As a comedian, Tavon Patterson has the knack for making others forget their troubles in an increasingly troubled and dark world.
And Patterson knows something about frustration.
The 2001 graduate of Scott High School has been a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he was a construction engineering squad leader. He decided to pursue his love of comedy when he returned home from Iraq following a second tour about a year ago. He gave comedy prayerful consideration and discussed the idea with friends, who encouraged him to go for it.
"I want people to be happy about life because there is so much we can be upset and frustrated about," the 28-year-old Toledoan said.
Though still quite new to the business, he is not a newcomer to the comedy stage. He has performed regularly and has written material for Game Savvy Latenight, a locally produced television program that mimics Saturday Night Live and airs on WNWO-TV Channel 24 at 1 a.m. on Sundays.
Patterson debuted at Mulvaney's Bunker Irish Pub on Dorr Street. He has also appeared at Fat Fish Blue, home of the Funny Bone in Perrysburg, Connxtions Comedy Club in South Toledo, and at Grumpy Dave's Pub in Bowling Green.
As the oldest of five siblings brought up by a single mother, Tonya Patterson, he says family and relationship issues and problems provide some of the material for his performances.
Though some of Tavon Patterson's favorite comedians -- including Richard Pryor, Bernie Mack, Cedric the Entertainer, and Sommore -- have been known to be a bit raunchy, he says he "swears some on stage, and it's nothing that's unbearable."
Patterson said his acts easily are cleaned up when children are in the audience. A clean performance was certainly the order of the day when he did stand-up comedy at his church, Friendship Baptist Church in southwest Toledo.
Mr. Patterson will perform at the Lois M. Nelson Theater at the Collingwood Arts Center at 8 p.m. Saturday as part of the L.O.L. Comedy Group, that also includes Felicia "Heavy Duty Cutie" Hill, Ryker Riley, Ricarlo Flanagan, Glenn Kynard, and Comedian Kool Keith. They are members of a group of local comedians who support each other and share information about performance opportunities.
Contact Rose Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6178.