‘Hometown Boy’ Seán Cullen Brings Show to Peterborough

Comedian’s desire to perform stems from childhood

From singing in the former St. Peter’s elementary school auditorium to taking the stage multiple times at Just for Laughs, Seán Cullen’s career is bringing him back to Peterborough.

The award-winning comedian, actor, author and screenwriter will be in Peterborough for at least one night on Nov. 28. Seán will perform his show, Hometown Boy, at the historic Market Hall Performing Arts Centre. He’ll also drop by to visit his mom.

In light of the upcoming event, he chats with Electric City Magazine about his performance and being born and raised in Peterborough.

“I’ll certainly be referencing a lot about Peterborough and hopefully because I’m from there it will have a lot of Peterborough flavour.”

“I love Peterborough and grew up there until I was about 18,” Seán says.

“I haven’t done a show there in a long time so I thought it would be nice to come back, do a show, and hopefully people will support it.”

“I’ll certainly be referencing a lot about Peterborough and hopefully because I’m from there it will have a lot of Peterborough flavour.”

Seán is hot off the heels of JFL42, Toronto’s Comedy Festival. Touted as a nimble master of improvisation and an accomplished impressionist who delights in the absurd, Sean has netted three Gemini Awards, three Canadian Comedy Awards, an ACTRA Award and was twice nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award.

He was a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show and in many Just for Laughs galas. As an actor, he has appeared on The Ellen Show, Workin’ Moms, Carter and Dark Matter.

Back in the day, Seán grew up in a home at the corner of King Street and Monaghan Road.

“I used to sing a lot and I sang the Little Drummer Boy at a school assembly when I was in grade school,” he recalls. Seán later wrote a Christmas play involving elves. While he was mostly involved in singing and acting at a young age, he was intrigued by comedy.

“I always liked Monty Python, Wayne and Shuster and Johnny Carson. I always thought I’d like to do that one day.”

He went to the former Peterborough Collegiate Vocational School where he participated in the drama club and also became involved in community theatre. He describes his first real performance as unfolding when he was part of the former Whispers Dinner Theatre, located at Hunter and Water streets.

Seán recalls roles in The Odd Couple, No Sex Please, We’re British and other farces.

One night while he was at the dinner theatre, Second City’s touring company performed and one of its members at the time was Mike Myers.

“I just remember being blown away by that. It was the first organized comedy I’d seen.”

Seán went on to acting school at the University of Windsor where he met the other Juice Pigs of Corky and the Juice Pigs.

When asked if he has any advice for aspiring comics, Seán says, “try to get on stage as much as possible.

“We were improvising all of the time together at parties. We took that onto the stage and it turned into a career… so I kind of happened into it,” he says, noting he didn’t really study comedy in particular.

“Stand-up comedy is being up there alone… and there are no real schools for it. The only way you learn is by doing. Just get up and perform any chance you get. Do shows until you understand what your persona is and how you want to present yourself as a comic.”

As for Seán, in addition to the Peterborough gig, he can be heard in the upcoming animated Netflix film, The Willoughbys, along with Ricky Gervais, Martin Short and Maya Rudolph.

Meanwhile, his podcast, the Seánpod, described as a feast of rambling silliness punctuated by music and special guests, is currently available on iTunes and RSS.

For more information about Seán, visit his website.

For more details and/or tickets for the Market Hall performance click here.

Photos by David Leyes.

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