Vancouver comedy veteran Patrick Maliha may be the only person in the history of the universe whose Pee-Wee Herman impression actually prevented him from getting beat up by schoolyard bullies.
It was also the moment the master impressionist, who holds the world record for most impressions in a minute (27!), first realized he had a real talent for mimicry. Sporting a silvery-grey suit to his school formal that bore an uncanny resemblance to that of the ‘80s children’s TV star, a young Maliha was approached by a group of guys he didn’t know in the school parking lot.
“One guy was like ‘Yo, let me hear your Pee-Wee Herman impression buddy!’ Then I actually did the impression, and he goes, ‘Oh OK, that was really good,’” the 43-year-old comic explained.
Flanked by his mom, who wondered aloud how the boys knew her son could do a Herman impression, it was only after some time that Maliha realized “they wanted to fight me because of the suit.”
“After that,” he said, “I thought, ‘Well if it keeps me from getting beat up in front of my mom, maybe I’ve got something here.’”
A staple of Vancouver’s comedy scene for over 20 years, Maliha will unveil some of his favourite characters on Friday (Feb. 14) at a special Valentine’s Day edition of Comedy Rehab at Maxx Fish. Some of his staples include Homer Simpson, Stewie from Family Guy and the relatively recent addition of Batman supervillain, Bane. In fact, Maliha not only breaks out the gravelly-voiced impression at shows, but also explains how the audience can pull it off themselves, much to the delight of “quote-unquote bros” everywhere.
“Once you learn how to do it, it’s actually really easy,” Maliha said. “I’ve had quote-unquote bros come up to me, and be like ‘Yo, man! Dude, I totally do your Bane impression at parties. It’s awesome!’ Then I’m like, ‘That’s great, do you have $2 I could borrow?’”
Maliha will be on hand Friday with fellow Van city funny man Kyle Jones to share tales of love and dating on Valentine’s Day, including the story of how he convinced his now-wife to go have a drink with him during his rather bold university days.
Maliha picked out the prettiest girl in the room, who was sitting with her friend, walked up and asked her if she wanted to grab a pint at a pub nearby. The eventual mother of his children replied that she hadn’t decided on their next stop. Without missing a beat, Maliha said, “Oh sorry, I guess you misunderstood, your friend’s not invited. I’m just interested in hanging out with you.”
Maliha’s wife eventually relented, explaining her rationale to Maliha after the fact.
“The mother of my children told me at that time that all that went through her head was, ‘This guy’s not the best looking, he’s maybe a bit of a jerk, but he is right; I’m way better looking than my friend Annette,’” he said. “She’s told me on numerous occasions that ‘I didn’t find you attractive at first, but I knew if I was going to go with you things would be interesting.’”
Things always seem to be interesting around the side-splittingly funny Maliha, who was named Vancouver’s favourite comic in the Georgia Straight’s annual awards in ’08 and ‘09, and who hosts a monthly series at the Rio Theatre where he and two buddies crack wise during screenings of some of the best worst movies of all time.
Still looking for a date this V-Day? Maliha knows exactly which cinematic gems not to bring your love interest to.
“The worst date movie would be anything that has the word ‘expendables’ in it — 1, 2 or 3. Oh, and also the movie Date Movie,” he said.
The Valentine’s Day edition of Comedy Rehab starts at 8:30 p.m., with doors at 7:30. Tickets are $15 at the door, or $10 in advance at Maxx Fish, Hempire or online at www.clubzone.com.