When all else fails, Leland Klassen makes fun of himself.
The comedian will crack jokes about his Canadian upbringing, his marriage or church, but the topic that always manages to get him the most laughs is his own quirkiness.
“I’m a bit of a freak, so I use that to my advantage,” Klassen said in a phone call from British Columbia, a stop on his latest comedy tour.
On Friday, the comedian leaves the 40-below temperatures of Canada for Augusta, where he’ll perform a night of family comedy at Fat Man’s Mill Cafe. The event is sponsored by Christian radio station WAFJ-FM (88.3).
“A night of clean comedy is comedy you can bring your whole family to,” he said. “You don’t have to be worried about what your kids are going to hear. It’s guilt-free comedy.”
That’s the way it’s always been, Klassen said.
“I’ve just always done comedy clean,” he said. “It’s such a part of who I am.”
When he started out at amateur nights in comedy clubs, Klassen was often the only one doing clean routines. He stuck with it.
“I didn’t want to do it the way I saw the rest of the world doing it,” he said.
As a Christian, his faith compels him to live differently, Klassen said.
“I’m a born-again believer, a follower of Christ,” said Klassen, a father of two boys, ages 14 and 11.
Sometimes people think it’s harder to put on truly funny comedy when a comedian is committed to producing a clean act. Klassen doesn’t believe that’s the case.
“It’s not harder for me,” he said. “I get what they’re trying to say, but the easiest thing for me to do is make fun of myself. People see that and there are aspects of that they relate to. That’s what makes it funny.”
Clean, he added, doesn’t necessarily mean cheesy.
“That’s sometimes what people think right away, but comedy clubs wouldn’t put me on if I wasn’t just as funny,” he said.
There’s a reason people say laughter is good medicine, Klassen said. For that reason, he urges people to come check out the show with their friends and family.
“I want them to come out of my show feeling renewed and refreshed, saying, ‘I needed that,’ even if they didn’t know they needed that going in,” he said. “If you need a night of really good, hard laughs, this is where it’s at. You can even skip the baby sitter for the night.”