London celebrations

Hometown howl: Comic reflects as tour takes him back to London

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One of Canada’s best-known comics comes home.

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Steve Patterson, host of CBC Radio’s The Debaters, will host the show at Centennial Hall in London next week with fellow comedians Erica Sigurdson and Derek Seguin.

London, where Patterson lived from the age of eight until he was 18, is also where Patterson got his first taste of the stand-up comedy he built into an award-winning career. .

“I still have a lot of good friends who live in London who I went to school with and with my family,” Patterson said. “I know the city has changed, but I have fond memories of working at Red Lobster.”

Patterson’s first career choice was law, so he went to the University of Toronto and studied for a year before returning to Western University to study business in the early 90s.

Always funny, his friends convinced him to go to Yuk Yuk for an amateur open mic night.

“So I signed up for a hobbyist party just to get it out of my system,” said Patterson, who clearly couldn’t let go of that desire, despite finishing his business degree and getting a job. of an advertising copywriter.

“It’s weird. I didn’t think I could work full time in comedy until I started writing commercials. At least I knew I could do really good show posters. There’s had a lot of really tough years, but you have to take a leap of faith.

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Patterson took the plunge in 1996 after working part-time in comedy for a few years, joining the touring roster of Canadian comedy booking agency Funny Business.

In 1999, Patterson performed for the first time at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal and his Irish Catholic-influenced set – inspired by his father John – allowed him to tour Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. United.

In 2004, her career started cooking after Patterson made her first appearance at the Just for Laughs gala, followed by an appearance at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. He began touring and hosting the Just for Laughs tour, followed by another appearance at the Montreal festival.

Then the nominations and wins started rolling in, including two nominations for Best Male Stand-Up at the Canadian Comedy Awards at 2007 and 2008 and two wins of the same award in 2011 and 2013. Between the two wins was a Gemini Award nomination for Just for Laughs.

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It was 2007 when Patterson became the host of The Debaters, but in the same year he gained notoriety for turning down a chance to appear in the finale of NBC’s Last Comic Standing because he had turned down. already engaged in a show.

In 2016 Patterson’s first novel, The Book of Letters I Didn’t Know Where to Send, was published and last year he published his acclaimed second book, Dad Up! (Penguin Canada) to be a dad for the first time. He wrote it when he and his wife were expecting their second child.

In the book, which he continues to promote since the pandemic blocked any sustained book tours, Patterson revisits his childhood and the wisdom of his father, the difficulty he and his wife Nancy had conceiving a child, and his experiences. as a father with young daughters, Scarlett and Norah.

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Their difficulties conceiving ended in 2013 at the Gray Cup in Winnipeg.

“All it took was a few beers and being in a cold Canadian town to become a dad,” Patterson said.

He said he’s tried a few virtual shows during the pandemic, “but every hour online is like doing a week” with “every second scripted.”

On comedian Chris Rock’s Oscar slap in the face from Oscar-winning actor Will Smith, Patterson had this to say, “You should never get punched in the face. It was a stupid joke, but I don’t think he deserved to be punched in the face.

As the world still grapples with COVID-19 and a raging war in Ukraine, Patterson said The Debaters is “lighthearted” fun to give audiences a break.

“I like finding the funny and talking about what’s going on and shooting people who deserve it,” he said.

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The Centennial Hall show will see the three comics take turns with their stand-up before embarking on two rounds of debates.

At The Debaters, comics are assigned opposing positions to debate a topic, with the winner declared by the loudest applause from the audience.

Patterson described Sigurdson as a longtime friend and “super stable”.

“She can keep all the other debaters on their toes,” Patterson said. “She’s one of my best friends and one of the best debaters and comedians in the country.”

Seguin is also described by Patterson as a “good friend” who enjoys getting into verbal squabbles with other comedians.

“I think it’s going to be a really good tour, one of the best for The Debaters,” Patterson said. “I’m going to be with my friends, great comics and what’s really going to be fun is being around people again, laughing.”


What: The Debaters, with host Steve Patterson and comedians Erica Sigurdson and Derek Seguin

When: Thursday April 14, 7:30 p.m.

Or: Centennial Hall, 550 Wellington Street

Tickets: $39.50-$59.50 (plus taxes and service charges), available online at or in person at the ticket office


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