Clean Corporate Comedian and Funny Keynote Speaker for Stamford-Greenwich-New Haven-Fairfield-Hartford or anywhere else in Connecticut
What you should know about corporate clean comedian and funny keynote speaker Shaun Eli for your Connecticut event
Not particularly relevant details about me
I’m an Ivy-educated clean corporate stand-up comedian and funny keynote speaker. Is that Connecticut enough for you? Or at least New Haven enough for you? (I worked in finance so that should cover Greenwich too) Oh, and I’ve done a ton of shows at the Fairfield Theatre in, you guessed it, Fairfield. The city and the county. I’d say it’s odd to have a city with the same name as the county it’s in but then I’m from New York, NY. I’ve also performed at theatres in Hartford, Norfolk, Stamford and other cities and towns in Connecticut. And before all that I worked in insurance for two years, as an actuary. My mother sold insurance. I think that’s Hartfordy enough.
My older brothers went to Yale. One for a PhD. The other, as an undergrad. He told me when he lived in New Haven it rained for four years. I took that to mean I shouldn’t apply to Yale, even though I’m the family member with the middle name Eli. I ended up attending The University of Pennsylvania. And then, after 20 years in finance, made the happy switch to stand-up comedy.
I get paid to make people laugh. I can’t think of a better job than that. And they wrote an article about me in the Yale Daily News. I’ve also been profiled in The New York Times and my group The Ivy League of Comedy in the Philadelphia Inquirer. My jokes have been published in all sorts of newspapers and magazines and have been in the opening monologues of three late-night TV hosts. If you want more details on that read my biography. It’s not funny. But my stand-up is.
My first job in finance, by the way, was in Greenwich. They later sent me to their Stamford and Stratford offices. This was with the finance subsidiary of Chrysler. I started there driving my parents’ VW Rabbit. Later I sold that car to a hitchhiker (really) and bought an Acura. They were annoyed I didn’t buy a Chrysler. I said that I was just following Lee Iacocca’s advice. He was the head of Chrysler and a company hero, and he’d said “If you can find a better-built car, buy it.” I said “I did and I did.” That sort of shut them up. The executives got cars for nothing and yet they thought I should buy the car of their choice. I think that’s one thing wrong with car companies- the executives get new cars every four months and don’t pay for anything. I think they should be forced to drive ten year old cars and have to go to dealerships for service under assumed names. Then they’d learn what their customers go through.
Are you starting to see why I no longer work in a large corporation?
It’s because too often I’m right and people don’t want to hear it.
About my shows
My stand-up comedy is clean, but it doesn’t matter if that doesn’t matter to you. I make people laugh, and it’s a rare person who doesn’t like stand-up unless it’s specifically vulgar. There are two questions I get asked a lot, and I don’t really have an answer for either of them. One is what is my style of comedy? I can say clean, I can also say cerebral or clever or smart, but that doesn’t really mean anything. I think really it’s just the lack of dumb jokes. I want people to think, at least a little.
I could say my style is story-telling, but there’s two issues with that. One is that people don’t realize that a story-telling comedian is at first a comedian. It’s not a long story with one punchline at the end. We still aim for several laughs every minute along the way. And two is that not all my stuff is stories. Some of it is one-liners or other quick jokes.
The other question is: What do I talk about on stage? That’s a hard question to be specific about because it could be about fighting a parking ticket, or about my parents, or about dating. But no jokes about Tinder. Too many other comics have Tinder jokes, and I’m not on Tinder. I really prefer to meet women on HomeDepot.com. And in person in the peanut butter aisle.
I talk about a lot of different things in my corporate or charity or theatre stand-up comedy shows. But if I say I talk about something specific and then at a particular show I don’t, I get asked why I didn’t talk about whatever that was. What do I say, “I didn’t promise to?” Or “I didn’t feel like it?” Or “I forgot?” Or “Those are jokes for people in New Haven but you’re in Stamford. You got the Stamford jokes, with some Greenwich jokes thrown in because we’re in Fairfield County.” You see, that’s not going to work.
If you want to see what I’m like on stage watch my stand-up comedy videos.
Funny Keynote Speaker
I can be either a funny live keynote speaker or a funny virtual keynote speaker. I’m not a motivational speaker. I won’t get people riled up but I will get them laughing for my entire time on stage. I may make fun of my former employer but I won’t make fun of your company or industry. If you’re looking for a funny keynote speaker I’m your guy. So if you want to call me a corporate keynote speaker that’s fine with me. As long as I get paid to make people laugh I’m happy. And you will be too.
Your audience will arrive full of enthusiasm for my keynote speech because I can provide you with video of me on stage that you can share with them in advance. They will depart happy and grateful and will be talking about the event for days if not weeks. Studies have
I have hours of material so I should be able to link my keynote address to the theme of your event, company or industry. With a Wharton education and a business background I may understand your industry quite well, especially if it’s banking or finance (I was a banker for 20 years before becoming a full-time stand-up comic), accounting (my father was an accountant and I have accounting jokes and stories), advertising or marketing (I majored in marketing at Wharton), insurance (I was an actuarial assistant for a couple of years and I also studied insurance at Wharton), aviation (I’m a licensed, instrument-rated pilot with a seaplane rating) or boating (former world-class rower and dragon-boat racer and in addition to my seaplane license I have a rather useless New York State boating license).
Also law. Though I’m not an attorney lots of people seem to think I’m one. I served for 17 months on a federal grand jury, I have at least one pro-lawyer joke and I am 1-0 representing myself in New York State Supreme Court. I sued a home improvement contractor and beat the heck out of a trial attorney using the two most powerful weapons in my arsenal: humor and sarcasm. I studied business law in college. And for some reason in my life I’ve been surrounded by lawyers- my best friends from elementary school, junior high school, high school and college, plus the first girl I ever kissed and my first crush- all lawyers. I also wrote an article for the New Jersey Law Journal on attorneys who became comedians. And in addition to not being an attorney I’m also not from New Jersey.
I love answering audience questions after a keynote speech. It gives me the chance to be spontaneously funny, to learn about what audiences are curious about, to tell stories that are fun and funny but don’t necessarily fit into either a stand-up routine or keynote speech. Audiences love it too. It’s like a backstage pass.
One thing to note: I speak. I may pace a bit. I tell jokes and very funny stories. I don’t use Powerpoint. I don’t need slides. Just a good sound system with a hand-held microphone (not a mic stuck to a lectern). Proper lighting also helps.
Back when I was a banker I was chosen to be the keynote (closing) speaker at an international conference on risk management. The speakers before me were from more prestigious companies. They had lots of data to present and used slides. This was a bit anxiety-inducing until I realized that their extensive, detailed data and slides were a drawback. It was too much detail and was both rote and confusing. I was the opposite- I presented a case that was both interesting and easy to understand. Nobody was distracted or confused during my talk. I was also funny. I was the one who drew the most questions because I held their interest. And yes, they invited me back to be the keynote speaker again the next year.
How to hire me
That’s easy. Email Shaun (at) Brain Champagne dot com, or call or text me at (914) it’s-funny (914) 487-3866. Feel free to call or text or email with questions. I’m always happy to talk about comedy. And people who’ve hired me have said I’m easy to work with and also fun. Someone said she cracked up just reading my contract. I don’t know if that means I should’ve been an attorney or that it’s a good thing that I’m not. Comics I started out with seem to think I was an attorney. I wasn’t. I was a banker. And now I’m not. I just do clean stand-up comedy and that’s just fine with me.