|Through thick and thin|
by James Brotheridge
Local comic due finds laughs in self-deprecation
"His set is definitely not all fat jokes." "If my set was a pie chart ..." "He'd eat it." Such an exchange is a classic example of an old comedy staple - the fat joke. For years and years, robust gentlemen have been at the butt of many jokes, sometimes perpetrated by themselves to gain a laugh from a crowd. Local comedian Shawn Broom and his writer Devin Pacholik certain- ly don't exploit such notions. At the same time, they aren't shy about using them on occasion, either. The two have a long history together that lends an air of comfort to the proceedings. They were high school friends, and Devin was cer- tainly around to see the rocky start to Shawn's comedy career. After an awkward gig, Shawn was ready to give up, until Devin found him anoth- er show and offered him another chance. "It was really Devin who was like, ‘You should get into this again,' ‘cause I didn't want to," noted Shawn. "The last show that didn't go so well was a corporate thing with older people there," explained Devin. "His jokes weren't in touch with an older crowd. I was like, ‘Maybe if you don't mind I'll take a look at some of your jokes and add to them.'" Since then, the two have collabo- rated on Shawn's set, and he has since become a regular at comedy shows around Regina. "I don't even invite my friends to the shows anymore," said Shawn of his success. "Before, it was like, ‘I need you to come to the show and laugh at my jokes.' I'm a big boy." The two aren't entirely averse to throwing a few jokes about Shawn's weight into a night's performance. They feel that poking fun at one's self in such a way is a form of universal comedy that all can enjoy. "It's the cheapest laugh," said Shawn. "Well, self-deprecation of any kind is the best laugh you can get because you aren't offending any- one," said Devin. "Just yourself. And that's accept- able," responded Shawn. For the two of them, the process of writing a fat joke comes from a per- sonal trust held between the two of them. They both accept their physical faults and seem quite comfortable with them. Shawn explained it with only a slight air of bitterness. "It gives Devin a chance to be mean and I can't show my offence right away. Deep down, I have a little well of hate and it gets deeper each time he writes one of those jokes." When asks what his response to one of Devin's fat jokes was, Shawn's answer was frank. "I usually react violently, but you can't pick that up on tape." "Too bad you can't record bruises on that tape," added Devin. The one type of comedy that they obviously don't care for is that which takes the exploitation too far and that which is artless. When asked about the subject, they both gave vigorous responses. "With people like Larry the Cable Guy and Carlos Mencia," started Shawn, "that's a character that they've adopted into their real life, which is just crap." "They have the cheapest laughs," continued Devin. "Comedy is an art, and they're defiling it."