You might have seen that expressive Irish puss on commercials for Verizon, Doritos and other companies, or perhaps like me your first prolonged encounter was on John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up program on Comedy Central. Or maybe you know him from his work with Front Page Films along with Pete Holmes (no relation!) and Oren Brimer. Whatever way it happens, Matt McCarthy makes an immediate impression.
Looking like a leprechaun on steroids, McCarthy is a bit of a madman onstage, prone to explode on occasion in a loud and boisterous manner. Hell, you can tell he’s a little nuts just by the URL for his MySpace page. His debut comedy album Come Clean (recorded at Comix in New York City in April 2009) was just released and is available digitally; hard copy CDs are only sold at his shows. Which now gives you two reasons to go see the man perform, of course.
Video: The first KISS meeting.
Come Clean is pretty hilarious, but I’ll admit when the first track “Greetings” (a string of ethnic impressions) kept going and going I wondered why he had opened by beating something to death. But just as it got uncomfortably awkward he segued into Zortar, a man from the future…and I lost it – I almost drove off the road.
And that’s McCarthy in a nutshell – unafraid to go off the radar if there’s a great line at the end worth getting to. And who records his own preview track and inserts it into the middle of the album…or segues The Incredible Hulk, American Beauty and not-so-tough guys together into one joke? “Badass Poetry” was hit and miss, but there are so many original ideas like the “Love Lotto” or the Planned Parenthood t-shirt bit that are pure genius.
Other highlights include “Funerals and First Dates”, “Old Suicide Notes” (a great segue from “Black Ops”) and the brilliant closer “Get To Know Me”. A bookend to the protracted intro track, he bids the crowd good night while rapidly completing a twenty-five question Internet poll in reverse (“favorite flower” and “favorite vegetable” are among the many killers). It’s like the fireworks display at the end of an event; everything including the kitchen sink gets tossed at the crowd before he spikes the ball and leaves.
I’ve heard Come Clean three times already and I’m still laughing. But I never want to hear the phrase baboon load again. Ever.
Matt’s commercial reel
Matt McCarthy videos at Comedy Central
McCarthy’s classic Michael O’Donahue impression
Come Clean at iTunes