DRAWING THE LINE: Cartoonist and stand-up comic Pat Lamb brings a Thurber-like wit to his work. His video column makes its CLIFFVIEW PILOT debut with a short item he calls “The Drunk Life.”
Patrick was born in Jersey City, the 10th of 14 children. His dad worked for Ford Motor Corp. and his mom – well, with 14 Lambs running around, she didn’t have much choice but be a housewife.
His hometown, he says, is like the Bronx.
“It was once mainly Irish and Italian and now has every minority you can think of… All people know about Jersey City is that they drive through it and don’t like what they see… When I was growing up there, it was mainly known as Manhattan’s train yard.”
Patrick’s first day at St. Al’s, an older student hanged himself by a tie in one of the classroom closets.
“After that, it was clip-on ties,” he says.
“We used to go down to the Hackensack River and find dead animals and burn them in a trashcan. I mostly stayed out of trouble because everyone knew who I was. All 14 Lambs look alike. I couldn’t be a criminal because people would come up to me and tell me who I was.”
“T’was a tough experience that filled me with piss, vinegar and a tremendous imagination,” Patrick says. “It also made me one bizarre dude.”
Judge for yourself:
“The Drunk Life”
Patrick attended Jersey City State College — aka Vaseline U., “because you slid right through.” From there, it was on to New York City’s School of Visual Arts, where he trained as a cartoonist /illustrator.
He likes working standup clubs in the city, even if it means taking the occasional beating from the audience.
“The Jersey comics are more New York than the Manhattan comics, because most of the Jersey people have lived in this area most of our lives and know the flavor,” he says. “Most New York comics don’t come from here. All they know about Manhattan is that it is a yuppie theme park. They couldn’t tell you Woodlawn from Hunts Point. They don’t get the city right. They think they do, but they don’t.
“They may live in Brooklyn, but you can’t be from there until 50 people have chased you through the subway trying to kill you.”
Patrick’s comedy is observational, nostalgic – and, in keeping with his roots, more than a little sarcastic. Mix his traditionally Irish storytelling with the street toughness Hudson County natives are known for, and you’ve got a guy who can hit you where it hurts – to laugh.
He likes the “controlled explosions” of laughter, he says, and doesn’t miss the irony of comparing crowds to internal combustion engines, considering his father’s trade.
“One day soon I’m going to replace my car engine with an audience,” Patrick says.
Want more? CLICK HERE for: Patrick’s YouTube Channel