- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2017

You know you remember Mr. Peepers, Chris Kattan’s Cro-Magnon-era character from “Saturday Night Live.” And Mango. And that time he lampooned Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug’s high-pitched voice — sitting right next to her in a sketch playing her “brother” Kippi.

“When I described it to her, she was like ‘I just want to make sure you’re not making fun of me,’” Mr. Kattan told The Washington Times, then demonstrating the high-pitched voice he used for Kippi, which clearly lampooned Ms. Strug’s famously soprano voice. “‘Is that OK?’ And she’s like ‘I guess so.’”

The sketch can be seen as either honoring Ms. Strug or mocking her — or perhaps both.

“I kept on thinking it must be so weird to be in a relationship with her for so many reasons,” Mr. Kattan said, laughing.

Mr. Kattan will bring his acerbic, often anarchic, sense of humor to The Arlington Cinema ‘N” Drafthouse this weekend, where he will perform a standup routine that touches on many of his famous — and infamous — characters, as well as touch on the typical comedy tropes of family, relationships and turning tragedy into the funny.

“There’s a lot of insightful jokes about relationships, and I have had a series of [bad] relationships, so I talk about that,” he said.

Mr. Kattan came up through The Groundlings, the famous improv proving grounds in Los Angeles that became a feeder for “SNL” and other shows. Paul Reubens, Will Ferrell, Lisa Kudrow and Ana Gasteyer are just a few of the notable alumni of the school.

“If it goes in that direction, I’m always open to improvising,” Mr. Kattan said of his stage routine potentially going in unforeseen directions. “That’s my background. That’s what I fall back on.”

For evidence he points to a performance he gave where two people in the front row were talking rather loudly during his routine.

“I said to the audience, ‘Let’s be quiet and see how long they talk,’” he said, pausing his routine to glare at the yackers. “It took about 10 seconds until one looked” up at him, he said.

But sometimes even the most seasoned improviser is lost for words. Mr. Kattan was part of a panel show on an MTV show in 1998 wherein they were destroying the tapes of the “worst videos of all time.” Mr. Kattan co-hosted the show with a pre-“Daily Show” Jon Stewart, Denis Leary and Janeane Garofalo.

“How could you not enjoy destroying the worst videos of all time?” Mr. Kattan said.

Vanilla Ice was invited to the show to destroy the tape of his smash hit “Ice Ice Baby” with a baseball bat. However, the rapper flipped and began trashing not only the tape but the entire set with his bat, causing Mr. Kattan and his co-hosts to cower in genuine fear.

The show then went to commercial, and Vanilla Ice was immediately bounced from the program.

“He wasn’t supposed to smash anything, but he did,” Mr. Kattan recalls. “He just did it to make a point of some sort. But we didn’t understand the point.”

Mr. Kattan’s “SNL” castmates included Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon, Jimmy Fallon and Jim Breuer. He says he still keeps up regularly with Mr. Ferrell and Miss Shannon.

Mr. Kattan heaped praise on the District crowds who have come out to see his previous shows.

“The last time I was there I was like, ‘These people know their comedy,’” he said. “So it keeps you on your toes.”

Chris Kattan will perform at the Arlington Drafthouse & Cinema Friday at 7:30 and 10 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are available by going to ArlingtonDrafthouse.com.

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