Former Saturday Night Live cast member Chris Kattan is coming to Butte to perform his comedy show, thanks to two promoters, Matt Boyle and Lukas Seely.
Most probably know Kattan from his years on “Saturday Night Live,” where he created characters like Mr. Peepers, Mango, and Doug Butabi from the show’s "The Roxbury Guys" skit, which was the basis for the movie “A Night at the Roxbury,” in which Kattan also starred.
Kattan will perform Friday, Oct. 6, at the Clarion Inn Copper King Hotel & Convention Center, 4655 Harrison Ave., supported by performances by Seely, a Billings-based comedian, and Butte comedian Kevin Shannon.
Since his SNL days, Kattan has taken on several TV roles, including on “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Middle,” and most recently on “Bunnicula.”
Kattan also has a book coming out next summer called "Baby Don't Hurt Me” in which he tells of his SNL days, his childhood, and his life as a comedian.
Kattan says he was exposed to comedy early in life through his father, Kip King, one of the founding members of the sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings.
“I used to watch my dad perform when I was 8 years old,” Kattan said by phone from Florida recently. “And that really encouraged me … I saw how strong comedy was.”
Kattan says making people laugh is one of the best experiences in the world.
“A good laugh is something important to have,” said Kattan, noting that people “aren’t always laughing” in their day-to-day lives.
Kattan said his father had an uncanny ability to make people laugh.
“He was a very funny man,” said Kattan of his father, who died in 2010.
He added that his father had great taste in comedy and only let Kattan watch the best acts. It’s an experience that Kattan credits with his success as a comedian.
“He left me with a lot of great tools to succeed,” said the comedian. “I miss him terribly.”
Kattan would go on to perform with The Groundlings, where he performed with fellow SNL alum Will Ferrell.
Standup is a relatively new format for Kattan, whose training is mostly in improv and sketch comedy.
Kattan, who is also slated to perform in Missoula and Bozeman, said he’s been doing standup for about five years and had to work hard to develop his act into something he was satisfied with.
“Like any craft, you have to hone it. And that takes time.”
Kattan said his improv skills have helped him as a standup comic, especially when it comes to interacting with the audience and doing crowd work, which he said are one of the most enjoyable aspects of performing.
In addition to audience interaction, Kattan said his act includes storytelling, especially of his SNL days and performing characters.
“My style is funny,” said Kattan when asked what style of comedy he performs.
“It’s smart and silly,” he said. “It’s about life.”
Comedian Kevin Shannon says he’s both excited and nervous to perform in the same venue as Kattan.
The 31-year-old Butte native does a web-based comedy show on YouTube called “Big Shoots” and has performed live, including at the Butte Depot and the Copper King under its previous owners.
Shannon said he grew up watching comedians like George Carlin and Dave Chappelle and was an avid watcher of “Mad TV” and SNL. He cultivated his comic sensibilities by pulling pranks in high school, he said, adding that the exact nature of the pranks are off the record.
“I don’t know if they can be published,” said Shannon, laughing.
Shannon said Butte is a great place to perform, mainly because of the people.
“They’re very vocal,” said Shannon. “You don’t have to ever wonder what they’re thinking.”
The Billings native lives in Los Angeles but says he has performed throughout Montana and has been organizing comedy shows in Billings for eight years, including shows featuring Hannibal Buress, Louie Anderson, and Pauly Shore.
Seely says Butte and Montana in general have some of the best audiences around.
“Butte people laugh hard,” said Seely. “They appreciate comedy.”
Seely said comedian Tyrone Barnett taught him important facets of promoting and organizing comedy shows, including how to treat comedians. Seely says he picks up his acts at the airport, takes them out to restaurants, and shows them local attractions.
When asked what Seely will be eating in Butte, he said he’ll be sure to get a pork chop sandwich.