Just For Laughs

Comedian Johnny Lampert may be over 30 years old, but he sees no reason to leave his parents' home.

"My girlfriend keeps talking about marriage," he says. "l tell her 'Hey, where I am now I get three meals a day plus snacks. I'm not moving!

"I make myself very useful at home," he continued. "When work needs to be done in the yard, someone's got to be around to keep an eye on the workers."

Lampert, a native New Yorker, brings his stand-up routine to Montreal this week as part of the Just for Laughs Festival. He'll be one of the busier acts in town, performing seven shows, including the Loco-Quebec Gala 9, hosted by Eugene Levy and featuring Gabe Kaplan, on Saturday night.

Lampert's 'freeloading' character is a favorite at comedy clubs throughout North America. He just finished a successful run of his original one-man show 'Separation Anxiety,' debuting in New York and immediately going on to Chicago and Washington, D.C. Plans are under way for an off-Broadway run this fall.

"I think many people can relate to my schtick," he told The Suburban in a telephone interview "I mean, everyone knows someone that has lived at home just a little too long. My dad asked me, "You're 30 years old. When are you moving out'?' I said. I was going to ask you the same thing. You're 65, you get out!"'

And how do Lampert's parents react to their son's comedy routine? "They like it, and tell me 'Go ahead, as long as it's funny."'

After attending Boston University, Lampert returned home and got 'very comfortable.' "I thought, 'I may never live this way again'. My parents are well to-do, so I might as well take advantage of it."

When he started on the comedy circuit in 1986 his routine consisted of the usual comedic material, such as dating. Then a friend said 'talk about your life it's funnier than your material'. I've been doing the stay-at-home thing ever since."

Lampert says that in the past privacy with women has been a problem. "I'm embarrassed about my living situation so I would tell my dates, 'Look, when we get home keep it down. I'm renting to some old people."'

Lampert is concerned about getting too successful. "If you make it big you have to go to L.A., and be in movies and TV," he said. "Who's to say my parents are willing to relocate?"

-John Austen