Sean Kelly on comedy and “the true essence of rock n’ roll”
Sean Kelly comedian

Best known to audiences as the face of Storage Hunters, Sean Kelly is also a stand-up comic famous for his high energy stage shows.

Ahead of his performance at the Jesterval Comedy Festival in Gateshead (June 3-12), we spoke to comedian Sean Kelly about stand-up, starting out and, erm, the Hull Fair:

What can you tell us about Jesterval?

“I can tell you that I will be performing at this première Comedy event alongside some very funny and talented comedians. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of comedy fans and enjoying a great time at Jesterval this year.”

Which is more ‘rock and roll’ and why – comedy or music festivals?

“Comedy festivals. When you go to a music festival you already know what you’re in for. You probably know all the songs you’re going to here and the lyrics of your favourite songs – it’s all pretty predictable.

“Whereas with comedy, you don’t always know what’s going to happen or what’s going to be said — and that’s the true essence of rock and roll…living on the edge.”

What big subjects will you be touching on in your show?

“Some of the subjects I’ll be touching on will be growing up in Germany, serving in the military, being married for 24 years (in a row), being on Storage Hunters and my experiences in the U.K.”

How do you usually prepare for a live performance?

“The secret is in a good nap.”

Where did your first stand-up ‘big break’ take place and how did it go down?

“Have I had a big-break yet?”

Are there tell-tale signs that you’re in a North East comedy club?

“My best shows have been in the North East.”

If you had to name one other comedian other than yourself to checkout at Jesterval, who would you choose and why?

“If you are attending on June 4th, I wouldn’t miss Stephen K. Amos. I just worked with him and he’s not only hilarious, but a super-nice guy.”

Do you still get nerves and what can you do to conquer them?

“I don’t get nerves any more. I get diarrhoea, vomiting, panic attacks and a rash, so would what you call that?”

What would be your advice for someone looking to break into comedy?

“Get together 3-5 minutes of your funniest stories, find your local open-mic night and record everything you do. Then review it.”

If you had to pick out the North East’s finest cultural achievement to date, what would you choose?

“Although I’ve never been, the Hull Fair has been going on for 723 years, which I find amazing. I mean who am I to argue with something that’s over 500 years older than the country I’m from?”

Jesterval Comedy Festival takes place June 3-12

Baltic Square, Gateshead Quays, NE8 3BA / jesterval.com

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