Matt Okine is The Other Guy. After catapulting to fame this year with his co-host spot on the coveted Triple J Breakfast show, Matt Okine has been busy in both his comedic life and musical life. Aside from his radio persona, Matt Okine is a multi-award winning comedian, receiving an array of awards for his shows including a 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer Nominee, 2013 Sydney comedy Festival Best of the Fest and an MICF best newcomer in 2012.
Matt’s returning to the comedy scene this year with his new show The Other Guy, a show about his life and some of the harder questions, performing around the country from March-May, with dates set for the Adelaide Fringe and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Starting his show smack bang in the middle of a life-changing crisis, we sat down with Matt and spoke to him about his upcoming MICF season, his life since Triple J, and his first ever comedy gig.
When was your first ever comedy gig?
RAW Comedy 2004. I was 18 and had to borrow a friends t-shirt because I didn’t have anything decent to wear on a stage in front of strangers. I only told two friends; so there wouldn’t be too much pressure, but also so one of them could drive so I’d be able to drink the nerves away. I ended up winning my heat and I made the local paper for the first time. My friend still reminds me that I’m wearing his shirt in that picture.
How did you get involved in the comedy circuit?
The owner of the Sit-Down Comedy Club in Brisbane was there when I did my first heat, and he basically took me under his wing. I definitely have him to thank for encouraging me, and his open mic rooms to thank for giving me a tough skin!
Is your music persona and comedy persona quite different?
They’re like siblings. They’re not identical, but they definitely live under the same roof. The comedy persona is older though, so it buys the booze if the music persona wants to party like a mad dawg.
What is “The Other Guy” about?
Last year, my girlfriend and I broke up after nine years. The show takes place in a bathroom while we’re waiting for the results of a pregnancy test. A lot can happen in 3-10 minutes!
How long did it take to create “The Other Guy”?
What’s your least favourite part about writing a new show?
Constantly thinking about it. Wanting a good show is like the desire to eat popcorn. It never goes away. You just reach a point where you realise you have to move on, otherwise you’ll die a slow and painful death.
Where do you find your comedic inspiration?
It’s usually in the stupidest of places. It’s weird. I remember a musician once saying “trying to write a song is like trying to find a girlfriend… stop trying, and it’ll happen.” I think the same applies with jokes.
Who has been your favourite live comedian to have seen in the past year?
I support Dave Chappelle at the Opera House last year. Hands down my favourite moment of 2014. Possibly ever.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at MICF?
I always love watching Ronny Chieng. And I’m keen for the return of Michael Che.
How much has your life changed since Triple J?
I can guarantee rent now.
What things can’t you do now that you’re famous?
I don’t have to answer this question. If you need me, I’ll be in my trailer….
Who’s your top favourite artist that you interviewed last year?
I’m a big fan of The Peking Duk guys. Love their tunes, and they’re always the biggest legends to chat to. I have the same love for their food counterpart too.
What’s your most publicly embarrassing moment (on or off the air)?
The fact I can’t seem to ever tell the time right on air. I swear to god, I never get the time wrong in normal life, but as soon as Alex turns them microphones on – “hey guys, it’s 49 minutes past 7-thirty on triple j….!”
Now that it’s 2015, what invention do you wish was real from Back to the Future’s 2015?
Screw your hoverboards… I want the time machine.
What can audiences expect from The Other Guy?
I did a gig in Hong Kong once where the local government actually declared me a weapon of mass destruction because 23,000 locals almost laughed to death after seeing my show. That’s what audiences can expect, and deserve.
Matt Okine: The Other Guy is running from Thursday 26th March – 19th April. Tickets and times are available via the MICF website.
Check out Matt Okine’s stand up at last years Comedy Gala here: