Comedian Pat McGann has built up a fanbase after years of touring around the country with fellow Chicago comic Sebastian Maniscalco. Now McGann is releasing his first special Sebastian Maniscalco Presents Pat McGann: When Mom's Gonna Be Home? presented and executive produced by Maniscalco. In this first special, McGann touches on topics such as being broke, The Pioneer Woman, her massive kitchen and disturbing phrases men in their 20s use.
Speaking with PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview prior to the Tuesday release, McGann dove deep into his first comedy special and his time touring with Maniscalco. He explained that he started standup comedy later in life after years of compiling things he found funny in various notebooks. Once McGann met his wife, she pushed him to seek out open mic opportunities. He did well with his first five minutes, "got really addicted" and worked his way to hosting at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago.
"There was a stretch where I did nine straight months hosting there, and I was meeting... the comics I was meeting, it was great," McGann explained to PopCulture. "Gilbert Gottfried coming through, young Whitney Cummings, Sebastian. That's where I met Sebastian. It was like being in comedy school. It kind of had like a road feel, but I was not working the road. I was home, so it was kind of good."
McGann ultimately left his sales career and pursued comedy full-time in 2010. He remained local to Chicago for a few years due to his son facing a sickness but expanded his travel schedule after his son got better. He hit the road hard around "2015 or 2016" and took part in some historic shows across the United States.
After years of touring with Maniscalco and working on material, McGann recorded his first special. He filmed his set at the Vic Theatre in his hometown of Chicago. As McGann explained during the interview, he was excited about the set but did not expect Maniscalco to take the stage and start telling jokes.
"I mean, I was really like fired up that night," McGann said. "[...]I was laughing, though, backstage. I was talking to a guy who opened for me, Jim Flannigan. He's a great friend. We do a podcast together. Like, 'Really? Sebastian's doing bits?' I didn't know I'd have to follow him the night of my special, but it was awesome that he did that.
"People were really excited to see him," McGann continued. "I don't think they expected him to come out there and introduce me like that, and then he got very sincere before he brought me out. When he's introducing you, it's almost like a seal of approval. You feel pretty confident and ready to go."
With this new special releasing on Tuesday, McGann has compiled another 20-30 minutes of material. However, his writing process is very different now considering that he can't simply head down to Zanies and work out some of his bits due to COVID-19. He is moving back to just writing out ideas and developing them on paper as he did earlier in his career. Although McGann says that he prefers to hit the stage with "half-baked ideas" and develop them in front of a crowd.
Performing at Zanies or other clubs is not a possibility at the moment, but McGann has still provided entertainment for fans with his podcast, All Over The Place with Pat McGann. He and Flannigan have recorded several episodes just talking about random topics, which the comedian calls a "great escape" for listeners.0comments
In addition to his ongoing podcast and some virtual shows, McGann is hosting a charity event on Aug. 22. He will emcee The Virtual I Gotta Guy Sausage Fest to raise money for a little girl named Emma and others that have a genetic disorder known as Schaaf-Yang Syndrome (SYS). McGann does not know if he will perform a lot of standup bits, but he will set the stage for raffles, BBQ tutorials and other events. Viewers can make tax-deductible donations to provide support.
Sebastian Maniscalco Presents Pat McGann: When's Mom Gonna Be Home?, the debut special from Chicago stand-up and Maniscalco protege McGann, is available on Tuesday through the Comedy Dynamics Network. This includes Comcast, Amazon Prime Video, Spectrum, Apple TV and more.