Comedian Sean Leary performs at the Heal the Bay Aquarium under the pier
aquarium comedy

Comedian Sean Leary had always wanted to perform in an aquarium.

“I really liked the idea of a comedian performing near a giant reef, just that visual, that backdrop,” he said.

Leary’s dream is now a reality through a partnership with Heal the Bay Aquarium where he now hosts monthly comedy shows at their location under the Santa Monica Pier. The next Comedy at the Aquarium event, as it has been titled, is scheduled for Saturday March 11 at 8 p.m..

“They have just a gorgeous aquarium in there with sharks, rays, fish – you can go in there and learn about it – and then we have a comedy show that takes place behind the glass in this little dedicated show space area that we kind of convert into a little speakeasy,” he said. “We set up a little donation bar for beer and wine and all the proceeds go to Heal the Bay.”

While ticket revenue goes towards covering the costs of putting on the event, Leary said that previous shows have raised around $500 to $600 dollars in donations for the organization.

“It’s a great way to showcase Heal the Bay as well as bringing something fun to the Santa Monica area,” he said.

Prior to the show, guests have the opportunity to interact with some of the aquarium’s animals and learn about local species and ecosystems.

“They can get a tour and maybe even touch some of the starfish or touch some of the sharks,” he said. “From seven to eight o’clock we have the experts and the wranglers, for lack of a better term, the fish people, who will come in and show you what’s going on,” Leary said.

Heal the Bay Aquarium Associate Director Jenna Segal said the events are a great opportunity to expand the organization’s reach and educational efforts.

“Heal the Bay is excited to host a whole new audience at the aquarium to laugh and learn about the important relationship between climate, biodiversity, and human health while they explore exhibits like our shark touch tanks and enjoy some great entertainment,” she said.

“Santa Monica has some great venues for comedy, but how many people get to say they laughed alongside a swell shark or a rockfish on their last night out,” she added.

Leary said he hopes to bring comedy shows to more interesting and unusual locations around Santa Monica in the future.

“We’re always looking for new and unique places to bring comedy so feel free to reach out if you’ve got a race track or a baseball field and want to do comedy,” he said.

He added that he is also interested in finding new comedians to perform at his events.

The upcoming March 11 show will feature Eddie Della Siepe, Macey Isaacs, Mark Hurtado and Anna Simeri in addition to Leary.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit:

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Grace Adams

Grace Adams is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where she studied Spanish and journalism. She holds a Master’s degree in investigative journalism from City, University of London. She has experience...