2007_02_HTT.jpg Myspace.com/heresthethingcomedy is Sean O'Connor , Nick Maritato , and Andrew Wright . You're going to be hearing those names a lot starting February 6th when their show makes its debut at The People's Improv Theater. They'll lure you in with their line-ups, but it's their hilarious sketches and stand up is what's going to keep you coming back for more.

Sean O'Connor

Why should people go to HTT?
I think people should go to HTT because we aren't exactly like all of the other shows.
We are always trying to come up with concept shows, or just do something original.

What do you have in store for the show once you move to The PIT?
We're hoping the PIT means better line-ups, a bit of a following, and more sketches and videos. I really hope we sell out every show at the PIT so I can buy a boat.

What are some of your favorite bits that you've done so far?
I really love the Wright-gasm stuff which is why we've done it probably like four times, and the bit Andrew and I wrote about an amnesiac stand-up who figures out his life based on his material.

What's Wright-gasm?
Wright-gasm is I guess our parody of sorts of Tour-gasm. (So Alternative, making fun of Tourgasm.) It's a comedy tour featuring Andrew Wright and his father Stevie Wright (Nick Maritato) and his grandfather Frank Lloyd Wright (Sean O'Connor.) It's making fun of generations of comedy. I also like the one with Morrissey moving in with me and taking on my persona.

What's your persona?
He just became lazy and slothful and for some reason wore sweatpants. I don't even own sweatpants. But I am lazy and slothful.

When did you eat two cheese steaks a meal?
When I went to school in Philadelphia. It seemed like a good idea because cheesesteaks go really good with pot and beer. It's like the holy trinity of gaining 60 pounds in 4 months.

What else did you do in Philly?
I went to Phillies games for free because this girl who lived in my hallway had sex with a player and I worked at a Blockbuster video. Which is where I developed a love for grindhouse films and then went on to make Reservoir Dogs. I did actually work at Blockbuster, but because the job was not allowing me to take 4 cheesesteak breaks a day, Which is a requirement in Philadelphia, I told them I got bacterial meningitis and had to go die. No joking, either. About 3 months later, my parents got a card from Blockbuster saying "We're sorry for your loss of your son."

After Blockbuster I worked in the photo section of an Eckerd and I used to just steal digital camera's and use them as currency. Like I would trade digital camera's for fancy dinners on my roommates. I got a really cool Shaquille O'Neal jersey for a Digital Camera and a box of Reese' Fastbreak. That was college for me and then I got kicked out.

For doing what?
I threw a bucket of dog food, pasta sauce, bleach and vomit on the girl who lived across the hall from me's door.

She threw a water balloon onto my hat. I feel like we are even now.

Is that really what she did?
It is. She didn't break my heart. I didn't have a heart back then. She accidentally threw a water balloon at my hat. She meant to hit her friend (my roommate). Let that be a lesson to her.

What lessons would you like to teach people through your comedy?
Nothing at all. I just want people to think I'm funny. I have no hidden messages and I don't even try to throw my beliefs on anyone. I just try to be fun and make people have fun.

But you do want to do a children's show, right?
I do want that. I love the idea of that. But I want that just because I would find it fun to try to find weird ways to teach kids what not to do. Like not putting bags on their heads, or not talking to strangers. There could be a character named Stranger Sven because then it tells you to not talk to Strangers or Swedish people. I would play a character named Anderson Cashew and it would be called The Anderson Cashew's Fun-Time-Palooza-Explosion

Would you say that children's programming influenced your comedic sensibility?
I would say so. I didn't really like stand-up comedy at all growing up. So I guess children's programming was always there. I loved the Muppet's. That was probably my biggest influence. The Muppet's and Tiny Toons Adventures. Uhm, besides that the Simpsons. The Simpsons has been there for me since day 1 of being able to understand humor.

Would you say then that your stand up is Simpsons-esq?
That would be very generous. My jokes are self-contained bits of absurdity, so I guess if you linked them together with a very loose plot it would be like an episode of The Simpsons, but one of the newer ones. Zing! I make this look food.

Tell me about your radio show.
My radio show is something that just happened. This comic friend of mine Jon Bander asked me and Nick separately if we wanted to do a radio show and then we both accepted. We then asked one another if we wanted to be on each other's radio show and said at the same time "I thought, But You, OOOOOOH"

Why is it called Here's The Thing with Nick and Sean?
Because Andrew isn't on it! It's a fun show and it's like just a chat show where we talk as guys. Finally!

About drinking tits and squeezing beers?
You know it! But also about cuddling with pot and smoking pussy.

What are some other projects you're involved in?
Nick and I are working on a web-series called "Sean & Nick: Accept Your Challenge".
I think it's a fun concept. It's a show about someone challenging us to do something like "getting a prom date" and us going and getting prom dates. It's funny because I think us going to Prom would be frowned upon only because we're 50.

