Tag Archives: Joe Matarese

Stand Up Wit…The Jim Florentine Roast

Earlier this month, a group of comedians assembled in NYC to roast comic Jim Florentine, an occasion that became a bittersweet experience. The event was originally supposed to feature Greg Giraldo, perhaps the most devastating roaster of our era, whose shocking death numbed the comedy community. The event was then changed to a benefit to raise money for a fund for his three children. When I saw Rich Vos in October he mentioned that he had been tapped to host and I’m sure the loss of his close friend resonated through his nervous preparation for the event.

But comedy is  a tool of release, and it became quickly apparent that nothing was sacred that night. And I’m sure Giraldo and the late Robert Schimmel wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

The array of comics delivered in spades, no balls were left unbroken and a large sum was raised to donate to the Giraldo Children’s Fund (readers who wish to make a donation can do so via Paypal). Comics included Vos, Jim Norton, Otto and George, Reverend Bob Levy, Bonnie McFarlane, Jesse Joyce, Joe Matarese and Don Jamieson, one of Jim’s co-hosts on vH-1’s The Metal Show.

Kudos to Patrick Milligan and Cringe Humor for hosting such a great event and then being generous enough to share the event with the rest of us. Although there are no plans to release the show on DVD at this point, you can still savor a lot of what went down that night. Needless to say, it’s NSFW – even the text could burn a hole in your corporate firewall.

Click here to read a detailed recap of the roast.

Click here to watch selected videos on YouTube.

 Cringe Humor website.

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Stand Up Wit…Joe Matarese

Only stupid people bring a knife to a gunfight

Only stupid people bring a knife to a gunfight

I’ve been at hundreds of concerts and club shows over the years, and am always amazed that people pay good money to see an artist and then spend the evening ignoring the act and talking loudly with their friends. Yelling over each others voices, cackling and gabbing and gossiping like they’re sitting around their apartment, oblivious to the fact that the rest of us paid good money to be entertained by a professional.

Some of these people are just stupid and don’t realize whet they’re doing. Others are rude and don’t care what they’re doing. Many are trying to call attention to themselves. And then there’s the interactive jerks – the ones who scream “Free Bird!” at the top of their lungs at every concert, or who yell out at a comedy club think they’re funnier than the professional comedian who is on stage. All of these dolts are hecklers, and in Dante’s Inferno there’s a special room for them in the circles of Hell, right between politicians and lobbyists, so they can hear mindless chirpy chatter for all eternity. (Boy, won’t they be surprised when they finally sober up!)

Bands can just play louder, but comedians are up there virtually naked – no guitar to throw, no wall of amps to drown out the idiocy, just a person with a microphone who’s basically had the gauntlet thrown down. If you  curl up and fold, the audience will probably eat you alive. Some comics ignore them, while others look at it as a god-given right to get medieval on their asses. Joe Matarese is clearly in the latter camp.

When A Comedian Attacks is, as advertised, “11 tracks of real hecklers being put in their place” and features a smorgasboard of the idiot types above – the clueless talkers, the rude commenters and the drunks who decide that the pairing of alcohol and a limited vocabulary is a good battle plan. Tracks range from fairly funny to absolutely cringe-inducing as Matarese – who admits he has to react – pounces on the usually deserving idiot. A very dim guy questions whether a joke is based upon a true story…in the middle of the joke! A table of English tourists argue with each other when the check arrives at their table.  Drunk guys try to defend their drunker girlfriends. It’s all like chum to a shark, albeit a well prepared shark with a full arsenal. On Shark Week the mantra is “the best shark repellent is humans using their head“. Clearly these hecklers didn’t get the message.

My favorite clip might be the private party gig where a fellow comic is sitting right by the microphone as Joe loses it. He got a double bonus, laughing at both the idiots in the room and his friend onstage coming more unglued by the minute. Matarese admits that most comedians secretly love watching other comics go mental; he even thanks Bill Burr in the credits for legitimizing the idea of this CD in the first place. Joe introduces each clip with a brief set-up about what led up to the snapping point which successfully paints the picture for the listener. Priceless!

I first saw Joe Matarese on Comedy Central and fell apart; his special is hilarious. A veteran of the comedy festival and club scene, he’s a frequent guest on Howard Stern and the late night talk shows. Grab this CD and enjoy the carnage, and if you’re interested in his more conventional performance material, check out his two other CDs (Quiet Please and Fixing Joe). Both are now on my must-get list; a brand new CD should be coming along later this year as well.

Joe’s debut on David Letterman.

Here’s Joe’s website where you can pick up CDs, check tour dates and watch more clips.

Joe’s MySpace site for more clips and information.

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