Comedy Corner

by Andrew Wantuck
Published February 21, 2008

I spoke with one of the stars of Vince Vaughn's “Wild West Comedy Show.” The conversation covered leaving a serving job to become a rock star, his mullet, and the type of women that approach him after a show.

Andrew: You are in the movie "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show." Talk to me about the experience and how it came to be?
Sebastian: Ahmed Ahmed, who is one of the comics in the movie, used to do comedy at Dublin's on Sunset. Vince Vaughn, who is a friend of his, would come down and support him. When Vince came in, there were some comedians he took a liking to -- myself, John Caparulo and Brett Ernst. He wanted to develop a traveling variety show in cities that normally don't get the level of entertainment of New York and Los Angeles. So I got a call from Vince, six weeks before we went on tour. He said that he wanted to book 30 consecutive nights and asked me if I wanted to go on tour.
Andrew: So you just opened your schedule?
Sebastian: Well, at the time I was waiting tables, so I had to ask my work if I could have 30 days off to do the tour. It was weird because this place was difficult to get a sick day, much less 30 days, but they realized the importance of it and gave it to me. We ended up shooting 700 hours of film and made a movie out of it.
Andrew: Did you go back to waiting tables?
Sebastian: No, I haven't. We actually talk about it in the movie. I kept that job for a year after, but never went back. They called the other day and said they are cleaning out my locker.
Andrew: Besides the premiere, have you gone to check out the film to watch the audience?
Sebastian: Yeah, actually I did. The night it opened I went to The Grove with the director Ari Sandel and we kinda sat in the back. This was the first time I saw it with a paying audience. It was cool to see stand-up on the big screen. I don't think it has been done since Eddie Murphy or Jerry Seinfeld.
Andrew: Anything unusual happen while you were watching it?
Sebastian: The biggest laugh that I got didn't come from my stand-up, it came at the part where they did back story on all the comics. Basically, they showed a picture of me when I was like 10 or 11 with this ridiculous mullet.
Andrew: If you were not a stand-up comic, what do you think you would be doing now?
Sebastian: Probably running a lounge in a high-end hotel. A maitre'd in the high-end hospitality industry.
Andrew: What are you reading?
Sebastian: I am reading a couple books right now. The Steve Martin Story, and the other one is about the boxing trainer, Teddy Atlas.
Andrew: What have you learned from the Teddy Atlas book?
Sebastian: I am always fascinated with boxing and boxers. This particular guy had a rough upbringing, a tough childhood and what not. He actually took on Mike Tyson when Mike first started boxing with Gus D'Amato. I like reading the back stories on all these guys involved in boxing. Then the Steve Martin book; I have always been a fan of his story and I didn't know how he came up in the stand-up world.
Andrew: Often you hear of comics that came from a tough upbringing. Is that the case for you?
Sebastian: No, man, totally normal. I wish I had a story to tell you. Two parents; I had a sister. I came home from school and we ate together. No beatings or drug abuse. Very normal, middle class upbringing. So the comedy doesn't come from any kind of pain, it comes from me sitting down with my parents and telling them what happened at school. I didn't grow up in a whore house like Richard Pryor.
Andrew: Are you interested in politics?
Sebastian: No, not into it. I follow a little bit here and there, but I don't talk about it on stage. It is an important subject, but I have just never been into it.
Andrew: What is the strangest comment that anyone has said to you after a show?
Sebastian: This stands out because it just happened. I was in Las Vegas. It is funny to see where your comedy resonates, who is your demographic. I was at the Palms Hotel and there were a lot of attractive women there, but the one women who came up to me after the show was like 90. She came up to me because I was talking about how Vegas isn't Vegas anymore because, in the ‘50s, you had to wear a suit or a gown. For 15 minutes she told me her whole life story. She said that she couldn't believe that there was a comedian that thought exactly the way she does, and how she had met Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and now me! Meanwhile, all the Playboy bunnies are filing out and I'm talking to grandma.
Andrew: Any final thoughts on coming back to the South Bay?
Sebastian: Since the last time I was here, I have gotten a big response from my website and MySpace of people telling me that they can't wait for me to come back. This time they are bringing friends and family. So I am really excited to put people in seats and making them laugh.
Sebastian headlines at The Comedy & Magic Club Thursday, Feb. 21 and Friday, Feb. 22. Reservations (310) 372 1193. ER.