Arts and Culture

Broke-Ass Comedian Interview: Sean Keane

Updated: Jun 20, 2011 14:07
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Last week, I took a break from “Broke-Ass Band Interviews” to conduct my first ever “Broke-Ass Comedian Interview” with Emily Heller. Interviewing a person whose job it is to be funny takes the pressure off of me, whose job it is to be funny. So you’ll be getting to know every single comedian in San Francisco in the coming months. This week I caught up with Sean Keane, who puts on a $5 comedy night in the Mission every Wednesday called “The Business.” It apparently can make you laugh so hard, carnitas will come out of your nose.

Read on for some nuggets of wisdom about Papalote salsa, Real World San Francisco, missed connections, and the funniest answer to our standard “If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?” question I’ve seen. We at BAS should also probably hire Sean Keane as a consultant because he suggests a few genius ways of expanding the Broke Ass Stuart brand. Prepare to laugh.

Introduce yourself!

My name is Sean Keane. I am a stand-up comedian in San Francisco. I also write a lot about sports, at, and at

Describe your comedy style in five words (or less).

Leather-jacketed dirty nursery rhymes.

Tell me about the weekly show you put on in the Mission.

The Business is the best comedy show in the Mission. Every Wednesday, the four Businessmen (Alex Koll, Chris Garcia, Bucky Sinister, and me) do long stand-up sets, and welcome special guests. The guests include comics from all over the country, authors, storytellers, sketch groups, and the occasional band. It’s only five bucks, and you can bring in your own burrito. Just be careful. One guy laughed so hard that carnitas came out his nose. We fit in with the Mission, because we are locally-owned and operated, and have generally operated without making profits.

How do you prepare for a big show? What will you be doing the night before?

200 push-ups, followed by anxious eating, followed by shame-eating, followed by blogging, followed by insomnia, followed by insomnia-eating, followed by success, followed by success-dieting.

What can people expect at your shows?

Most people have never been on a ride like this before, with a producer who can rap and control the tempo. And while they will be sold the whole seat, audience members are only going to need the edge.

What do you do during downtime?

I spend a lot of time thinking of new offshoots for the Broke-Ass Stuart brand. For example:

Broke-Ass Stuart Little (cheap deals for mice)

Bloke-Ass Stuart (activities for the 19th century British gentleman)

Broke-Back Stuart (cheap jokes from 2005)

What’s next for you? (i.e. plug your next show!)

We are taking The Business back to the Hollywood Improv Lab on May 27th, and in the next few weeks, we’ll welcome guests like Jack Boulware, Brendan Lynch, and graphic novelists MariNaomi and Cassie J. Sneider.

Now let’s talk about SF. Favorite thing about San Francisco?

Three-way tie between the guy who dresses up as a beefeater outside the St. Francis hotel, and those old twins.

Favorite SF restaurant? Favorite SF bar? Favorite SF whorehouse? Favorite SF park?

Burma Superstar/ Bender’s/ Beauty Bar/ Dolores.

Now let’s talk nonsense. Best dating advice?

Start low, go slow (that’s the tempo).

Best first date activity?


Missed connection you wish you’d posted on Craigslist? Here’s your chance!

You: Standing at the bar among a crowd of junior promgoers at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room, wearing a leopard-print coat, a hat, and meticulously coiffed blue hair, standing next to your identical twin sister.

Me: Brown-haired, blue-eyed, pink-cheeked young man, arguing with Harry Denton about whether tortoise-shell glasses are better than bow ties.

Let’s go to Coit Tower and eat some Ghiradelli chocolate, but ditch that old bag you always hang out with.

What song will play when you’re walking down the aisle at your wedding?

“Lady In Red,” and actually, Chris be Burgh will be there singing it live.

What movie can you watch over and over and never get sick of?

“The Fugitive,” and this video of DJ Mbenga saying “Tacos.”

[youtube T1rZBxn3Zx8]

Three things you’d take to a desert island?

Speedboat, sunscreen, more sunscreen.

Three things that are in your fridge right now?

A Cranberry Lemonade Four Loko, strawberry Jell-O shots in a tray, half of a lime.

Three things in your bedside table?

Coins, WalQuil, and a tiny scale replica of the bedside table.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty, i.e. money:

Have any tips for aspiring comedians trying to make it on their craft?

Do as many sets as you can, don’t be a creep, always carry a pen.

Where do you live now and what are some good cheap/fun things to do in that area?

I live in the Mission. Obviously, The Business is both cheap and fun in the area, as is Dolores Park and fifteen different sidewalk sales on any given weekday. Limon Rotisserie is both delicious and affordable.

[vimeo 17434498]

Best money saving tip in general?

Always take-a-penny; never leave-a-penny.

What do you refuse to spend money on?

Extra salsa at Papalote. I don’t care how good it is. Rationing salsa violates the sacred covenant between a taqueria and its customers.

What is the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought and how did that feel?

I guess it would be my college degree, which made me feel like a real bachelor.

What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?

When I was 19, there was a liquor store in Berkeley selling handles of Winner’s Cup Gin (the discount hard alcohol with the heart of a champion) for three dollars each. I made a 21-year-old friend buy six of them for me and my roommate, who spent the next few weeks drinking giant gin-and-tonics out of collectible “Eddie the Echo” glasses from McDonald’s. My only regret is not buying out their entire stock.

What is your favorite free thing to do?

Going on long walks through San Francisco. And drinking at Ruby Skye. I know a guy. (No I don’t.)

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?

A bouquet of flowers and a Shoebox Greetings “I’m Sorry” card for disturbing the gentle millionaire’s sleep.

What’s one GOOD thing, if you can think of one, about not having a ton of money?

If Biggie Smalls was correct, fewer problems. However, you also have to pawn your Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.

Good get-rich-quick scheme?

Using your appearance on “Real World: San Francisco” to jump-start your cartooning career.

Any last words?

I regret nothing and I apologize for everything.

*First photo by Ameen Belbahri

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.


  1. Jay H - Bawdy Broadcaster
    jay h
    May 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm

     Keane is hilarious! From the Squelch to the Business…funny shit spanning many years. 

  2. May 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm

     This is REALLY funny!  My favorite part was the missed connection!

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