Nick Vatterott doesn’t like being strange for the sake of being strange. He won the Andy Kaufman Award in 2011, but he’s uncomfortable with the idea that his own best work, or Kaufman’s for that matter, was about doing something off the wall with no inherent payoff or punchline. That’s what makes the strangeness work — it’s leading up to something. Vatterott got his comedy training in Chicago, never thinking there was a hard divide between stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy. They’re all supposed to be funny, right? So why limit yourself. Do all of them. That’s part of what makes him so intriguing as a comedian. If you’ve never seen him, here’s a quick sample, his set from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. You can also find his latest album, For Amusement Only, on his Web site.
I sat down with Vatterott before his recent show at The Gas at Great Scott (see the gallery below for photos). We swerved around subjects from sports to ghost hunting, talking about his stand-up philosophy and training along the way. After the conversation, stay tuned for “The Strongman of North America,” a song from the Chandler Travis Philharmonic‘s new album, Waving Kissyhead Vol 2 & 1, which I reviewed for the New Release Roundup. You can listen to and download the podcast from the link below, or click on the iTunes icon to subscribe.