Artist Spotlight: John Sheehan

Artist Spotlight: John Sheehan

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John Sheehan talks the fun release of a now classic bit that almost didn’t make it, travelling with the military and excitement over a future conversation with Jesse Stirling on faith.

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If you want a laugh, Google John Sheehan’s Mike bit. The premise is simple enough; a buddy heads out on the town on his own to have a few drinks and continues to call his buddy Mike leaving a few hilarious messages on his unsuspecting friend’s answering machine. 

Procrastination Problem

Now, Sheehan’s hilarity can be heard via digital download, including some crazy-funny ring tones. Sheehan laughs, admitting his Mike bit almost never made it to the stage. “I sat on it for a year convinced that it wouldn’t work, and it’s been almost ten years now and it’s still getting me work. This is the first time we’ve released it (a clean in-studio version) as a digital download, though people have been after me for years to do it but the problem with ADD and other mental health issues is procrastination and I certainly did that. I’d try to do it myself and then the first road block I’d hit I’d say; I’ll come back to that later, and it would be much, much, much later.”

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There’s also Mike.. Listen … t-shirts available. “It’s so funny. I got it in my head that I should try to move away from the Mike bit but I think I was being rash with that. People still enjoy it. So why not enjoy it too,” he says.

Name Dropping

Sheehan is all about sharing the joy of a laugh no matter where it takes him. “I’m going back on tour with the Canadian Forces. From Nov. 11-16 we will be in Latvia and travelling around, and it’s my third tour with them.”

We ask Sheehan to name drop, and he does so gleefully. “I got to play ball hockey in Kuwait with Guy Lafleur and growing up a Habs fan that was an honour and surreal. Donovan Bailey was there, Tessa Bonhomme (TSN, woman’s gold medalist for hockey), Canadian Olympic gold medalist wrestler Erica Wiebe and a bunch of CFL guys who were so fun and musician Dallas Smith who was terrific. I love it. I’m able to see the world in a really unique fashion.”

Home Feeling 

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Sheehan says he always asks if there’s any Newfoundlanders in the audience. The response is usually enthusiastic.

“I was lucky enough to perform on the deck of the HMCS St. John’s which I find finny. Is it a coincidence the only vessel in the Canadian Navy named after a place in Newfoundland is called a frigate? They have all sorts of Newfoundland memorabilia, and certain hallways on the ship are named after streets in St. John’s. It’s a real nice home feeling on the boat.”

When he’s not on the road, Sheehan has been busy this summer performing at Perchance Theatre in Cupids for his third season. Sheehan said he gets to give his love of  Shakespeare a good going over. “I got involved because my daughter was doing an ArtSmarts program with the director. Annabel was reading Romeo and Juliet and she was asked where she got the passion for Shakespeare and she said her dad. So then I got involved and have had so much fun taking on some dream roles.”

There’s more excitement as Sheehan heads into the new year and it involves NTV and Jesse Stirling’s Meetings With Remarkable People.

Sheehan’s one-man show, Blasphemyth, is still in the works and the premise caught the eye of the grandson of The Herald’s founder Geoff Stirling. “Jesse has a baby on the way so we don’t have a date, but we will get together in the new year and have what I call a debate on faith. But Jesse and I get along great so it’s really more of a discussion between two adults with differing views and both are willing to listen to the other and that’s the main thing. I have my disbelief system and Jesse has a belief system and is a faith-based guy so we are going to have a good discussion.”

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To keep up to date with John Sheehan follow him on Twitter and Facebook 

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Pam is the Managing Editor of The Newfoundland Herald. As the mother of two, she proudly writes about a life lived simply at home on 'The Rock.' When not interviewing or writing about NL's finest, Pam can be found spending her time in the great Newfoundland outdoors.

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