When one former Saturday Night Live cast member comes to Philadelphia to perform for a few days this March, he plans on taking in some history in between cracking folks up at Punch Line Philly.
Or at least he thinks so, anyway.
“I don’t know, I’ll find history,” Chris Kattan, who was on SNL from 1996 to 2003, says of what he'll do with his coming time in Philly. “Is the bell there? No, the bell’s not there. It is? OK, I was right. I’ll go look at the Liberty Bell … It’s cracked, right?"
Kattan, who was last in Philadelphia in 2013, will find out for himself when he comes to town for five stand-up comedy performances at Punch Line Philly from March 16 to March 18. Tickets for the shows go on sale Friday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. via the Punch Line Philly website. Opening acts have not yet been announced.
The comedic actor, who is best known for his SNL roles as head-bobbing club-goer Doug Butabi and male exotic dancer Mango, says his act will focus on a little bit of everything, and doesn’t rely on any gimmick to move it along. Instead, guests will hear about “SNL, and current events, and [his] personal life, and growing up,” Kattan says.
“I don’t really have a gimmick,” he adds. “I talk about pretty much whatever funny people usually cover.”
In 2017, that necessarily means politics and President Donald Trump. That element of the stand-up act, for Kattan, is a new one, as the comedian is admittedly “not political.” With the topic now hard to ignore these days, some political humor has made its way to Kattan’s act — so long as he feels it is appropriate for the area he is performing.
“There are so many people who voted for [Trump]. You have to be careful,” Kattan says. “You guys voted for Hillary, right? I assumed, because Boston did, and New York did — most of the best cities did.”
Consequently, Philly, where 82 percent of voters voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump in the most recent presidential election, will likely see some political humor from the former SNL cast member. In other cities, such as El Paso, that content hasn’t gone over so well.
“In El Paso, I made some wall comments, and that didn’t work out,” Kattan says. “The club was right next to the border. There was basically a border guard stand right outside the club. You have to be careful because the root of it isn’t really funny, unfortunately. Now we’re all on The Apprentice.”
Kattan most recently appeared in a Funny or Die sketch as Batman’s Bane, who calls out President Trump for lifting a line from the villain’s speech in The Dark Knight Rises. The comedian, who currently voices a vampire rabbit in Cartoon Network’s Bunnicula, will also appear in films including The Bobby Roberts Project and Walk of Fame later this year.
Despite his voice work, film projects, and comedy tour, Kattan says he still keeps up with SNL, at least for the show’s monologues and news updates. For the former cast member, the show provides an important comedic voice in a tumultuous time — something some of us need most of all.
“There’s a lot of crap going on, and [the show] kind of gives us some perspective,” Kattan says. “It’s important for us to hear that.”
8 p.m. on March 16, 8 p.m. on March 17, 10:15 p.m. on March 17, 7:30 p.m. on March 18. 9:45 p.m. on March 18, Punch Line Philly (33 E. Laurel St., 216-606-6555, www.punchlinephilly.com.