After performing a string of local gigs this week, standup comic hometown hero Sean Patton makes his Comedy Central The Half Hour debut at 11:30 p.m. tonight.
Last year, for a story about New Orleans' growing comedy scene, Patton talked to Gambit about getting his start in comedy in New Orleans.
Patton first performed in October 2001, when he had his first gig at Amberjack's in Lakeview. "There were five comedians in the crowd, and two audience members," he said. He started performing at True Brew Coffeehouse in the Warehouse District, where he met fellow up-and-coming comics Neal Stastny, Seth Cockfield and Dane Faucheux. The comics also performed at monthly standup showcases at Carrollton Station. "Those were our rock star nights," he said. "We'd go and do our best material and perform your f—ing dick off."
In 2006, Patton moved to Los Angeles, then New York City, and he has since performed at comedy institutions like The Comedy Cellar and Upright Citizens Brigade, festivals around the globe, and on late-night staples Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan.
"The feeling I can identify now was I wanted more," he said about the move. "I knew there had to be more out there. ... Things were good, but I had a feeling, if I wanted to really do this, I had to put myself to the test. It's got to be harder than this."
In 2012, A Special Thing Records released Patton's debut album Standard Operating Procedure, and over the last year, Patton has made several trips back to his home state, headlining frequently free shows and bringing fellow New York comics to town.
"It’s got a way more thriving scene than anything we had back then," Patton said of New Orleans. "There’s more comics, they’re funnier comics, and they’re younger, too."