And of course there's PAPS . Tell me about that.
PAPS is something that promotes everybody in the world with the exception of John Andrew Wright.

That's Andrew's real first name.

Are you lying?
Truth! Look at his credit card or I.D. He was named after John Andrew Wilkes Booth.

What do you like to do after a performance?
I like to cool down by sitting with a margarita directly next to a high-powered fan.


Why should people see HTT at The PIT?
People should come see the show because it's funny, and we are three charming men who will wisk you away to a land filled with laughter and gnomes who drive cloud cars!

What do you have planned for the show?
Funny live and filmed bits. Amazing lineups that will blow you out of your Puma kicks! I rhymed!

What are some of your favorite bits that you haven't done?
Haven't done? Well we haven't done a lot of one-joke characters like the bits on Conan. I would like to do more of that stuff.

What are some bits you're happy you didn't do?
Unfortunately anything that I wish we didn't do we have done, but I love everything we do so hah!

What are some of the challenges of running a show?
Booking and coming up with fresh bits each week, other than that it has been pie.

Would running a marathon be more challenging than running a show?
Yes. I have no legs.

What sort of marathon would you like to participate in?
One where I didn't need my legs.

If you could only eat one food for a week, what would it be?

What foods would you not like to come to life and fight you?
Steak, it's probably the toughest of foods.

What would you never be willing to do on fear factor?
Hang out with Joe Rogan.

Do you have any ideas for reality TV shows?
Yes. It's called Monkey See Monkey Eat.

What's the closest you've ever been to being on TV?
When I was a little kid I went to Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando Florida. I wanted to get slimed but instead I got AIDS.

If you were a TV, what sort of TV would you be and why?
13 and flesh colored....heheh. (get it?) (okay it was a penis joke)

What are some bits you're happy you didn't do?
Sean and I have an internet radio show called Here's the Thing with Sean and Nick that you can hear every Sunday and Wednesday from 9pm - 11pm on www.hearnewbrunswick.com. Also Sean and I have been working on this thing called Sean and Nick: Accept Your Challange, which should be really funny.

What are some projects that you wouldn't want to be involved in?
Writing for the Rachel Ray show, too much pressure.

What's PAPS ?
Shh...Andrew is listening.

You do quite a bit of story telling in your act. Is there a story that you can share with readers?
A few months back I found out from a friend of mine that, for the first time to my knowledge, someone thought I was gay. He wasn't mad about it or being a jerk. He actually said that I was really funny and a cool guy, but just that he thought I was a homosexual. Now at first it shocked me, but that only lasted for like 5 min. I then started thinking about the reason for this, because if you look at me I look nothing like a gay man. I am in no way in shape, I have terrible fashion sense, and generally look like a straight man (not to say that all gay men look 'gay' because they don't. I'm just saying that the gay community as a whole would probably be embarrassed to have me as a member). Than I started thinking, "hey this is pretty cool, I may be this dude's first gay friend!" And who knows he may have been bragging to people about how open minded he is. So am I supposed to ruin that? I later found out that he thought I was gay because I was wearing a light blue shirt, not sky blue or baby blue, just a slightly lighter shade of blue. (Oh and if I was a good comedian I would also say "I sucked his dick", but I'm not a good comedian so I won't.)

Tell me about the sort of comedy you want to do and enjoy most.
I love standup. It's fun to be able to go up there with a couple of ideas and talk about them with the audience. I love the idea of one-man shows, character driven shows, one act plays, sketch shows, and all that stuff. I really hope to be doing WAY more of that in the near future. I guess it's my high school drama creeping up on me but I love theater and hope to be more involved in cool things like that.

Tell me about the theater you did in high school.
When I was a freshman in high school, I was very much into sports. I played football. Things were going well for me until mid-way through my freshman season when I broke my knee and couldn't play football for a long time (it turned out to be forever because I opted to not have surgery). At the same time I had also been taking a speech and theater class in school. I enjoyed the class very much and had a natural talent of performing. My drama teacher noticed this and asked me if I had wanted a part in the upcoming musical "Lil Abner". After thinking about what being in a musical would do to my reputation as a jock I decided to give it a whirl. I had a great time and got some good feedback so from then on in it was drama fag all the way!

What do you like to do after a performance?
Watch Sean drink Margaritas.

What don't you like to do after a performance?
Participate in an arm marathon.

Andrew Wright

Why should people see HTT at The PIT?
Do you like having your soul blown out your ass? I mean literally. It's called a soul colonic. Well, we don't actually do that at Here's The Thing, but we can recommend a good place. I believe Usher goes there.

