Many stand-up comics come prepared with lots of material and a highly polished delivery. Not Chris Kattan. The former Saturday Night Live regular stood on the City Winery stage Wednesday evening, told a few stories, chatted with the audience, and answered questions.
Kattan's show was less polished but more personal than most comics. The stories he told did not sound rehearsed but came across as spontaneous. He told of the first time he met Bill Murray, who picked him up (Chris is a petite guy) and walked away without saying a word. He told of introducing himself to Prince and how he could not understand what Prince was saying. He told a story of sliding off the back of a shirtless Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson during an SNL skit.
He slipped into his Mango personality - a popular recurring character from his SNL days and he opened with a dance to light show and music that recalled the cocky but incompetent pickup artist that was half of the "Roxbury Guys" that Kattan performed repeatedly with Will Ferrell. "If you came to see that, you can now leave," he quipped.
He also announced his engagement and pointed to his fiancé, who sat right behind me.
Occasionally, he engaged someone in the audience and started a conversation.
It was entertaining enough to hold my attention but unremarkable. When his prepared / unprepared material ended, he invited audience members to ask questions. At this point, he became personable, patient, and funny. Surprisingly, this was the best part of the show. The Q&A session contained the spontaneity of an improv show without the absurdity.
Chris Kattan struck me as the kind of person with whom I could have a cup of coffee and a long conversation. That role may suit him better than being a comic star.