A cat has nine lives, a comedian only has one life but talks about it non-stop.

If you’ve ever owned an outdoor cat, you know the feeling of letting it out and wondering what mischief it’s getting up to. But no matter how much mischief it gets up to, it always finds it’s way home.  

This analogy seems very timely as comedian/avid cat person Rachelle Lauzon returns to London to open up for Jon Dore this Wednesday at London Music Hall.

Recently, I had a chance to chat with Rachelle about her comedy experiences so far, her opinions on local comedy issues and the crazy thing that her cat can do.

For those who haven’t seen you, what’s the best way to describe your comedic style?

I find it difficult to describe my style because my act is constantly evolving. If you ask my family and friends they will tell you “Oh, she’s dirty!”

A year ago, I might have said the same thing but now I prefer to say that I’m honest. I don’t hold back and I’m not afraid to talk about anything. Right now, my style is personal, cynical, full of misdirection and lightly peppered with vagina jokes.

Last December, you had a chance to Roast Battle in front of a panel of judges that included the likes of Joe Rogan, Russell Peters, and Big Jay Oakerson. What’s your favourite memory from that night and what lessons were you able to learn from that experience?

That night was a blast! I was terrified because I had never done a roast before but I ended up having an amazing time.

At one point during the show Russell Peters called me “sweetie” (or something gross like that) and tried touching my side to get my attention. I’m not sure what came over me because I made a sassy comment and we had a little back and forth on stage.

I heard Joe Rogan laughing say “who IS this girl?” It was a surreal moment. After the show I talked with Joe and he was really nice. He even gave me a Twitter shout-out.

I gained a lot of confidence in myself from that show and I learned it’s important to throw yourself into things that scare you. I also learned that I hate being called sweetie.

In the past year, you’ve performed at both the Blue Whale Comedy Festival in Tulsa and The Oddblock Comedy Festival in Winnipeg. How does festival comedy differ from your average weekend at a comedy club?

Festivals are tons of fun, they’re like summer camp for comedians. They give you the opportunity to meet new people, be introduced to industry and make lasting connections.

There is a lot of work that goes into organizing festivals and they are heavily promoted so the vibe is different from an average night at a comedy club. The shows at Blue Whale and Oddblock were practically sold out every night with enthusiastic crowds ready to be entertained.

Festivals require you to buy weekend passes so people are excited to get their money’s worth and often have a great attitude coming into shows. Basically festivals are a big fun party and I would love to do more!

During your tour out west recently, you had a chance to do a set on Calgary’s renowned open mic, Comedy Monday Night.  What makes that show so special and is there something that they do on that show that you’d like to see other open mics adopt?

Comedy Monday Night is one of the longest running and most successful weekly shows in Canada and I was so happy to be able to host a show while I was there.

The producer, James Moore has worked very hard to build a brand for the show and I think every producer could learn from him. I was amazed by the amount of merch with the Comedy Monday Night logo (t-shirts, notebooks, coffee mugs, pens etc.) and every week they have an amazing prize giveaway to the best audience member.

I like the prize giveaway because it encourages the audience to be on their best behaviour and gives people a reason to come back. If you are ever in Calgary you should make a point to see that show!

You’re currently on Wednesday nights at Yuk Yuk’s Toronto. That means you’re a step away from the Yuk Yuk’s roster, and also one step closer to a paid weekend at Yuk Yuk’s London. I know you’ve heard how notoriously tough that audience can be. What advice would you give to any comedian performing in front of a London crowd? Also, what do you think is the secret to solving the riddle that is Yuk Yuk’s London?

I have definitely heard how notoriously tough the London Yuks Yuks can be, some of the funniest comics I know have bombed there and I’m not entirely sure why.

I don’t perform in London often enough to give advice and I couldn’t solve a riddle to save my life. However, I am excited for the challenge and can’t wait to bomb terribly in my hometown!

London has been producing some quality comedians as of late. What do you think it is about London comedians that play well in front of a Toronto Audience?

I think London is interesting because it is a bigger city but compared to Toronto a small town, so you get the best of both worlds.

From my experience, shows in London can have a classic ‘road gig’ feel, where the audience wants to escape with easy and dirty material.

But there is another side to London that is hip and artsy because of the large student population. Starting comedy in a smaller city means you generally have to travel more and you’re forced to step outside of your comfort zone earlier on in your career.

Lately with the introduction of the London Music Office, it seems the London music scene is slowly getting it’s act together. What do you think the London comedy scene has to do as a whole to follow suit?

I think it comes down to initiative and awareness. Comedians need to work together to promote local talent, be supportive of each other and spread the word. Find unique venues that are dedicated to comedy where you can charge a cover and set a value for the show.

It is challenging to get people interested in comedy in the back of a bar while the London Knights are playing on every TV and people are yelling chicken wing orders.

Do you think a London comedy festival would be an important step in that direction?

I don’t feel qualified to answer these questions. I think it might be too early to have a London Comedy Festival but what do I know?

I think the first step is getting people excited about comedy in London and see if the market is there, but once again I KNOW NOTHING.

One Last Question…….

It’s well known that you’re a cat person. Heck! You even hosted a podcast about cats for a while. What’s the cutest thing your cat has ever done and do you have plans to bring the podcast back?

View this post on Instagram

He does this now. He stands up like a real boy

A post shared by Rachelle (@rachellelauzon) on

I am so happy you brought this up as this is something I am very passionate about and qualified to discuss.

My kitty George-Michael amazes me everyday with constant cuteness it is so hard to pick just one thing. The cutest and most impressive thing he does is stand on his hind legs. He stands-up like a real boy! It’s incredible! He was the inspiration behind my podcast “The Podkats” and I would love to do another season possibly in the new year. Stay tuned!

You can catch Rachelle, this Wednesday opening for Jon Dore at London Music Hall.

You Can Follow Her On Twitter: @Rachllelauzon

Pat Tiffin is a local comedian and contributor for LondonFuse

Feature Photo Coutesy of Rachelle Lauzon, Photo Credit: Erica Ehler

 

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