Born in New Orleans and entering the throes of the comedy scene by way of LA and NY, Sean Patton is a self-proclaimed “gypsy” in the sense that he lives everywhere and manages to amalgamate comedy from across the US and make it relatable, regardless of where in the States he is.
“People can relate to what I’m talking about since what happens where I live isn’t all that different from what’s happening anywhere else,” Patton says. “It’s not like we’re that different in America.”
Stand Up History
If you ask Patton when he became a comedian, he’ll say he’s always been one – he wasn’t exactly a class clown, but he was the kind of kid that would skip school while his parents were at work and “sit in the backyard smoking cigarettes” back home in Louisiana. As he honed his comedy skills, he’d perform in small bars, coffee shops, and music venues, taking advantage of longer set times to practice his stage presence.
Though New Orleans has grown in the comedy scene since Patton’s beginnings, at the time, he needed more: he took his talents to the bigger cities of Los Angeles and New York, where he was able to hone his comedic writing skills.
Patton’s riffing is self-deprecating in in a relatable manner that draws the audience in (living with OCD is a common theme through many shows), but he’ll be quick to segue into totally bizarre offshoots that eventually make their way back to the original plot. In his words, “You gotta keep them not knowing what to expect.” He’s big on being unpredictable and larger than life.
Patton avoids political context and current events, and instead views his comedy as an escape – a positive place to get lost in stories and laughs. In fact, he’ll be the first to say that there’s “too much comedy” out there – in his eyes, it belongs underground, where opposing views can be challenged without being concerned with commercialized political correctness. A good comedy show will leave you with new perspectives and ideas – it will challenge you to think differently.
You won’t get one-liners with Patton – his jokes are long-winded stories that twist and turn with surprises around every corner. He compares his story-telling style to a “treehouse for a bunch of jokes:” the story itself is a treehouse, and the jokes “go there and hang out,” – the house can be filled up for long sets, but jokes can be taken out for shorter sets.
His style is exemplified by just the title of his recent comedy door: Number One U.S. Tour – if you think it’s a self-serving reference to him thinking he’s the Number One comedian in the US, you are laughably mistaken – it’s actually a reference to his lifelong struggle of going number one in the bed (being a bedwetter).
All in all, Patton’s just a nice guy, and it shines through in his story-telling. He loves to tell stories and relate, but what drives him the most is that he can make someone’s day better:
“You never know if you’re performing in some random gig in some even more random town, and you’re on stage doing what you do—there may be someone in that audience who’s just had one of the fucking worst days they’ve ever had, and they don’t give a shit about life anymore and they just—they’re hating everything—they just came to this show because they didn’t want to be alone and they got invited a couple days earlier, and they’re there now, but the people who invited them—they’re not really vibing; they’re just kinda sitting there like ‘fuck.’ I mean, life is shit, and you go onstage, and you say something that they completely understand and identify with, and you capture their imagination, and they fucking laugh. And there’s a reason a lot of people say laughter is the best medicine because in a way it is. And they laugh, and they laugh, and when they’re done laughing, they think, ‘Ahh, it’s not that bad.’ And maybe you don’t even say anything—you never even exchange words with them. You. Never. Know. That you made their life a little better, but, you did. And they’re out there, and maybe they wake up an hour earlier the next day and fucking try to have a good breakfast and go to work and actually are productive, and by the end of the week they’re in a much better place. You know what I mean? Like, you don’t know that you’re not helping people. There’s no way to prove that you aren’t, so I just assume that I always am.” (Sean Patton, Interview with Paste)
Stand Up & Performance History
Patton’s comedic glory began its television circuit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2010), Conan (2011, 2013), and Laugh Factory (2012). His live performances include Melbourne International Comedy Festival (2011, 2018), Just for Laughs Chicago (2013), Just for Laughs Toronto (2013), and Just for Laughs Montreal (2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018).
More recent stand up television appearances include The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (2015), This Is Not Happening (2015, 2017, 2019), Live from SXSW (2017), Comedy Knockout on TruTV (2016, 2017, 2018), and This week at the Comedy Cellar (2018). His performance talents don’t quit at comedy: he’s been an actor inComedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, IFC’S Maron, and TruTV’s Those Who Can’t.