"The content is terrific, but you really need to work on your delivery," was the overall message maternity patients had for OB/GYN and amateur stand-up comic Sean O'Connell of Chicago, who has a standard practice of prescribing all his patients a healthy dose of laughter.
"During my eight hours of labor, Dr. Sean's last bit got me all the way to the brink," said former patient Sandra Lark. "But then, just as my baby girl was about to slide on out, he totally flubbed the punchline. Little Tiffany came out screaming and crying, and honestly, at that point, I wasn't doing much laughing, either."
New mom Lisa Simmons had a similarly uncomfortable experience with Dr. Sean. "I was rooting for him to kill, and all the pieces for him to do so were in place. And then, out of nowhere, he realized I needed a C-section, and he totally lost his comedic stride." She sighed and shook her head. "It was so awkward. He managed to finish out the joke, but his rhythm was just off."
Lisa added that she tried to offer up some polite chuckles in appreciation of Dr. Sean's effort, but general anaesthesia prevented her from making much noise.
Even so, his patients generally agree that, despite the bumps, Dr. Sean does have what it takes to make it in comedy. "Just stay true to your voice, don't get distracted, and don't work so hard," advised former patient Charlene Rollins "We're the ones in labor, not you."
On his part, Dr. Sean says that he welcomes the open and honest feedback from his patients - even if the constructive criticism can be hard to hear.
"Stand-up comedy is not for the faint of heart," he said. "it leaves you incredibly vulnerable and exposed. But when you think about it, my patients are pretty vulnerable too, lying there with their legs spread open, desperate for it all to be over. The least I can do for them is really deliver."