By Administrator

HOB in NOLA, January 2

Hey everybody, I’m here in Slidell, Louisiana, clacking away at Dad’s computer while he and my mom prefer to work on the garden with the The Gardening Hub tools, growing flowers and decorating it with glow in the dark rocks amazon I got them online. I’ll be in my favorite place to be for New Years Eve tomorrow: New Orleans. Its my 3rd year in a row celebrating the New Year in that city and it still hasn’t become old. Usually I leave the Big Easy to head back to San Francisco on January 1rst but since things fell mid-week this time around I’m staying until the 3rd, which means I’m in town for Leon Blanda’s show at the House of Blues on Thursday, January 2nd!

Show starts at 8pm and will be in the Voodoo Garden unless it rains. Then it will be at another part of the House of Blues. Just ask someone when you get there. Say something like, “Hey, were da comedy show at?” And they’ll point you in the right direction. Just show up at 225 Decatur St in New Orleans at 8pm on Thursday night and you’ll figure it out.

SF Sketchfest

There’s more Google bus protesting today, with things in Oakland getting way out of hand, but I won’t be posting my opinions on the matter this time around. So you can all breathe easy.

No, instead I wanted to make sure everybody who comes here is aware of my upcoming shows at SF Sketchfest. The dates are now listed on my Calendar and you can check out the sweet, sweet performer page that the good people of Sketchfest put up for me here.

Comedy festivals are awesome to do and its particularly great that this one is in my own backyard. The whole list of events is here and let me tell ya, there’s a shit-ton of great shows this year. Really glad to be a part of it.

edit – my calendar is fucked right now. Just go to the sketchfest website for the shows. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

Red Beans and Rice

I made red beans and rice for the first time yesterday. I had planned on doing it for the past couple of days and I’m glad I did, it was just what I needed after spending most of the weekend working on a freelance project and watching the Saints get demolished by the Rams (why is it always the Rams? Is this some fucked up unbalanced karma from Hakim dropping the god damn ball?)

Anyway, the recipe I used was from Tom Fitzmorris’ website Tom is the host of New Orleans’ long-running Food Show, a radio program that could only exist in a city like Nola. Its three hours of restaurant and recipe talk shoe-horned in an ESPN affiliate station. The live callers are the best part of the show. Usually I hate the call-in portion of any radio program. No one offers anything really interesting to say and often they just embarrass themselves on the air. Not with the Food Show. You get a lot of great info and its all told through thick New Orleans, Metairie or St. Bernard Parish accents that you won’t hear anywhere else in the country. Recently one caller brought up red beans and rice and after hearing their discussion I decided to take a crack at it.

Truth be told, I used to hate red beans and rice as a kid, and with good reason. It was commonly served for lunch at whatever Slidell, Louisiana school I was going to at the time and it was always god-awful. Its amazing that I like any food at all considering how often I ate public school lunches (always). I remember they were something like fifty cents, or maybe a dollar once I got into high school. At the beginning of the month you would go to a booth with a 20-spot and someone would hand you a bunch of red raffle tickets as if you were going to the world’s saddest carnival. The only ride was disappointment. The best case scenario for lunch was something that had no flavor at all, otherwise it was just nasty. Which is what public school red beans and rice were. I’m not sure of their ingredients other than kidney beans and white rice but I strongly suspect that dirt was a crucial element. It was often served with a dry, frowning piece of cornbread that was so bad it can only be described by its own flavor: public school cornbread. Not surprisingly, I hated cornbread for years. Thankfully I got over my hatred for both of these normally delicious foods. Especially cornbread. I mean, really, how do you fuck up the buttery and flakey goodness that is cornbread? Easy, you add dirty ass to it. Fuck that cornbread.

Allright, now that I’m done venting, here’s Tom’s recipe, which can be viewed in full here. I mostly stuck to it, any additions I made are in bold.

1 lb. dried red beans
1/4 lb. bacon or fatty ham
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
12 sprigs parsley, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. savory (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. Tabasco
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1. Sort through the beans and pick out any bad or misshapen ones. Soak the beans in cold water overnight. When ready to cook, pour off the soaking water. You probably want to rinse them off, too.

2. In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, fry the bacon or ham fat till crisp. Remove the bacon or ham fat and set aside for garnish (or as a snack while you cook).

