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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Funnybone Emcee Sean O'Brien And His Incredible Norm Macdonald Story

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM

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The late Greg Giraldo - IMAGE VIA
Well yeah, 'Own the stage' -- the late Greg Giraldo told me those words verbatim. I did a guest spot on one of his shows. He said, 'You gotta go up there and - don't be cocky - but act like you're the most confident person, and they came to see you.'

And I really took that to heart. Even if the material's not that solid, I just go up there like, 'I have this under control, and if this doesn't work, it's on you.'

You're originally from Rochester; how'd you get to St. Louis?

My mom's side is from out here. And I was 26, I went through a bad break-up. (Not that any of them are ever good.) And the thing about Rochester is that no one stays. Everyone at least leaves for three or four years.

So after this break-up, everyone's like, 'Man, you gotta get the hell out.' So I did. I literally just got in my car on January 1, 2006 at 5 p.m. and I drove out to Chesterfield to stay with my uncle. 

Back home I'd sold cars and vacuum cleaners -- 

Wait - you sold cars?

Yeah, for four years. A decent amount of my act is stories from those days, because people have no idea how vicious and how full of shit these guys are. I'm not kidding.

Our job is to give you the perception that you're getting a deal, even though you're not. It was all about gross and money. It was insane. And I actually made $70,000 at 23 years old, but I couldn't sleep at night. Just because you were ruining people's lives.

It was so cut-throat. Especially there in upstate New York, it's a real grisly part of town. Everybody's always a sass-talking smartmouth. You really got to be on your toes.

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