A ‘Frantic’ Interview With Paul Chato
Shalom Life interviews the Canadian comedian and member of The Frantics
The comedy group The Frantics has been entertaining Canadians for more than 30 years. If you were in your 20s and 30s back in the 1980s, chances are you’ll remember listening to The Frantics on the radio. You might also remember timeless characters like Mr. Canoehead and the catchphrase “Boot to the head!” from the TV show Four on the Floor.
Last year, The Frantics posted a clip from the group’s latest DVD onto Will Ferrell’s website FunnyOrDie.com. It went viral within a few months, garnering almost 5 million views so far and the coveted “Immortal” status on the site. The video introduced The Frantics to a younger generation.
Shalom Life chats with comedian Paul Chato about the video and the group’s upcoming plans in this exclusive interview.
If you had to be stuck on an island with one of The Frantics. Who would you pick and why?
Even though I like Dan and Peter better, probably Rick. I went to high school with him and we wrote some very funny material together, plus I have this deep need to have him like me, which he never did, so it makes me a bit desperate to please him.
You’ve been in the business for a long time. What advice would you give to young comedians?
There is only one piece of advice that is of any value. Actually, Johnny Wayne from Wayne & Shuster actually told me this: If you quit you lose.
The only other thing I would add is if you have success, don't take it for granted. You'll probably never duplicated it again. Ha.
Mr. Canoehead is one of your most popular sketches. But which character is your favourite?
I always liked doing Jason Mahooch on TV because it was crazy, inventive and silent so I didn't have to learn any lines.
One of your sketches has garnered more than 4.5 million views on Funny or Die. What was your reaction when you saw the video on the site and all the positive feedback?
Well, we posted "Her First Period" as a way to promote our DVD. Of course we were ecstatic about the numbers. Everyone hopes for that kind of thing to happen. It really hit a nerve out there. Especially with women who are the main spreaders of viral videos.
Has the demand for The Frantics’ latest reunion DVD increased because of the video?
Yes, I would say so. We've pretty much sold out of our first run. Now we have to think of how to promote it even more.
What’s your favourite sketch on the DVD?
My favorite sketch on the DVD is probably Dan's monologue called "Lovely, Lovely Body." It brings tears to my eyes, it's so funny. I really like what we did at the Bad Dog Improv Theatre. We were afraid to see the footage when we first shot it but you can really see the fun we were having.
When can we expect another Frantics reunion?
For sure there will be other videos and audio disks coming from our vault. Live-wise, we're hoping we can put something a bit more coherent together. We were doing a lot of live single shows and that's just too much work. A big tour is our goal, or hitting it big with a stock trade. That would be our preference so we don't have to work at all. I think Nortel will be the next big thing.
For more about The Frantics, visit www.thefrantics.com.