Desert Storm to Salford via Storage Hunters! It's Sean Kelly Live!

Desert Storm to Salford via Storage Hunters! It’s Sean Kelly Live!

He might be best known as the fast talking auctioneer from Storage Hunters but be prepared to learn a whole lot more about Sean Kelly when he brings his live stand-up comedy show to Salford Quays Theatre on Thursday 29th October.

 

We spoke to him last week and were keen to learn more about the key moments that shaped this entertainer’s unusual career path.

 

California born and then raised in Germany, Sean has dabbled in forklift truck driving, been an undercover store detective, A German Linguist for the US Army Military Intelligence and General Manager of the San Diego Reader - the fifth largest weekly newspaper in the US.

 

All the while Sean has been pursuing his hobbies of stand-up comedy and auctioneering and says he hasn’t looked back since he came up with the idea that Storage Hunters is based upon. His recognisable face...and head...clearly draws attention.

 

Nobody’s ever hugged me as they thanked me for arranging their ad in the paper!

 

‘Oh man – I’ve been absolutely floored by the overwhelmingly positive response I get. It’s just amazing, to do what you love and then whenever I go onto the street it seems like everyone wants to shake my hand or have a selfie taken with me! It’s such a rewarding job.’

 

‘I loved working for the newspaper and I made the paper a lot of money but I don’t ever remember having a screamer running up to me wanting to have a photo taken with me! Nobody’s ever hugged me as they thanked me for arranging their ad in the paper!’

 

The son of an insurance salesman, Sean developed his sales prowess by tagging along on his dad’s sales calls.

 

‘He used to take me on sales calls with him when I was a kid, almost every week I went with him – that’s where I learnt to sell. I didn’t really become a natural seller until after I came back from desert storm, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life so I got into selling advertising – which I really enjoyed, I had a good time doing it and I was very natural at selling.’

 

Dad may have had the silver tongue but it was the women in Sean’s life that provided the comedy influence.

 

In a few short weeks I was hooked so I opened my own comedy club in San Diego and put myself on 7 shows a week for 8 consecutive years.

 

He reminisces, ‘Mum had a huge collection of comedy records that I’d listen to all the time. They had a big influence on me. The first stand-up I ever saw live was Robin Williams - I was 10 years old and hooked.

 

‘My wife had a comedy connection too, she was actually Joan Rivers’ assistant. She’s very practical and suggested I should get around 3 minutes of material together and go along to a few open mic’s. I did that and in a few short weeks I was hooked so I opened my own comedy club in San Diego and put myself on 7 shows a week for 8 consecutive years, and I was also sales manager at the newspaper during the day. It’s not uncommon for me to have 2 or more jobs. After 8 years I felt I’d cut my teeth as a comedian and I’d learnt how to do the delivery, the timing, the stage presence and all that.’

 

15 years later and Sean’s commitment to writing and performing stand-up seems to be paying off. Alongside his tours and guest spots he has also headlined a massive summer comedy event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the past three years.

 

I was doing my storage auctions in Las Vegas and a fight broke out, I remember thinking, this is like Antiques Roadshow v’s WWF! This would make a great Television show!

 

Ultimately famed in the UK for his auctioneering prowess on Storage Wars, Sean started out doing charity work when motivated by a friend who suggested he would be good at it. Little did he know his auctioneering efforts would provide him with a TV show epiphany and his subsequent contribution to the Storage Hunters format would make him a household name the globe over.

 

The format currently airs in 37 countries worldwide and the second series of Storage Hunters UK is airing now on UKTV's entertainment channel Dave.

 

‘I came up with the idea for Storage Hunters back in 2009. I was doing my storage auctions in Las Vegas and a fight broke out, I remember thinking, this is like Antiques Roadshow v’s WWF! This would make a great Television show!

 

Shortly after that I filmed my auctions and edited the clips down to a few minutes, took them to L.A and ultimately that’s what the production company turned into Storage Hunters.’

 

Personally, watching the show for the first time, I remember wondering if it was just another brain dead car crash TV show. But just like all reality shows, the key to success lies with the characters and once you get to know them you start to form opinions towards them. It quickly becomes a very addictive watch.

 

Traditionally, we have a reputation in the UK for being a little reserved in comparison to the USA’s brashness. How do our UK characters measure up at the auction?

 

‘When I first talked to Dave about bringing the show to the UK, I figured we would find really interesting contents in the lockers, antiques maybe, certainly different stuff to what we find in the states, but that’s not what makes the show, its the characters. In the states the bidders are great characters in their own right, I wasn’t sure if those people existed in the UK! But, I visited around 30 auction over here in the UK and I can confirm - you guys have your fair share of nut jobs also!’

 

‘There is a stereotypical British image that still exists in the U.S. We think of the Royal family and Downton Abbey, but after I’d been here a few weeks I phoned my people back home and said, “Hey, these guys are just like us. People are people are people”.

 

All in, fair warned!

 

Sean's comedy act is based on funny stories about his life and travels around the world.

 

Storage Wars fans won't leave disappointed either, as they will get to observe Sean's legendary strap line at the end of each show as he auctions off items brought in by the audience for local charities.

 

'Since I lead an unfiltered life and speak my mind, I often embarrass myself in public - but I am happy to share those stories with my audience. My goal is for my audiences to leave feeling like they know me much better.’

 

How far can he take this comedy show though?

 

‘I am honestly not thinking that far ahead. For now the idea of traveling the UK and meeting the UK fans at my show is very appealing to me. I figured I could maybe do Q&A sessions and a charity auction. I’ve been doing stand up for 17 years so I have an act that combines all the things I’m good at. This way I get to do my stand up, finish off with a charity auction and then skip around and chat to the fans, meet people, sign autographs. I’m going to do 20 dates and if it’s good and the crowd are good I’ll maybe add more cities in there. If it’s really good maybe I can start thinking about other things.’

 

Who knows what that could be... comedy auctions on the moon?! It seems anything’s possible with this entrepreneurial entertainer!

 

Tickets for Sean Kelly Live! Are available through Ticketmaster, visit Sean’s website for details.

 

www.SeanKellyComedy.com | @SeanKellyComedy