3. In the hot fat, sauté the bell pepper, onion, celery, parsley and garlic until it just begins to brown. Add the beans and three quarts of water. Bring to a light boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the salt, bay leaf, savory, black pepper, and Tabasco.

4. Simmer the beans, uncovered, for two hours, stirring two or three times per hour. Add a little water if the sauce gets too thick. Cook at a higher heat or for longer than two hours to make the soup matrix a little thicker. Tom prefers his red beans and rice more “soupy”, which is apparently more traditional. I like the new, thicker variety, which just requires you to cook off more water.

5. Mash about a half-cup of the beans (more if you like them extra creamy) and stir them in into the remainder. Add salt and more Tabasco to taste. You will need more salt, definitely. Serve the beans over rice cooked firm. Garnish with chopped green onions and parsley. I added in the bacon, crumbled up into bits.

The Ultimate: Grill some patties of Creole hot sausage and deposit it, along with as much of the fat as you can permit yourself, atop the beans. Red beans seem to have a limitless tolerance for added fat. This isn’t optional in my book. I used four small/medium sausage links cut into small disks. Don’t chop the sausage up into little bits like an idiot. They should be little hockey puck disks. I also wouldn’t get caught up in finding a sausage that says “Louisiana”, “Cajun” or “andouille”. That shit can be hard to find and sometimes unnecessarily expensive outside of Louisiana. Look for something that is smoked. Ideally you want something smoked and spicy but smoked is more important. You can always add cayenne to make the shit spicier.

Meatless Alternative: Leave the pork and ham out of the recipe completely, and begin by sautéing the vegetables other than the beans in 1/4 cup of olive oil. At the table, pour extra-virgin olive oil over the beans. This may sound and look a bit odd, but the taste is terrific and everything in the plate–beans, rice, and olive-oil–is a proven cholesterol-lowerer.

Serves six to eight.

A Few Thoughts About That Thing…

Hey, did you guys see that thing in SF today? You know, the thing all over the twitters?

Yea! This Thing:

BREAKING: Protesters Block Google Bus

In case you missed it, a Google Bus was stopped by activists this morning protesting its use of city bus stops to transport tech employees to Mountain View without compensating the city for use of the stops (whew). I was stoked to read about this. Yes, there is apparently something, “in the works” to regulate these buses as some blog commenters have pointed out but nothing has been done up to this point. And even when a deal is reached its hard to imagine it not greatly benefiting the tech firms. Unless, of course, the people speak out.

Honestly, my first thought was, “what took so long?” In a city known for its activism, its been really quiet around here. Aside from a pathetic “anti-gentrification” rally were a small crowd beat up a Google bus pinata, there haven’t been a lot of organized protests on the matter. Which is surprising given that every other article I read about now has to deal with evictions, rising rents and a City that is rapidly losing its character. “When do we reach our boiling point?” I wondered. Occupy SF wasn’t that long ago, I’ve seen what happens when people get pushed too far.

So finally, today we get a well organized protest with a clear message. And then this happens:

Google Guy

Man was I pissed! What an asshole, right? Twitter sure was pissed, too. Facebook was pissed once it heard the news from Twitter. Everybody’s pissed everywhere.

Then this happened:
Fake Google Employee Was An Actor, Union Organizer, And Occupy Mainstay

A staged event! Holy shit! Well, I got all pissed off at this guy. So did Twitter and Facebook. The blogs who reported on the guy were extra pissed because they felt they were deceived. We’re all still pissed but now for different reasons!

Luckily for me I have a friend in Guarantor. While I like to believe I’m a reliable left-wing guy who shows up at his town hall meetings and supports activism, I really know very little about protesting and how it works. For example, I never knew that there is the occasional theater act. Protesters like Max Alpern, the real name of the fake Google employee, will act out the scenario that they are protesting against. This theater is obviously an act to those who are watching it. Being a comedian, I immediately got this. This guy Max was putting on a show and the media being the dummies they are thought it was real and reported it as such. Or maybe they knew it was fake and reported it as real anyway for the added exposure. After all, the Guardian was the paper that uploaded the video of Alpen and distributed it as fact despite their having interviewed Alpen as a member of Occupy a couple of years ago.

