Hardcore to Hard Laughs: Ryan Shea.

Ryan Shea is a very funny comedian and he will be closing out the “Shawn Carter and Friends” Comedy Show at the Pourhouse this Wednesday at 8pm.

He was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for us this week.


Q: You played in a hardcore band before getting involved in comedy what caused you make the switch from loud fast music to the more laid back activity of telling jokes?

A: The real reason I started doing stand up was because my mother tried doing comedy for 3 years in the late 80’s. A lot of her material was making fun of me as a child and I hated it. I initially did it just to trash my mother on stage and kind of bury the hatchet. It seemed fair to rip on her in front of strangers for a little revenge. I guess after being in a band I still wasn’t done complaining to strangers into a microphone. The reason I kept doing it was because my friends filmed it and Rob Crean told me to come do his open mic, and after that I never stopped. With no offense to Rob’s mic, if I didn’t quit after going on stage at 1 in the morning to a room that couldn’t care less about what I had to say, I have no idea what it will take to get me to quit. I bet if my mom decided to do it again i’d probably be like…… i’m out.


Q: Were you a big fan of comedy growing up?  Who did you listen to?


A: I wasn’t the biggest fan of comedy due to the fact that my mother ruined it for me as a child. That being said when I saw Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain on HBO(bragging) I don’t think that I have ever laughed so hard ever. That slowly started opening me up to some comedy. People would play Mitch Hedberg and Dane Cook at work, and I would laugh at that and slowly get more into comedy before doing it. I love early Lewis Black, and how he could go from 2 to 10 in the blink of an eye. I honestly think Bill Burr’s Let it Go was a huge inspiration to me. I watched that and thought, wow you’re allowed to do this. I didn’t think you could be unapologetically yourself, and admit your own flaws shamelessly.


Q: Where and when did you first perform stand up comedy?


A: Dick Doherty’s Comedy Vault on May 9th 2010, it was mother’s day which seemed appropriate, because I was about to trash my mother. I remember it was the bringer show, and i had brought 23 people. I figured even if I am not funny my friends will at least laugh at me for being an idiot which will help me get through it. I remember being in the green room and asking one of the comics how many times he has done it and if he had any tips. He told me he does it all of the time and don’t be nervous it’s just people and it’s good to face your fear. Fast forward to him doing his set, he gets on stage, freezes, and runs off the stage immediately(great speech Tony Robbins). I remember thinking I’m screwed, but I kept cool. As the rest of the show went on I started seeing everyone tell jokes and thought I’ve got this. I was closing the show, because I brought the audience, which is important because Gary Gulman is on the show. I don’t know who he is, but he goes on right before me and does his famous Discman bit, and absolutely murders.  To this day it is in my top 3 best sets i’ve seen people do. I could not ride that wave…….. I bombed hard. Also, yes I did all the sterotypical “edgy” new guy jokes.


Q: Do you miss having band-mates or do you enjoy the simplicity of always having the final say of what makes it into the set list?


A: When I was in a band I kind of had final say on everything for some reason. I wrote 90% of the music and the band just went with it. The dudes in the band were more into metal than hardcore, so they just trusted my judgement. Also our songs were about 2 minutes, so when we played a show we would play all of the songs. I will say the nice thing about being in a band is that when you have a bad set you get to  they didn’t like us. Unlike comedy where you get off stage and say, wow they didn’t like ME.


Q: How many mosh pits have broken out during your comedy shows?


A: I have performed comedy at hardcore shows, but nothing broke out during my set. I wish something did and i got knocked out, because comedy on a music show does not work.


Q: Do you think having so many tattoos works in your favor or against you as a comedian?


A: I honestly don’t think about it too much, I hope that I am just funny enough to break through any initial judgement.


Q: Where is your favorite place to tell jokes now?


A: I will forever love Great Scott(The Gas Hosted by Rob Crean). It was the first place I ever got booked, because Rob is a saint, and he was super drunk when he booked me. I always tell people if you find me funny at all, it’s because of that room. It used to be a serious hell room that nobody wanted to do. There would be 5 people sitting on the lawn chairs brought in from the patio and you would be like, I think hell yeah, 5 people this should be good. Then one of those chairs would break halfway through the show and crush the momentum that never existed. I think that alone helped me learn to power through sets and not get shook by a crowd that doesn’t like you. Also that show is great now, so now it’s a ton of fun and nostalgic. I will say that Iron Furnace(Stadium) was up there though. Those crowds were always down for a good show, and it was a Tuesday night, that’s amazing.


Q: Who makes you laugh the most now?


A: I don’t know, but 3 people who have blown my mind in Boston that absolutely destroyed are. Gary Gulman, Kelly MacFarland, and Tony Moschetto. I swear the buildings were shaking, because they were ripping it so hard.


Q: Do you have any goals set for this next year?


A: I want to try and get my foot in the door with a few more clubs, also I want to push to do longer sets. I want to try and pay my gym fee with comedy. That seems like a good I could hit that if I started hustling hard.


Q: If you could be a guest on any TV show which one would you choose?


A: Seinfeld, because that would mean it would have to come back on.


Q: Why is E. Honda the greatest Street Fighter character ever?


A: He is not, he is 100% trash and we are going to duke it out soon in Street Fighter 2 for our secret youtube show that we have done nothing with…… it’s coming.


Shawn is the owner and creator of UnSceneComedy.com

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