After surviving a brain tumor and failing out of college, Matty Goldberg began his comedy career in 2001. Before making his move from New York to Los Angeles, Matty appeared on BET and starred in an online advertising campaign for Converse called “Out of Your League Guy;” where he inspired kids to go for their dreams, while simultaneously creeping out girls all over the globe. When Matty is not acting, he is performing stand-up everywhere and anywhere people want to laugh. His upcoming memoir is highly anticipated and starts with the diagnosis of his tumor to the death of his best friend in life and in comedy a little over a year ago. Matty gives an honest portrayal of starting out in the New York comedy scene to finding the meaning of life through the oddball characters he has met along the way, and he’s our guest today in 7 questions. RM: Not too long ago you performed some shows in San Francisco…How did those shows go; and why do you think that seems to be such a great place for stand-up and sketch comedy?
MG: First I’ll start off with the negative. San Francisco has worse traffic than LA. Almost as bad as NYC. I was shocked about that. I was stuck on the Bay Bridge a lot. Ok now the positives – San Francisco is an amazing comedy city. I was lucky I got to do Cobb’s and the Punchline. Cobb’s is such a beautiful room, to be in there gave me goose bumps. It’s like a church of comedy. Punchline was great too. The crowds were super nice and supportive. San Fran is great town for comedy because it’s an artist’s town. Because there isn’t a Hollywood industry there, there is no pressure to conform. So I was comfy doing my own thing. I’ll be back in August.
RM: Did you receive any flack from Jerry Seinfeld’s legal team regarding the original title of your 2011 comedy album “The Right to Remain Seinfeld”?
MG: So the CD just ended up being self-titled. I spoke to manager and lawyer who said it was best I didn’t call it “The Right to Remain Seinfeld”… for legal reasons. I wanted to. I love Jerry Seinfeld. It was in no way an insult. I used to go to this pizza place in Brooklyn called Carmine’s Pizza. There was a crazy delivery guy named Joey. He knew I was a comic so every time he saw me, he yell, “You have the right to remain Seinfeld.” It was so bizarre and random – I loved it.
RM: Could you tell us a little bit about the book as far as what types of stories that you share with the reader? You said on your website that your hopes were to inspire those who purchase the book, and I see that Amazon has got it at a five star rating with a total of 18 reviews. Do you feel that you have accomplished your goal of providing inspiration; or did you have a goal set in your mind as far as book sales that would signify that achievement?
MG: On January 3rd, 2012 one of my best friends in comedy Angelo Bowers was killed by a drunk driver. He was an incredible special person as well as comic. At that time I did not feel like performing, so I decided to write a book about what I went through with my journey of going through 2 brain surgeries as well as all my standup comedy adventures. The book ends with the lessons Angelo taught me about the love of performing and feeling blessed to tell jokes every night. I’m very proud of it. I have a very small publisher so I haven’t sold a lot of books, but it has done well. I get tons of letters from people who were touched by it. Especially people who have gone through cancer. That means the most…
RM: What was it like shooting a television commercial with Dwayne Wade? Is he a pretty cool guy? Any good stories from that shoot?
MG: Working with D-Wade was awesome. He is very funny and enjoyed the project. He was trash talking me a lot and it was funny. He was super nice. At a game in Miami I was in the front row. At halftime he gave me a ball to try and take a shot… I went on court, looked at 15,000 people staring at me, and bricked the shit out of the shot. I had whole new respect for pro athletes. Later in the game, he was guarding a player by where I was sitting. I yelled, “I would have made that shot if I wasn’t wearing this ten thousand dollar jacket.” he started laughing. I’m here to say I made Dwayne Wade laugh in the middle of a game. There were so many crazy things that happened. The character I played was an eccentric billionaire who challenges Wade to game of 1 on 1. Everyone thought I was real. This rich guy comes up to me in Miami and hands me his card, “I do Donald Trump’s insurance, call me.” At the time I was living in a crappy railroad apartment in Bushwick, BK. I probably had hundred dollars in my bank account. I was thinking, ‘Why the hell do people actually believe I’m real’?
RM: Back on May 6th you did a show with Jon Dore, Andy Kindler, and Johnny Pemberton called “Happy ContestTime: A night of stand-up comedy judged by Japanese school girls”… How did you think it went? Is it possible that you have a future in the comedy world of the Orient?
MG: Happy Contest Time is such a great, strange show. It’s the brainchild of Deborah Etta Robertson and her partner Christina Thiele. It is what it says. You are judged by two lovely Japanese ladies. Their critique can be pretty spot on. One of the ladies said I was “cute nerd who thinks about sex too much.” I can’t say she was wrong. Maybe the cute part wasn’t accurate. As far as being a star overseas, why not. I’d be like an aging 80’s hair metal band with a huge following out there. It would be fun.
RM: On your blog back in March, you talked a little bit about the New York Comedy Club and why you chose that venue for your book party. What is it that is so special about that place that really touched your heart and made you want to spend almost every day there during that period of your life?
MG: The New York Comedy Club is the first place I ever did comedy. It was the first time I stepped on stage. I got a job there as an usher and bar back and worked my way up. The place is special because coming up it was so insane. There were no rules – Just a group of comics trying to be funny and trying to pick up chicks every night. The sound there is amazing. If the audience has 6 people, when they laugh it sounds like 50. It’s not very beautiful inside, but all that matters is you and the crowd.
RM: What elements are necessary for a really successful comedy room? How much responsibility falls on the audience as far as making sure the environment is set up so that everybody has a good time?
MG: A strong comedy room is having the audience real close to the stage. That’s all I ask – it makes it intimate. Also, it is important that clubs or rooms have crowd control. Hecklers don’t help much. So if someone gets outta line, it’s important that an employee of the club shuts them up real fast.
RM: What’s the one thing that you’d love to do in the entertainment industry that you haven’t had the opportunity to do yet? In ten years, do you think that you’ll be able to say you’ve done it?
MG: I would love to do a TV set on tonight show or Letterman. Besides a short set on BET, I’ve never had the opportunity to do that. Also I’m writing a screenplay, and I’d love to see it get made. I’m going to say in the next ten years, I will be part of a movie project. Perhaps an adaptation of my book.
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
MG: I just filmed a scene in a funny Indie movie called ‘Day out Of Days’ directed by Zoe Casavetes. The movie has Melanie Griffith and Eddie Izzard in it. I am writing a movie, but I gotta keep it hush hush. In August I’ll be back in SF, and in October back in NY. I’m always gigging in LA.
Official Website: http://www.mattygoldberg.com/
Matty on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matty.goldberg.5
Matty on Twitter: @MattyGoldberg1
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