Steve Patterson is the proud owner of two Beavers.
The Beaver, by the way, is also the name of Canada’s comedy awards.
Patterson picked up his first Beaver in 2011 as the country’s top stand-up male comic, and last month, in Ottawa, he won it for a second time.
Patterson has been doing stand-up since the early 1990s, but he’s probably best known in Canada as the host of CBC Radio’s The Debaters.
You can see and hear Patterson for yourself when he brings his solo comedy tour This Is Not Debatable! to the Sid Williams Theatre on Nov. 14.
In an interview, Patterson spoke by phone from Toronto.
Q: The tour is called This Is Not Debatable! Is that like The Debaters Lite?
Steve Patterson: No, it’s like The Debaters Heavy. I get to have my say and offer my point of view on everything! I don’t have to be a referee, so it’s a little more freeing.
Q: Your first joke, was it a “knock-knock,” or was it “why did the chicken cross the road?”
SP: I don’t know. I never really told jokes and comedians never tell street jokes. No, I never told a knock-knock, but I did make up my own jokes. My parents probably thought I was weird. And comedy is tougher than singing. A singer can sing anyone else’s songs, but no one wants to hear a comedian doing another comedian’s jokes.
Q: Growing up, who made you laugh?
SP: My older brothers. I was the youngest of five and they did goofy things. I watched the Eddie Murphy videos Delirious and Raw. And I’ve always enjoyed Billy Connolly and Derek Edwards. They write really good stuff. I sometimes quote Derek around the dinner table AND I do give him credit. I guess I should give him royalties too, but don’t tell him that.
Q: Favourite CBC news anchor to make fun of: Peter Mansbridge or Knowlton Nash?
SP: Knowlton Nash is such a great name for a news anchor and Peter Mansbridge is a pretty good porn name.
Q: Congratulations on winning your second Beaver as Canada’s best standup male comic. Does the trophy come with a beer bottle opener?
SP: No! And they’re always different. For some reason they keep redesigning them every year? It’s always some form of the maple leaf. But a beer bottle opener would be an excellent addition.
Q: So, why doesn’t the Comedy Network show the Canadian Comedy Awards?
SP: Excellent question! They seem to have no answer. I guess they have an agreement with Comedy Central, so they just show the American comics, rather than develop and support comedy in Canada. To be blunt, it’s STUPID!
Q: Worst moment on stage?
SP: I was at the Frog and Bucket Comedy Club – really – in Manchester, England. I’m not sure what I said to set off this guy who started yelling at me in a thick Manchurian accent that’s supposed to be English. So I started mocking him and he just took off and started running at the stage with his head down. He was like this five-foot-six bulldog and he’s coming straight at me! But I guess they expect that, so these two huge bouncers grab him under the arms, pick him up, and his legs just keep flailing as they carried him! It was like watching a cartoon character, so I just started laughing harder and everyone else is laughing too! It’s the first time I was rolling on the floor laughing. Anyway, at the end of the night the bouncers escorted me out because he was still outside waiting to fight me (laughs). My worst moment was also one of my best.
Q: When people recognize you, do they immediately start debating?
SP: When I’m flying on Air Canada and I try to order something, they hear me speak and then they recognize the voice. They ask if I’m “that guy” and I say “yes.” Then they’ll either tell me jokes or pitch me on debate ideas for the entire flight. So I try not to speak and just point at the things I want.
Q: Who’s funnier, Stephen Harper or Rob Ford?
SP: Hands down it’s Ford. Stephen Harper might be funny if he said anything. Rob Ford looks like a 1980s super-villain. And when you have that kind of appearance you think you might want to combat that with an endearing personality.
Patterson presents a 90-minute, one-man show Nov. 14 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from the Sid Williams box office by phoning 250-338-2430, ext. 1, or visiting www.sidwilliamstheate.com.