Blogger For A Day: Charlotte's Comedy Consigliere
Sean Keenan may be the most well known comedian in Charlotte. He’s worked for years as a stand up and sketch comedy writer and performer where he once served as head writer for the now defunct world-famous Perch Theater. The Talking Baby, a character he created while at the Perch, landed him a job at MTV before he moved back to Charlotte to raise his two daughters.
He’s laid low in recent years, mostly working behind the scenes in the art department for the Showtime hit Homeland and commercials filmed in the area, but he’s ready to move back into the spotlight.
Keenan will take over the Revue blog tomorrow, Jan. 22, to explain how a nice, clean cut boy from Connecticut could grow up to create funny characters like the foul-mouthed baby, a talking pancake with political aspirations and a slew of others that are best seen rather than explained.
But first, let’s get to know him.
REVUE: When did you realize you wanted to be a comedian?
SEAN KEENAN: I was 11. I had figured out I could do voices, and it separated me from other kids.
RV: How would you describe your comedic sensibility?
SK: Clever dick jokes with an underlying current of anger.
RV: Who inspired you?
SK: Watching Dana Carvey when he was on SNL looked like he was having the most fun, ever. I wanted to do that, and I was such a fan. But when I see him now, he looks lost. He's always performing now, and there 's nothing sadder than that.
RV: Any good road stories?
SK: When we were in LA pitching television shows, one night a few of my buddies from this sketch group and I wanted to do a little partying so we went out, and we end up at this diner late night. One guy thought he was really charming up this girl to the point where he was having pictures taken with her. He even let the film crew that was following us shoot the both of them together. Turns out that pretty girl was a transvestite, and we've got lots of footage to prove it. He cringes in horror to this day whenever the subject is brought up.
RV: What is your personal favorite comedy moment?
SK: Having (stand-up comedian) Doug Stanhope tell me he thought I was funny. Not even close, best moment ever.
RV: How has your comedy changed over the years now that you have two young children?
SK: I used to write jokes without ever thinking about who would be listening or watching. Kids change that. I'm not so willing to jump into the Hitler costume anymore.
RV: How has the Charlotte comedy scene changed since you started?
SK: There's a lot more people now. I could tell you everyone who was involved in the Charlotte scene 20 years ago. Now I keep my eyes on the people I find funny.
RV: Any local comedians we should be on the lookout for?
SK: I like Derek Blackmon, Chesney Goodson, and the guys from Mon Frere. They're from Greensboro, but they perform here once a month.
RV: Do you have any advice for up and coming comedians?
SK: Lots. Trust the silence on stage. Stop laughing at your own jokes. Take advice from a select few people, but listen to those people when they tell you you're wrong. Write constantly. Keep your ears open for new talent. Don't let the horrible people continue to be horrible to you.