by Ryan Meehan
Matthew Broussard created the popular webcomic, mondaypunday.com and was recently named “Houston’s Funniest Person.” He tours the country performing all over, and he’s our guest today in 7 Questions.
RM: If you had to describe your type of comedy in one word, what would it be? Do you think that’s changed over time since you began doing this or for the most part have you remained focused on the strength set you had when you started out?
MB: Not sure I have a word. It has changed immensely. When I started I tried everything. I was often edgy and offensive. Now, I’d rather make people groan because of a bad pun than a rape joke.
RM: Aside from the immediate gratification that you get from an audience after telling a joke or doing a bit, what is the main difference between acting and doing comedy?
MB: Someone told me doing comedic acting as a stand-up is like eight hours of bombing. I agree. I don’t have nearly as much fun saying other people’s jokes and not knowing whether it was funny. That being said, the final product is very satisfying. Or maybe I’m just really vain and like seeing myself on camera.
RM: On your website, you list that your email address is open to deeply personal insults…How many have you gotten so far and how do you feel about that? What was the worst one you’ve gotten so far?
MB: This is the only piece of hate mail I’ve ever received:
“Matthew: Thanks for creating/curating this gem of a website. I got hooked onto MPD several months ago, and have since successfully recommended this as a weekly exercise to several close relatives and friends. I write to a) congratulate you on a great site, but also b) to note that I have heard several independent reports from people in the last few months that the quality of the puns has been getting noticeably weaker, especially in the last few months. This could just be because it’s hard to consistently generate quality puns/pictures, but I figured it would be constructive to point out, in case it was due to a change in the approach you’d implemented. The Puns are much easier and no longer nearly as witty…I think…” And after that it becomes redundant and specific.
RM: The tagline for “Intramural: The Movie” is “The epic sports movie…for guys who don’t deserve one”. Were you a big sports guy growing up and are you a fan now? On a related note, I know that you won Houston’s comedy competition a couple of years back…Do you believe in competition of the arts?
MB: I was and am TERRIBLE at sports. I can only do endurance sports—running, swimming, triathlon—I figured if I can’t outplay them, I could outlast them. I was the second worst athlete of the entire cast of Intramural.
I love comedy competitions. The winner is rarely the person who deserves it, but the process teaches versatility, humility, and how to put together a tight-ass set, which is a CRUCIAL skill for showcasing and TV sets.
RM: What are some of the shapes that you enjoy sculpting, and do you mainly use clay or do work with other materials as well? Is that something that is done primarily as a stress reliever or you actually have the pieces up for sale?
MB: I love making any nostalgic cartoon characters: Nintendo, Pixar, Disney, whatever. I sculpt whenever I feel inspired. I never end up selling them. I’m too attached.
RM: Have you done any festivals to date, and how do you feel about festivals that were primarily music based (such as Coachella and SXSW) now including comedy as a part of the lineup? And do you think hecklers are people who exist independent of any specific comedy setting?
MB: I have no festival experience but am looking forward to doing them in the future.
I’m not sure on hecklers. I’ve never really experienced a malicious heckler. It’s usually just a person who wants to be part of the show. Either way, very obnoxious people. I blame booze.
RM: What’s the best experience that you’ve ever had on stage and why do you think that you picked that moment? Do you find yourself re-living the more positive notes in your career in order to build confidence?
MB: Maybe 1.5 years in, I told a grammar joke in front of a big crowd. It got a few chuckles, then silence. For a moment, I felt disappointed and was about to start the next joke when this wonderful, roaring second wave of laughter swept from the back of the room to the front. The joke “took a second.” And in that silence, in that moment of everyone putting it together, there was another element of humor. They were laughing at each other. It taught me that smarter jokes pay off much bigger and it taught me to write more jokes that “take a second.”
RM: If you had to give one piece of advice to up and coming young comedians, what would it be?
MB: Write and perform as often as possible. Strive for originality.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
MB: 2014 looks fun! I just had a great set at NACA Nationals and it looks like I will be quite busy on the road doing college shows. Yay financial stability. Currently, nothing set in stone, but who knows. I wouldn’t mind a slow year. 2013 was bonkers.
Official Website: http://mondaypunday.com/matthewbroussard
Matthew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mondaypunday
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