THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Sean Kelly Q&A
Can you begin by telling us a bit about yourself, where you grew up – how did Sean Kelly, become Sean Kelly!?
I was born in Northern California. A small town named Redding. At the age of 7 we moved to a gambling town known for casinos called Reno in Nevada. At 10 we moved to Germany where I lived until I was 18 and then I lived in Italy for a year and at 19 I joined the U.S. Army and served in Iraq.
Storage Hunters USA became a hit in the UK when it aired on Freeview Channel 'Dave' – did its popularity over here surprise you?
Yes, I was really surprised that out of the 44 countries it airs in, that the UK would fall in love with it.
Your experiences on Storage Hunters USA and Storage Hunters UK must provide you with a lot of insight into the cultural similarities and differences between the US and the UK, how do you find them?
I love observing both the similarities and differences. Although we have so much in common, there are so many things that are uniquely British. It's not until I moved here, that I realized just how different we are.
Do you feel the need to change your comedy style for a UK audience?
Not really. But I do talk about some of my observations I've made in the UK that I would never be able to reference back in the states.
How has the show helped to launch your stand-up routine?
Actually it's the other way around. I started stand-up comedy in 1998 and I got the idea for Storage Hunters in 2009. So long before auctions I was doing stand-up. I believe the years of stand-up prepared me for the TV show.
How did you decide which UK venues to visit, and are there any you're particularly looking forward to?
I wanted to start with 20 dates over 30 nights. So based on dates and theatre sizes that is how we picked the first 20 cities. I am honestly looking forward to every show. After each show I try to stick around and meet fans! I just love it.
You served in the US Armed Forces and had a tour of duty in Iraq – how did your experiences in the force shape you, and did they have any effect on your approach to comedy?
Yes, I served in Iraq during Desert Storm. Combat taught me to embrace life without fear and to enjoy the moment. I try to do that every night I am on stage.
How does it feel to be an American in the UK?
Because so many people know my show, I get to meet all kinds of interesting people. I am loving my time in the UK.
Do you miss anything from home when you're on extended stays in the UK?
I only miss the sunshine and my nieces. But you can pretty get everything else in the UK.
Finally, what's the best thing about being Sean Kelly?
I am married to my best friend and I am living my dreams!
Sean Kelly embarks on his debut UK stand-up comedy tour, Sean Kelly Live!, from 23rd September to 29th October 2015. For tickets visit Ticketmaster.