By Ryan Meehan
Sean Patton is a comedian based in Los Angeles and New York, by way of New Orleans. Sean began doing standup in the Crescent City, and has since performed in comedy clubs across the US and Canada. Sean has also performed at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival (2011), Just for Laughs Chicago (2013), Just for Laughs Toronto (2013), and three times at Just for Laughs Montreal (2008, 2010, 2012). In the TV world, Sean has appeared on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham (2009), Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2010), twice on Conan (2011, 2013), and once on Comedy Central’s @Midnight (2014). 2013 also marked the release of his own Comedy Central Half Hour Special. As for acting, Sean played a guest starring role on IFC’s Maron and a co-starring role on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer. Sean also stars in the unscripted travel show Best Bars in America for The Esquire Network, and he’s our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: You hail from New Orleans, which is known for its debaucherous lifestyle choices…What is the most unusual thing that you have done when you were drunk? Is that a story that you share in your stand-up act?
SP: The most unusual thing that’s ever happened to me whilst I was drinking was that I got gay bashed. Oh, and I’m not gay (unfortunately). Here is a clip of the story. I told it on Ari Shaffir’s show https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LxXPXVaBzjI
RM: When you’re about to appear on a late night talk show to do a set, what kinds of thoughts are going through your mind right before you step out and do your act?
SP: It’s a common misconception that late night sets are stressful. Yeah right! They’re a breeze! Speaking of breeze, as I’m standing backstage right before I do a late night set I find myself thinking about how nice the studio feels, because they’re all air conditioned with state of the art CENTRAL units, and hoping my entourage doesn’t finish off my fruit & cheese tray before I make it back to the dressing room. Afterward I go around to where the audience exits, pull my throbbing hard post performance boner out, and give a few lucky audience members a chance to nom nom on it before I use it to unlock my semen password protected Maserati and cruise away at 97 mph off a fucking cliff. What do you think goes through your head moments before you step out onto national fucking television to give a few million people five minutes of your life’s work?! You are flipping the fuck out! Those aren’t thoughts going through your head, they’re sonic blasts of 100% pure, uncut, supercharged doubt. Somehow you find a way to use them to fuel your inner fire and pull it together in those last few seconds. Then the host says your name, two guys donning headphones open the curtain, you walk out, stand on your mark, and begin.
RM: On your website it says that you are “celebrating the beauty of the human flaw, specifically my own”…What types of personal flaws of yours tend to be the source of most of your material?
SP: Watch me perform and see for yourself. Dates are on my website.
RM: How would you best describe your Twitter feed in three words? What is your current relationship with social media and how it relates to your interaction with fans of comedy?
SP: Can I describe it in a haiku instead?
Tweet, tweet, tweet some more
Gobble up those followers
Is there more to life?
RM: Why is my Microsoft Word telling me that “Sarcasticist” is not a word? To what do you attribute your tendency to practice sarcasm so freely?
SP: Am I sarcastic? I’ve always thought I was bad at sarcasm. I mean, all sarcasm really is, is a shift in tone. A way you say something. It’s a matter of punctuation really. So if I know shit about sarcasm, it’s all accidental because I like to experiment with punctuation during conversation. Let’s put a period where a question mark usually goes and see what happens!
RM: If you had the ability to “frankenstein” the perfect comedian; which aspects of each comic’s act would you put together to construct the ultimate laugh monster?
SP: if I had the ability to make a comedy Frankenstein, I would go to a comedy festival, find my five favorite comedians, and tell them to burn me at the stake so that I’d never create a comedy Frankenstein. There should never be such a thing. Every good comedian is unique in how they’re good and how they’re bad. Our strengths feed our weaknesses as our weaknesses inspire our strengths. A comedian that’s all strength is not only impossible. But fucking lame. The industry tries to create this on an annual basis, and every year they think they’ve found someone, and two years later that frankencomedian moves into a condo in obsoleteville. Ultimate laugh monster? That’s like creating a breakfast-lunch-dinner-midnightsnack pill. No! Fuck that! Some comedians are like bacon, eggs, and hash browns. Some are like a tuna tar tar or a Cobb salad. Some are surf n turf. Each meal should be enjoyed for what it is.
RM: What is the one detail that tends to get overlooked the most when it comes to joke construction? Why do you think that aspect gets glazed over or skipped so much, and what part of the writing process do you tend to struggle with the most?
SP: Personally, when I hear phrases like “joke construction”, I get a sharp pain in my inner asshole. Here is the most important thing about writing a joke: It has to be funny. That’s all. Doesn’t matter if it’s a one liner or a two liner or a long winding story or a character or a musical piece or a completely silent 45 minute act out. If you express your idea in a humorous way, that is comedy. That is the part we all struggle with the most and push ourselves to succeed at ever more. Nothing is harder – in the artistic entertainment realm – than performing live comedy. Nothing is nearly as rewarding either. Having an idea, one that is all yours, crafting and shaping nah molding it into a bit, presenting it to an audience, and feeling the audience laugh because if it is what religious people refer to as heaven. My material is my soulmate.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
SP: This year I will become a better comedian than I was in 2014.
Official Website: http://seanoliverpatton.com/
Sean on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mrseanpatton
Sean on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrseanpatton
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