Exclusive Q&A with Storage Hunters star Sean Kelly

Posted on

Auctioneering star of hit TV shows Storage Hunters and Storage Hunters UK, Sean Kelly, first found a taste of fame through stand-up comedy over 15 years ago. Now he brings his live comedy debut to the UK. The Basingstoke Gazette caught up with Sean to get the low down on the tour, his varied career path from the armed forces to stand-up comedian and how he is finding his new home in the UK.

How would you describe your stand-up routine? What do you enjoy most about performing?
I love performing stand-up comedy. As a kid I was addicted to listening to my mom’s comedy albums and the first stand-up I ever saw live was Robin Williams - I was 10 years old and hooked. Because my big influences were storytelling comics like Robin, my act tends to be funny stories about my life and travels around the world. Since I lead an unfiltered life and speak my mind, I often embarrass myself in public - but I am happy to share those stories with my audience. My goal is for my audiences to leave feeling like they know me much better.

How are you finding living in the UK?
I am enjoying my time in the UK. Meeting fans out on the street and at events has been great. The UK fans are way better than the US fans!

You seem to have had quite a varied career path throughout your life! Who/what inspired you to pursue a career in auctioneering?
After I went to my first storage auction years ago I was hooked. I immediately went to auction school. I have been a stand-up comedian since 1998, so it was an easy transition. I just had to learn how to speak really fast! I already knew how to wind people up and make fun of them!

During your time as an auctioneer, what has surprised you most – for example, has there been an item that has sold for more than you could have ever imagined?
I have sold helicopters, airplanes, fire engines, jet skis, hover crafts, boats, cars, trucks, art… the list goes on and on. You name it and I have sold it. I have sold single pieces of jewellery for £45,000 and entire estates for £200,000. But the most exciting thing I sold was a storage unit for $125, which is approximately £85. My customer found a painting inside that he later sold at auction in New York and netted $425,000, which is around £283,000. He paid cash for his first house. That’s what I call winning the lottery!

You have been involved in quite a few charity auctions. What charities are close to your heart?
I love raising money for children’s charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Anything that is helping sick kids is top of my list. Although I had a hard childhood myself, I was very healthy growing up, so those little boys and girls who are less fortunate all deserve our support. There are some very ill, yet very brave kids out there. Many of them will beat the illness and go on to accomplish great things in this life and for those who lose the battle - they deserve the best experience whilst they are here with us.

Could you tell us more about your time in the armed forces? What was your daily routine like? Was it quite a drastic lifestyle change?
So I had two very different experiences in the armed forces. First I was stationed in Germany and worked for the US Army Military Intelligence as a German Translator. That was a fun and exciting job, but not that dangerous. Then I served in combat in Iraq and that was dangerous.  I luckily only served one combat tour in Iraq and came home in one piece, but nevertheless it was intense. I feel bad for every veteran that has been deployed multiple times into a combat zone. The stress and mental pressure is unbelievable and so unfair for men and woman to have to endure multiple tours. However, everything else in life seems easy in comparison.  I always say “At least they’re not shooting at me today”.

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
That I seized the day! That I dreamed big, followed my passions and made my dreams come true. I am the horse in the race that is the long shot and most people don’t bet on, then I surprise them all by winning.  I am leading an extraordinary life. Oh, and I can’t commit to just one answer!

Sean Kelly will perform in The Haymarket on Tue 13 Oct. You can book online or call the box office on 01256 844244.

All Articles