Funny Business

Just wanted to send a quick shout out to my friends at Funny Business.  If you’re a comedian looking for a good agency to work with or a booker looking for a funny comedian you should, well, you should book me but if I’m busy then Funny Business is  good way to go.

Check them out here: http://www.funny-business.com

 

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Upcoming Shows

2014

Oct. 19th – Greenwich Village Comedy Club

Oct. 20th – Greenwich Village Comedy Club

Nov. 3rd – Broadway Comedy Club

Nov. 7th/8th – Mohegan Sun (Wilkes-Barre, PA)

Nov. 24th – Broadway Comedy Club

Dec. 7th – Dangerfields

2015

Jan 17th – Mohegan Sun (CT)

Feb 19th – McDonough High School, Baltimore, MD

Feb 21st – Mercy High School, Baltimore, MD

May 15th/16th – The Velv, Austin, TX

May 20th-24th – River Center Comedy Club San Antonio, TX

 

 

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Comics Unleashed

Tomorrow I am taping two episodes of Comics Unleashed w/ Byron Allen!

You can check out the trailer for the show right here – comicsunleashed.com

New episodes begin airing October 1st!!!

 

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Upcoming Shows

Aug 31st – Greenwich Village Comedy Club 8 & 10pm

Sept 1st – Greenwich Village Comedy Club 10pm

Sept 3rd – Dangerfield’s Comedy Club 9pm

Sept 11th – Hilton Head Comedy & Magic Club, Hilton Head, SC

Sept 16th – COMICS UNLEASHED TAPING, Los Angeles, CA

Sept 18th – Hall & Oates Baltimore, MD (Just Watching)

Sept 20th – Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton, PA

Sept 27th – Davis & Elkins College Homecoming, WV

 

 

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OBX Comedy Shows Start Tonight & Instagram

J Lalonde and I will begin our comedy shows at The Comedy Club OBX  tonight at 9pm. We’re here till Friday so if you have time come on down and check us out!

Also I just signed up for Instagram. Yup. I JUST did. Again actually. Sort of did it once before and never used it but now we’re golden. Instagram ready! If you’d like to follow me and check out some of my pics then please click here.

– Matt

 

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Are you on Pandora? So am I.

In case you’re a fan of Pandora, and I’d say most of us are, you may be down for a little more laughter in your life. So the next time you’re building a new playlist why not take a minute to check out my station and then om-ba-pa-dow we’re cruising together like Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow. 

 

 

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THIS WEEK: OBX Comedy Club & More Upcoming Shows

8/19-8/22 OBX Comedy Club, Outer Banks, NC  http://www.comedyclubobx.com/

8/24 ITZ Comedy Club Fayetteville, NC  http://itzentertainmentcity.com/comedy-zone/

9/3 Dangerfields New York, NY

9/11 Hilton Head Comedy Club, Hilton Head, SC

9/20 Wilkes Barre, PA

9/28 Dangerfields New York, NY

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“O’ Captain, My Captain” – My memory of Robin Williams

Mill Valley, CA 2008

I had a chance to perform at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA a few years ago. Mark Pitta runs a Tuesday night show there that, if you’re ever in the area, I HIGHLY recommend you attend. I can’t emphasize that enough. Typically, on any given Tuesday, you’ll see whichever headliners are appearing in San Francisco over the weekend getting a little extra stage time.

This alone would provide for some truly quality comedy not to mention the regulars from the neighborhood that would drop by. Regulars like Robin Williams.

I’m not sure what it’s like for people in other careers. Like when a young astronaut meets Buzz Aldrin.  I guess thats the feeling. One minute you’re sort of questioning why you drove 30minutes north of San Francisco to some town you’ve never heard of to tell jokes and the next you’re standing “backstage” or outside the backstage door as the case was that night talking to someone who you grew up worshipping.

Since that night and in particular the last few days I’ve thought about the things I wish I had said to him that night.

I wish I had told him how whenever I watch “Good Morning Vietnam” I can hear my dad laughing at the, “What does three up and three down mean to you Airman?”End of an inning?” line.

I wish I had told him that when Mrs. Doubtfire was released on VHS I never bothered renting it, I just bought it.

I wish I had asked him what a comedian, who wasn’t born with seemingly so much god given talent, should do if they don’t feel unique?

I wish I had taken a picture with him.

I wish I had asked him if I could open for him on the road sometime.

I wish I had told him that other than Rudy and Field of Dreams there was only one other movie scene that genuinely made me tear up every time I see it.

“O’ Captain, My Captain.”

The truth is I didn’t do any of those things and I’m glad I didn’t say any of those things. The truth is I shook his hand and tried to act as if I was at any open mic. Just a couple of comics standing outside talking about comedy, the room, the crowd that night, the occasional story from the road. I do remember him asking me where I was from,

“Baltimore,” I said bracing myself for his retort.

“Dear God, well, thats what you have to do. Go everywhere.”

He only said one thing but he basically summed up what it takes to be a great comic in one simple statement.

I’m not sure what he was going through the last few days and I don’t know this for sure, but I don’t think people fully understand just how much and to what degree some people and in this case, some artists, rip themselves open. How much they dig and analyze and over analyze situations and people and themselves in front of us, until someone says, “You’re good enough” and then, “You’re a star” and then later “What happened to you?” The high and low is as devastatingly awesome and sad as anything on this earth.

