Shaun came about becoming a comedian by accident. He was on a first date with someone that told him he should be a comedian. He said at the time he had not desire to perform. She recommended that he take a course she had just taken. He decided to try it out, and realized he didn’t want to go to the office anymore.
Shaun sold jokes to comedians over 19 years, including to Jay Leno. When profiled in Fortune magazine “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno quoted one of Shaun’s jokes, citing it as an example of the type of “smart comedy”.
Shaun’s jokes are “clean” in general. We discussed the different genres of comedy and how it has become more difficult in the industry regarding content. Shaun said that comedians got used to using taboo and “dirty” subjects, so it is an adjustment.
When we discussed choices of listening to a comedian, Shaun points out that anyone going to see a show can easily research them ahead of time now.
Asked what was his worst experience, Shaun tells of the time he was asked to perform at a speed dating event. Listen to find out more.
When asked about the best experience, he said anything after that example was the best.
Shaun shared what it is like to do virtual performances. He discusses the need to adjust to the delayed response, which can be between one to five seconds. It took comedians a few months to realize it’s a different medium, and that it’s difficult to get used to delivering the punch line and waiting those few seconds for the laughter. We also discussed the “hecklers” and how it can put off the timing for the comedian. He did explain that they have a category for them, which defines how they deal with them.
You can find out more about Shaun and his comedy at https://www.brainchampagne.com.
More about Shaun:
“With a sense of humor that’s both cheerful and universal Shaun has headlined shows on five continents. His jokes have been quoted everywhere from the New York Post to Readers Digest to Healthcare Finance News. In both Reform Judaism magazine and the Christian Science Monitor, where he was the subject of the cover story. He’s been featured on CareerBuilder.com and CNN, in local papers like the Scarsdale Inquirer and the Asbury Park Press and in the college papers the Yale Daily News and the Daily Pennsylvanian. Even in The Journal of Irreproducible Results, a scientific humor magazine. Yes, there is one. And his group The Ivy League of Comedysm was the subject of a front-page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Outside the world of comedy Shaun was a world-class athlete in two obscure sports (rowing and dragon-boat racing), worked as a lifeguard instructor and is an instrument-rated pilot. He is also an award-winning economic forecaster who once sold his car to a hitchhiker.
Shaun is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. You can watch his videos and read some of his writings, including satirical political essays and hundreds of jokes he’s written for late-night television, on his web site BrainChampagne.com where his slogan “Brain Champagne: Clever Comedy for Smart Mindssm” rings true.”
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