One Month At A Time

Improv Comedy: Getting To Know You -Brian Hatcher

We continue our series of (very lazy) profiles about different faces in local comedy. Here’s another member of Charleston’s own, No Pants Players.

Name: Brian Hatcher
Age: 49
Hometown: Beckley WV
Occupation: Professional Raconteur

brian
From left to right -Dude with glasses, girl with glasses, Brian and T-Rex.

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

When I’m not putting fire in my mouth or talking to the dead for fun and profit, I am creating charming little nightmares for adoring readers.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

A good friend, who believed in me more than I did myself, talked me into going to a No Pants Players audition. I left a Saturday book signing and headed straight to St. Albans with no idea what I would be in for.

What was your first workshop or show like?

Nerve-racking. Both cases.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

Jonathan Winters. He is the gold standard for improv comedy.

What’s the best part about what you do?

Being surrounded by and performing with great friends.

What’s the hardest part?

Learning to get out of my own way and let the comedy happen.

What’s (almost) always funny?

Jokes which stem from tragic events.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Learn to listen. Funny comes later.

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

If you’re being charged at the door to get in, total rip off.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?

I believe in global warming. It’s caused by Santa Claus fighting unicorns.

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

“How did you lose all that weight?”

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

It’s worse. Much worse.

How good is your spelling?

I’z speel rel gud, cuz I’z a righter.

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

Taco Bell is cheap, but here’s a way to make it even cheaper: https://youtu.be/okKIBTcU2Ug

Have you ever been to Ohio?

Many times. But don’t tell anyone.

Improv Comedy: Getting to know you…

As a way to get to know some of the comic players in our state and get a better idea about why people decide to take on improv, I sent a questionnaire out to The No Pants Players and to The Fearless Fools with hopes they might give me some insight into why they do what they do.

Also, it was easy.

Name:  Adam King

adamking
Adam is the blurry one toward the back.

Age:  37

Hometown:  St. Albans, WV – The Twin City

Occupation:  President of the No Pants Players, Regional Vice President: Agent Pipeline, Millionaire Stuntman/Half-Narwhal

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

Outside of the troupe I like to design, work on photo/video editing and write scripts which many people that haven’t read find funny.  I am an avid rock climber.  My 8-5 grind is sales oriented and I work with some great folks – I also find multiple times a day for bathroom breaks to catch up on my cell phone games.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

I have always thought I had the ability to entertain but couldn’t find the right outlet.  I’m not a trained actor and that’s apparent.  One day many moons ago I was having lunch at the Town Center and I happened across Kevin Pauley (whom I’ve known since I was in 2nd grade) and he mentioned there were auditions for the troupe and they just happened to be looking for someone who had zero experience on stage, zero performance experience and zero knowledge of improv comedy.  And bam, I worked my way in.  I really thank Sarku of Japan for putting me in the right place at the right time.

What was your first workshop or show like?

Well, I decided to learn/practice for six months prior to putting my talents on stage so I could gain some confidence, also the elder troupe members forced me to.  The NPP has so much amazing talent and they welcomed me with open arms and decades of experience.  It culminated in a series of games where I stood on stage, virtually immobile, whispering to the old lady in the last row.  And it felt amazing.  I knew this was what I wanted to do.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

My favorite comedians growing up were Chris Elliott, Martin Short and David Letterman.  I, maybe unfortunately, also looked up to Weird Al Yankovic but I struggle fitting a food theme into everything I say.

What’s the best part about what you do?

My strongest skillset comes with physical comedy.  I’m somewhat gangly and can make some real hideous faces which crowds seem to enjoy.  When I get a little older this handsomeness will probably resemble a cross between Larry David and Lyle Lovett.

What’s the hardest part?

The hardest part for me is character development.  I have characters that work, when I stick to them.  But my lack of stage acting experience can hinder me because I may go from the straight sarcastic guy, to the train-hopping hobo, to a Cockney bartender – all during a scene involving a Latin American astronaut.

What’s (almost) always funny?

Jeff Bukovinsky.  I’m not sure if he’s a what, or a who.  But he’s the kinda funny, that if you could bottle it, would sell like crazy at TJ Maxx.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Just try it.  Don’t be scared.  Well, do be scared becuase it’s terrifying.  But let yourself go.  Forget about everything that makes you feel insecure because that’s going to be some of your best material.  Find some like minded folks who also think they’re funny and you’ll be surprised what you come up with.  That or you’ll be awful which also rules in the world of YouTube.

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

Two drink minimums are only worth it prior to the noon hour.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?  Since these are all Finnish myths I believe in every one since both of my parents are Laplanders.

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

I’d ask him what it feels like to be funnier than Carrot Top but slightly less so than Gallagher.

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

All of my prison knowledge comes from watching Locked Up, Shawshank Redemption, and having gone to St. Albans High School prior to the renovations.  So I’d say it’s pretty bad.

How good is your spelling?

My spelling is akin to the Infinite Monkey Theorem, if the end result is never Hamlet.

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

All my money is tied up in Vertical Farming and finding a cure for nail biting so ask me again in 30 years.

Have you ever been to Ohio?

I saw an Ohio quarter when the government launched that series back in 2002.  And I read a book about Tecumseh in college.  So, basically.