 

 

 

 

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Upcoming Shows

8/11 Greenwich Village Comedy Club

8/15-8/16 Williamsburg Comedy Club, VA  http://comedyclubwilliamsburg.com/

8/19-8/22 OBX Comedy Club, Outer Banks, NC  http://www.comedyclubobx.com/

8/24 ITZ Comedy Club Fayetteville, NC  http://itzentertainmentcity.com/comedy-zone/

9/3 Dangerfields New York, NY

9/11 Hilton Head Comedy Club, Hilton Head, SC

9/26 Dangerfields New York, NY

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Sweep

“Sweep.” We never enjoyed sweeping. It wasn’t like that was the worst chore in the world but there’s something about it. You know it’s not the most important chore. Anyone can do it and it’s sometimes indicative of a lack of other things to do. And that’s exactly why Amos would say it to us. “Sweep.” You would have thought we would have wanted to sweep. The broom wasn’t just your average, house-hold, Wicked Witch broom. The warehouse broom was one of those wide rectangular, gray, always dirty but always room for more industrial brooms with a long handle. It never left the ground it just moved, advanced slowly forward like a perfectly organized army pushing the enemy back, leaving no trace of a scuffle behind. If it had any weakness it was that it was too large unable to get in every nook and cranny. Perhaps with sheer force you could try and drive and slam it into a corner to get that last bit of dust but usually something was left behind. That broom was patient. It new eventually any dustball would accumulate, growing larger and more vulnerable until one day it had no choice but to come and fight. It was perfect for lining up flush against the bottom of the metal shelves that lined the warehouse aisles. Those aisles were as long as football fields. Eight feet high on either side and then product on the top that would extend for a few more feet. It took years of learning that we don’t remember. Like learning a language we just eventually learned that Keith Clark calendars were in the first aisle closest to the doors that led into the office. Sanford Sharpies and Expresso markers were in the second to last aisle from the opposite wall. That was the aisle that stopped short like a street at a subway track that continued on the other side. But every aisle had the same concrete floor. The same perfect surface for that broom to slide steadily forward. The warehouse was so large in fact that within one aisle you could go from listening to smooth jazz to golden oldies and depending on which aisle you turned to return to the front you might be listening to R&B at the end of one lap.

Amos always listened to jazz. It was the first time I realized you could hook a radio up to an outlet that was controlled by a light switch. Every morning as soon as the light switch was flipped the sounds of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock and various members of the Marsalis family would fill the warehouse. It wasn’t until Dwight or JC came in a little while later that the other radios would be turned on. For awhile our father had a white guy named Bob who worked there. Bob loved Country music and he was alone in that love. Some of the liveliest debates my brother and I ever heard consisted of why Country music was better or worse than R&B and hip hop. To us the words in both sounded similar. Just a different beat. People singing about love, their momma, their daddy, the woman, the “other” woman, their man,  the “other” man, the “other” man’s woman and occasionally a tractor, pickup or prison.

During the summer the warehouse was infiltrated by a whole different influence. Teachers and nuns. Word spread at our grade school that there was good part time work to be had at my father’s warehouse and so one by one a whole handful of our teachers decided they would make an extra buck by pulling orders at Fountain Pen Supply. You might think this didn’t sit well with my brother and I but we were the second generation of kids from our family who were taught by Ms. Moonis, Ms. Daugherty, Sr. Anne and Sr. Joan.  From the time we could walk we were seeing these ladies at the warehouse in the summer. Working side by side with Amos, Dwight, JC, Henry and for awhile Country Bob. By the time we were old enough to call Ms. Moonis our homeroom teacher we had already worked with her.

During those days we might be assigned any number of tasks and sweeping was just one of them, although we didn’t do it much. Some summer days we would come in and the order pile would be so high we just knew we’d never get to the end of it. I never realized back then what that pile signified. That high stack of papers was the thing that kept the lights on. It was the thing that kept us, and everyone else who worked there, fed. The orders were usually at least a page long if not several. We would dread the size of that pile. They would come out of this large printer that sat near Amos’ desk. The orders themselves came from inside the office. The sales department would input the orders and send them to the warehouse to be pulled. Then Amos would rip them from the printer, tear off the perforated fringes and place them on the pile. It was just a step in the process. Some summer days we would have 10 people in that warehouse pulling orders. We would bring them to the front where Dwight and JC would pack them up and place them on a palate to be shipped out. Every afternoon the outside door to the warehouse would open and the truck drivers would come in and say hey to Dwight, JC and Amos. We loved how animated they were with each other. Like they were seeing a friend they hadn’t seen in years when in reality it had just been 24hrs. They would discuss sports, music and especially women. The first scantily clad picture we ever saw was on the wall of the warehouse bathroom. Some big haired, large breasted tribute to fire fighting if memory serves.

We grew up there. We spent summer days there. Winter snow days playing on the shelves or in the box pile so our parents could be close by and not worry about leaving us at home. We would watch March Madness in that warehouse, everyone checking their brackets and trying to concentrate on work while some Thursday afternoon 15 seed upset a 2 seed.

For awhile the pile was large and we never had time to sweep until every so often we would come in and the pile was smaller and my father seemed more stressed. Then somedays we would come in and there wasn’t a pile. Just a piece of cardboard that would sit at the bottom of the stack and act as a placeholder.

Things were changing then and for better or worse and for whatever reason those days were over. It was those days that we would come in and ask Amos how we could help and he would just say, “Sweep.”

We helped our dad empty that warehouse after he sold everything; the stock, the shelves, the printer, the radios. We helped him sweep it one last time before he shut the lights off.

I’m often reminded of it. Every time I watch.”The Office” I’m reminded of it.

It’s funny I’m not sure how to end this. Guess it just felt like something nice to put out there.

 

 

 

 

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