Since 2004, Canadian comedian Pat Burtscher has been touring the globe with a pocket full of ideas, a brain full of questions and a heart full of love.
His unique capacity for reducing the universal to the personal (as well as his ability to spend an entire show reducing a heckler to dust) has earned him critical acclaim and recognition as one of the most exciting standups working on the international circuit today. Preoccupied by the big questions and overwhelmed by the complexities of the universe, Burtscher delivers a set that is as erratic, earnest and engaged as it is funny. He’s headlined clubs and done festivals across the US, UK, Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia.
How did you get started in comedy?
When I was four I saw my brother get out of trouble by making my parents laugh and thought, ‘I gotta learn how to do that’. Then when I was 22 my other brother entered me into a standup comedy competition and I got hooked.
What was it do you think about your mindset that led you to such an unusual career choice?
That I view other careers as unusual. This whole thing we’re trapped in the middle of is weird. I mean what is a job, why don’t other animals have them and why pay for things? Can’t we just share? Ownership is weird. I mean stay away from my stuff, but let’s share everything else!
What did your mother say?
Go back to school and get a ‘normal’ job.
What about your dad?
Do what makes you happy.
What direction would life have taken you do you think, if you had become what your parents or teachers originally intended?
I have no idea. That’s a question only a parallel universe can answer… or an engineer. Not that an engineer could answer this, but that I would have become one.
How do you start your day?
Struggling to get out of bed because sleep is delicious.
What’s your world view? Is there anything in particular that typifies a day in the life of Pat Burtscher?
That we have the technology and all that other jazz to fix the world so why don’t we all band together, spend a solid month doing that and then get back to our ‘real’ jobs. Not that I have a ‘real’ job. I just mean that I’d help fix the world with you guys and then get back to my ‘fake’ job.
Why do you think we Aussies often mistake Canadians for Americans… does it offend you?
Because we sound alike, and nope. It’s an honest mistake and there’re way bigger issues that should be dealt with before this (refer to previous question).
What have you observed that’s unique about Australians that we may not have noticed about ourselves?
Your accents. You don’t think you have them, but you do.
When you lay awake at night you think about…
It varies depending on what’s bugging me out. Usually stupid stuff I can’t change, like this questionnaire.
What you love most about being a comedian is…
Laughing. There’s a lot of laughing involved. Laughing is the best thing in the world, and I’m a huge fan of laughing.
What you love least about being a comedian is…
Waiting. There’s a lot of waiting involved. Waiting is not the worst thing in the world, but I’m not a fan of waiting.
Pat Burtscher MCs the Byron Brewery’s BellyLaugh Open Mic Comedy Room on Thursday 16 July at 8pm (free show) and features at Side Splitting Comedy at the Currumbin RSL with Rob Brown & Gretel Killeen on Saturday 18 July.