Gringo Stand-Up Comedy in Santiago: Eileen Shea
Recently, Francisco and I saw Eileen Shea, a Canadian expat, doing her stand-up comedy routine in Santiago – “No Dejes las Ollas“ at La Casa en el Aire – and we had a similar amusingly entertaining yet cultural experience. I’ve seen videos of her on YouTube, and being an aficionado of stand-up, I had to see her live.
La Casa en el Aira was an intimate setting where Eileen instantly made you feel like she was simply having a conversation with the audience. Her routine was filled with hilarious and ironic observations, characters and anecdotes revolving Chilean marriage/dating culture. The narrative spotlights her unfaithful, ex-husband, “Miguel” and converts painful, personal moments into a dramatic comedy.
Eileen Shea began her stand-up comedy career in Santiago de Chile in 1988 and has always done her shows in Spanish and has performed with the likes of Coco Legrand (a Chilean comedic legend). According to her website, she just recently began doing shows in English and French. I found it impressive to watch her as a master of an art in a foreign country that is so linguistically and culturally focused, and she goes at it like a skillful actor in a play.
Humor is so culturally subjective that when I took Francisco to our first comedy show at the Helium Club in Philadelphia, I wasn’t sure if he would laugh along with me or sit there in utter boredom. Over the years, we’ve grown to increasingly understand our cultures and there are still some times where I’m cracking up and he’s staring at me wondering “What’s so funny?” and vice versa, but our humor gaps are fewer and farther between now.
Whether you’re an expat in Chile or a Chilean, you will not be disappointed with her content or comedic style! We both loved Eileen Shea’s show and had a great time laughing at the ironic yet funny realities of everyday Chile.
Here’s her latest show: