Ryan O’Flanagan has missed being a part of the Boston comedy scene. When he makes his way home this weekend for the first date of a quick east coast tour, it will mark the first time in five years that he’s performed in the area, and he’s looking forward to making the long-awaited return.
“I haven’t performed in Boston since 2014, so I’m looking forward to coming back,” O’Flanagan tells Vanyaland, adding with a chuckle, “I have a ton of family and friends that are coming out too, and they’re stressing me out, so I have to work through that, but it’ll be fun.”
Since he made the move to Los Angeles, O’Flanagan has been grinding, and not just in stand-up. You may have caught him on the hit Netflix mockumentary series American Vandal, or on Tosh.0 with his sketch comedy group, Dead Kevin, with which he has some cool things in the works. His half-hour Comedy Central special also premiered in October 2018.
He’s currently working on some pilot scripts, so there’s no shortage of excitement or opportunity on the horizon for O’Flanagan. He’s making it happen on the West Coast, but he’s quick to admit that he misses the east coast — and not just because of the comedy scene.
“I miss New Englanders, and I miss the accent,” says O’Flanagan. “I miss how brutally honest people are too. I was never a staple in the comedy scene before I left, but I miss the camaraderie, and how everyone ribs each other in that tight-knit community. I miss that, especially where LA is so cut-throat and you just have to navigate your way through the waters, without that sense of community.”
O’Flanagan is taking his time with recording an album or a full hour special as the follow-up to his half-hour, and in the meantime, he’ll be trying out a brand new batch of material for the Somerville crowd this weekend, with just a little bit of tried and true mixed in for good measure.
“I have a whole new set, maybe one or two jokes that people might be familiar with, but for the most part it’s brand squeaky new, and we’ll see if it’s good or not when I test it out on this East Coast run,” says the Boston College alum. “Luckily, I have a good support system that will laugh at me no matter what.”
RYAN O’FLANAGAN + SEAN SULLIVAN :: Sunday, March 31 at ONCE Ballroom, 156 Highland Ave. in Somerville, MA :: 7 p.m., 18-plus, $16 :: Advance tickets :: ONCE event page