Meet comedian Kevin Shea

Kevin Shea performed at Rider on Sept. 27 as part of his comedy college tour.

Rider News: When did you come to America? And, how did you find out that you were two years younger?

Kevin Shea: I came here when I was five. I thought I was seven. I found my birth mother a while ago and she told me that I was two years younger.

RN: How did they mess that up?

KS: Birth records, the orphanage. So, I did everything two years younger. This is a couple years ago. I’m 33 and on my license, I’m 34. So, it’s like a year and a half difference. So, I just say I lost my virginity at 19 instead of 21. That’s nice, and I say I started drinking at eight instead of 10.

RN: How is it living in such a diverse family?

KS: You know, it’s weird. I didn’t realize how diverse it was until I got older because when you’re a kid, you don’t know. It really didn’t hit me until I went to college. It was my freshman year when my teacher was doing roll call. He said, ‘Kevin Michael Shea?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And he’s like, ‘That’s a really white, Irish name. How’d you get that?’ And right there, I was like, ‘Oh, it is. It is a really white, Irish name.’ That was it. Growing up in Bethlehem, you don’t know.

RN: What inspired you to become a comedian [in California]?

KS: I hate day jobs.  So, this guy I knew told me there was an open mic in Palo Alto [California] at the Rose and Crown and there was a bunch of us, so they’re like, ‘You should do it,’ and that was it, I just started.  And I did and it was so bad. It was awful.  I was like, ‘There’s no way it could get worse than this.’

RN: Who is your biggest inspiration?

KS: Eddie Murphy. He’s cool. He’s a movie star. You know, he’s the first real comic I ever saw with an hour special. He was just so cool. He owned the stage and he was dirty and he had movies.  And I was like, ‘I wanna be that!’ and so he’s the reason why I do stand-up. But, I think my biggest influences as a comic were Mitch Headberg, this guy Tom Rhodes, Archie Barker and Dave Chappelle.  Those are the big influences on me as I was starting to do it but Eddie’s the reason why I do it.

RN: For an Asian comedian, what was the hardest obstacle you think you’ve had to overcome?

KS: [I] don’t talk about being Asian.  I mean, I do a little bit, but don’t if you can avoid that when you first start, it’s a big stumbling block.  Because a lot of Asians, what do they do?

RN: Mock that they’re Asians?

KS: Yea. And I’m not even that Asian because of my adopted family, so I can’t do any voices. As I’m getting older, I talk about it more as like a social aspect, but I can’t go up to someone and say, ‘Oh, this is what my mom sounded like’ because she sounded white.

RN: What are your future endeavors? Do you do anything other than comedy or do you want comedy to be your sole career for the rest of your life?

KS: I want my own television show!

RN: You want your own television show like George Lopez?

KS: Yeah, that’d be kinda cool. A television show would be cool or a movie. I want to do stand-up and I’d like to get my own television show. People don’t know this about me but the big reason I got into entertainment is because I want to make horror movies. I want to write them and produce them.

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