Matt Besser Interview

   After co founding the influential improv comedy troop the Upright Citizens Brigade and starring in countless projects including “HardBalls” and “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”, Matt Besser has written and directed his first feature film aptly titled “Freak Dance” and now he’s here to answer a few questions for us at BLANKMANinc.com.

BMi:When did you realize you wanted to make a living doing comedy?

MB:I did a punk rock radio show in college which slowly drifted into becoming a comedy show. When I started to get fans I got hooked.

BMi: It’s rumored that Joe Besser the fifth stooge of the three stooges was your grandfather, or your cousin or perhaps your mailman…  Is any of this true or have you never even met Joe Besser?

MB:Joe Besser was my grandfather’s cousin. He babysat my dad once but I never met him.

 BMi:In just about every episode of UCB you guys would do segments in the street often antagonizing large crowds of people, I remember one episode in particular you were proclaiming “Hail Satan!” on a busy sidewalk and it looked like some of the surrounding onlookers got  pretty heated. Did you ever have anyone try to get physical with you during a sketch? 

MB:Yeah, that guy wanted to fight me. I’ve been choked before too. On stage once when I was playing the Pope and making comments about pedophilia in the Catholic Church , a guy threw a chair at me.

BMi: I’m a big wrestling nerd as are many of our readers and the first time I saw the pro wrestler Sting make a cameo in the UCB episode “Poo Stick” my head nearly exploded. The scene involved you dressed in a homemade cat suite as Amy Poehler chased you with poo on a stick while baby planes flew around singing “Mogie Mogie Pa”… Did he play along with it easily?

MB:Your memory is off. That was a wrestler known as Bogus Sting. He was totally game.

 BMi:You’ve worked with Horatio Sanz and Amy Poehler several times since their first stints in the Upright Citizens Brigade and both later became SNL alumni… what are the chances that we may be seeing you on SNL one day?

MB:I think that ship has sailed.

BMi: In 2002 MTV aired a prank show pilot you made with Method Man and Redman called “Stung” how on Earth did this batch of awesomeness come about?

MB:I wanted to do my own prank show but they didn’t think I was a big enough name so they paired me with those guys.

BMi:What do you think about the similarities between “Stung” and “Punk’d” that came out a year later?

MB:The kutch ripped off our show, no doubt!

BMi: I took my parents to see “Walk Hard” and aside from the awkward moments during the full frontal penis shots we all enjoyed it thoroughly. I was shocked that despite its stellar cast, Judd Apatow script and the critical praise it received from critics that it didn’t even break even, why do you think this is?

MB:I think the marketing was lame. It made it seem like it was a parody of 1950’s rock n roll but I think it was a parody of rock stardom in general and those biopics.

BMi:Was it easy adjusting from doing improv theater to working on a big budget movie?

MB:As long you have full control of your product everything is pretty awesome.

BMi:You’ve often referred to yourself as having the best musical taste in the world, what should I be listening to right this moment?

MB:Jim Bryson & the Weakerthans “Falcon Lake Incident”

BMi:Over the years you’ve opened multiple improv theaters, stared in one of the greatest sketch comedy shows of all time and performed on the silver screen for millions of people but what would you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

MB:Yes, UCB, Crossballs http://www.ucbcomedy.com/videos/search?q=Crossballs    , and Freak Dance are my big creative accomplishments, but our UCB improv book (soon to be released) has been a long labor of love.

BMi:In 2010 you wrote and directed your first feature length movie “Freak Dance” (now available on demand, available on DVD July 10th) what inspired you to make a move all about dancing?

MB: You Got Served got me back into dance movies and got me obsessed with how they all have the same story.

BMi:What’s the next project we can look forward to seeing you in?

BMi:Is there anything you’d like for us to plug?

MB:My improv comedy podcast improv4humans on Earwolf.com is my weekly passion.

 BMi:Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions for our humble little website.  Can you describe our website BLANKMANinc.com in five words?

MB:After done masturbating go here!

Be sure to check out: mattbesser.com

BLANKMAN Inc. highly recommends any of Matt’s projects:

 
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