What do you have planned for the show?
Expect a wider array of guests, not just from the world of stand-up. We're going to try to bring in writers, monologuists, and music acts. And we hope to do more weird theme shows, like the time the entire show was hosted by a Paula Poundstone DVD.

At the top of the show, Sean, Nick, and I came out and did one of our famous "everyone gets into a fight instead of doing the originally planned sketch" routines. As Sean and I stormed off, Nick introduced our replacement host, the impeccable Ms. Paula Poundstone. The rest of the show we played clips of her stand-up, then used offstage mics to insert our own Poundstonesque jokes and overdub her doing crowd work, all badly synced up with her actual onscreen movements. If it sounds confusing, it was.

What are some of your favorite bits that you have done?
I tend to like our sillier, more idea-driven bits. We did a sketch once where we concocted a get-rich pyramid scheme, but it turns out we were the only three people in on it. So it was really more of a triangle scheme. Sean got extremely rich and Nick and I became hobos.

Then for some reason a lot of our bits involve early to mid-'90s celebrities. I think the most current celeb we've ever had on was the arrogant ghost of Will Smith. I was up in the booth with a mic and announced I had just been killed, then started making terrible jokes like, "I make dead look good!" and "Eternity? More like 'Will'-ternity!" We just liked the fact he would brag about losing his life.

But the best part was later in the show, we made a passing reference to Will Smith dying and a lady in the audience who missed the bit didn't know it was a joke. She was like, "Oh my god! How? What happened?!" We let her believe that for way too long.

What are some bits you're happy you didn't do?
It's tough to say because we don't usually know what shape a bit is going to take until we put it up onstage. We've got a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-knickers sort of method. Because it's so loosey-goosey, sometimes there'll be audience interaction or something unpredictable will happen that totally changes the bit, and a lot of times it's for the better. It's that air of danger that makes us comedy renegades and gets us all the groupies. All none of them.

Would running a marathon be more challenging than running a show?
Yes, because it involves running for 26 miles straight.

What sort of marathon would you like to participate in?
A "My Wife and Kids" marathon. That Damon Wayans!

If you could only eat one food for a week, what would it be?
I can and often do: Burritos.

What foods would you not like to come to life and fight you?
Any animal.

What would you never be willing to do on fear factor?
Appear on Fear Factor.

Do you have any ideas for reality tv shows?
They should just show actual train wrecks, then see if people can turn away. It'll be so meta.

What's the closest you've ever been to being on TV?
Every time Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd plays on cable I'm all over your TV, my friend. Look for me as Guy Walking Backwards Unnaturally While Talking to Other Guys.

You have a degree in political science. How'd that come to be? Did you not always want to be a comic?
I didn't really decide to do comedy until after college, but then again I didn't really decide on doing anything at all when I was in college. I had about ten different majors and just ended up picking political science by default. I literally walked into my counselor's office my senior year and asked which major I needed the least amount of credits in to graduate. Poli sci? OK, I'm a poli sci major. At one point I'd been a Poli Sci/English/History triple major, which I guess means I would have been triply unemployed when I graduated.

What made you move to NY from Georgia?
I spent one of my summers in college in New York and just always wanted to come back and live here. I interned at Modern Humorist, which was a really great humor site back before the tech bubble burst and it went under. That was a really formative experience for me and one that pushed me toward doing comedy. It was pretty inspiring working with really smart people with really high standards who got paid to make funny things. I was like, "Hmm, maybe that's what I could do."

So when I came back to the University of Georgia, I started my own little humor magazine called The Audacity. We did a lot of subversive stuff like putting school administrator pictures on dating sites or convincing frat guys to pose for homoerotic photo spreads. Very college-y. But slowly but surely, I kept feeling myself getting pulled away from a normal academic or professional track and into pursuing comedy. And just look at me now--telling fart jokes for a pseudo-living!

Would you like to do more writing?
Yeah, I've been focused more on performing in recent years since getting into stand-up, but I would like to do more of my own writing again. Currently I just take all my jokes off of Bruce Vilanch's T-shirts.

What's PAPS ?
PAPS is a sinister underground anarcho-syndicate dedicated to the destruction of the American life as we know it. Actually, it's this campaign some friends of mine started one night to try to get under my skin. It's a group with the sole purpose of excluding me. But the joke's on them because, unlike Groucho Marx, I only want to be a part of clubs that will have me. Rotary Club, Kiwanis, you name it. I do however appreciate the zeal with which they've pursued this thing, including making a logo and setting up a MySpace page. 40 friends and counting, fellas! You guys are practically viral!
Seriously though, please please add me. It's killing me inside.

What do you like to do after a performance?
Jack off into a blender.

Make Here's The Thing your Myspace friend at Myspace.com/heresthethingcomedy and order your tickets fast because nowhere else will you get to see Michael Showalter and Andrew WK on the same bill.