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article imageOp-Ed: San Francisco's own Meehan Brothers, the non-stop comedians Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Oct 27, 2013 in Entertainment
San Francisco - A set of three hyper active brothers appear on stage, the spontaneous energy of San Francisco's own Meehan Brothers often resembles that of a Jack Russell Terrier on the loose.
As comics the comedy club circuits are what they have known best for many years. First performing at party's and events, in the 1990's, arranged by oldest brother Michael, the brothers made the rounds at all the stand-up and performance venues in the City and the SF Bay Area. Most notably for comedy fans is San Francisco's Cobbs Comedy Club in the well-known North Beach district.
For all its fame and popularity as "everyone's favorite city," San Francisco is limited when providing performance spaces. There was a time when San Francisco had a very established night life and places like "The Holy City Zoo," "The Purple Onion, and "The Hungry i" featured some of the best comedians who later on became famous, such as Robbin Williams, Phyllis Diller and Barbra Streisand. Michael was among those who performed one of the last shows at the Purple Onion when it closed in Sept. of last year.
While prime-performance spaces for comedians in the City are limited, it has not stopped determined talents like the Meehan Brothers. If a performance venue is hard to find, they will make one.
The sporadic energy of the three easily gets laughs from an audience right away. And, their insistent playfulness pulls people to them. The brothers' routine is based upon a circumstance they all share and find hard to escape from, called 'family.'
"Since we come from a family of eight, we have a high tolerance level for chaos," said Michael. Tall, lean and at times a bit muscular, all three share the freckles and reddish-hair features of a Celtic band. Yet, their particular family dynamic is completely their own and eclectic. With that non-stop energy conversation just blurts out between them in a collage of sentences somehow connecting to one another.
Of course, it all depends upon the skit they are doing, yet their rambunctious antics is a style they call "scatter-shot." Their approach to an audience is very much the same on stage as it is off; especially at home.
The youngest of the three Meehan Brothers  Christopher Meehan has distinguished himself with his own...
The youngest of the three Meehan Brothers, Christopher Meehan has distinguished himself with his own acting career and has appeared in many television commercials over the years.
Courtesy of Chris Meehan and the Meehan Brothers
Meeting with their mom, Valerie, some years ago, she explained, "they did shows even when they were in elementary school," she said. The house off of Judah Street in the Sunset District not far from St. Anne's Church and School was their home growing up. Making a visit there was like stepping into a scene from an old movie, by Frank Capra something like "It's A Wonderful Life," only a bit zany. The three brothers are the life of every party, even without serving any liquor.
"I go to all their performances when I can, said Valerie, that year back in 2005, when this reporter was invited over for a Christmas Eve gathering. When asked at that time if she rather the boys had selected more stable careers (such as teaching, like their mom or carpentry, like their dad), "they are happy," she said.
Michael Meehan from SF Sketchfest
Michael Meehan from SF Sketchfest
Courtesy of Michael Meehan
Making money at comedy is something that oldest brother Michael worries about primarily. But since any sort of creative endeavor requires a real dedicated commitment, all three work at various jobs. Just about any decent work will do. Their father who died when they were still in school, was a construction worker and carpenter.
Howard when not on stage is often driving a taxi. Micheal considers taking on odd jobs as part of the requirements of being an actor and comedian. He, his brothers and others like them will join in at comedy events like SF Sketchfest. And, most often will be a labor of love, despite any costs. What is most important to him is the work on stage and the ideas. "We have so many ideas between us brothers, said Michael, we just vomit them."
Fellow local comedian, Paco Romane understands as he said, "what they do is something all us comedians and actors do and must do to keep at it." "If you don't make a full commitment, then getting the work is next to impossible."
Romane worked with Chris in the locally produced and well received, "Trailer Town." He noted that Chris seems to be the most focused when selecting work for his individual career. "It was great working with Chris, said Romane, in fact that entire experience of working on 'Trailer Town' was the best experience of my life." "I treasure that," he said.
"Mike seems to be the more business minded of the three and Howard, well some of the stuff that comes out of him, you just can't make that stuff up. Howard is one of a kind." said Romane.
Whether in small local venues or something more of "hitting the big time," Michael sees all the hard work and effort as worth it. He, Chris and Howard love what they do, despite any disappointments or set backs. For as he says, "we've got a barn, so we want to put up a show."
For more information about the Meehan Brothers, visit their website.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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