soccer and
basketball – which dominated after the kid grew five inches at age 16. Later,
after quitting college, Patterson took a stand-up comedy class.
After doing well in Canada, he moved to the U.S. in 2007.
Three years later, “Tonight” people scouted another comic and saw him. “They
said, ‘We’d really like to use you, but we can’t say when.’”
When the call came, Patterson was needed that night. He
savored the experience – “in Jay Leno’s audience, they applaud jokes” – but
didn’t become famous. For a while, he quit working the national comedy-club circuit;
in Venice, Cal., he surfed, worked nearby clubs and was a dog-walker.
Then “Last Comic Standing” returned (after skipping three
summers) and found its final three.
There’s Nikki Carr, a grandmother of four. “Nikki is one …
whose name I didn’t know before the show,” said Russell Peters, a judge and a
stand-up veteran. She “surprised me with every turn she took.”
By comparison, Peters had seen Rod Man do comedy often over
15 years. “I’ve seen him destroy in black rooms, but this is a mixed room and
it’s a very different game. When he
destroyed the same way, I (thought), ‘Maybe I’ve misjudged him.’”
All three comics are used to being misjudged. And after
Thursday, one of them might not hear questions about not being famous.
“Last Comic Standing” finale, 9-11 p.m.