Not everyone gets to have Nato explain things to them, though, so the chorus of, “this guy ruined the protest” is still ringing out. The online news sources are really butt-hurt; the SF Weekly felt the need to write an article chastising his actions. Everyone seems to think that Alpern should have turned around after his performance and acknowledged it was theater. If what Nato tells me is true this is absurd, it would be like me saying, “just kidding!” after every joke. I’m doing comedy, you get it – he’s doing theater, you should get it. But then I read a comment by Boots Riley that made me think even a bit further. Responding to a friend of mine who made a point about the theater getting all the attention rather than the protest, Boots wrote, “Few would have heard about it if not for the theater.” He’s right. He’s so right that I wondered, “What if Alpern did really try to dupe everybody into thinking he was a Google employee? Would the end justify the means?” Since that is what happened regardless of his intent (for the record, I believe he had no intent to fool anyone) I think the answer is yes.

I’ve learned that protesting has a lot to do with visibility and disruption. Not long ago I was one of those people who didn’t understand Critical Mass. “All it does is clog traffic and piss people off, what’s the point,” I’d think. Well, that’s exactly the point, dummy. Without the big show no one pays attention to these causes. I read some comments about the bus protesters stating that they’re just holding up traffic and keeping people from work. They’re being a nuisance, not solving a problem, etc. This argument is silly when you get right down to it. If not the disruption, what’s the alternative? Ask politely? Well, that’s the rub, isn’t it? Everyone did ask nicely, a whole lot of times. And nobody listened. So now we are stopping your bus or filling your traffic lanes with bicycles until you do listen. If part of that noise is a guy impersonating an antagonistic figure, so be it. The attention to the issue is what matters.


Great news, I’ll be appearing in SF Sketchfest this year in three shows. I have all the dates. I’ll give those out in another update.

Also, I’ve lost my voice. Will probably write about that later, too.

For now, I just re-watched Alien at the recommendation of Joe Tobin. This was always one of my favorite sci-fi movies but it’s been a while since I last sat down and enjoyed it. All I’ve gotta say is, man, what a fantastic-looking fucking movie. I mean, I always loved the tone, atmosphere and slow-pacing, but on this viewing I really found myself admiring the cinematography and set design. The Nostromo is a kaleidoscope of lights, buttons and switches, some that do nothing and others that self-destruct the vessel. There are two particular parts of the ship that I find really impressive. There is one near the main controls that has a pentagon-shaped light source on the ceiling, casting great halos around the crew while the light from the consoles illuminates their faces. The other is the white, “lite-bright” room where the crew communicates with the computer, “Mother”:

Yea, there’s no good reason I can think of as to why the room looks like that, but damn it looks good nonetheless. Then there are the alien planet sets that appear absolutely massive. In an era where matte paintings and miniatures were the only way of executing these types of effects its pretty amazing how seamlessly everything looks. Pair this with the dark lighting, occasional lens flares and haunting sound design and you have yourself one really sensory-satisfying film.

Most people I talk to about the Alien franchise tend to say that James Cameron’s “Aliens” is better than Ridley Scott’s original. I (and Joe Tobin, apparently) feel like its comparing apples and oranges. “Aliens” is a mile-a-minute thrill ride with colorful characters and a great, wider-reaching story. “Alien” is a slow burn; it’s classic 70’s pacing that takes a long time to set the stage and then gives you a massive payoff at the expense of a larger narrative. Given the awesome look of the film, it deserves the shuffling and plodding. We need the time to take in just how awesome each shot looks.

48 Hours!

I was wondering if comics truly use their personal websites for anything more than placeholders to direct traffic to social media websites. The answer? Yes, except for me. So I’m going to use social media to track back to this post – take that me! Truth is I have a bunch of stuff going on in the next 48 hours and its too much to list on twitter. So I’m back to my neglected blog to give write out all the goods. Here we go.

TONIGHT, Wednesday November 20th.

I’m at the Sacramento Punch Line middling for my pal Reggie Steele. My other pal Marcella Arguello is opening. If you live in that part of town I defy you to find a better time in Arden Fair for $15 and walking distance from a Sleep Train. Tickets:


1. I’m doing a benefit for spinal cord injuries and I’m really glad to be a part of it. I haven’t done a benefit in a while, probably not since last year, and its always a great feeling. This will be in SF at the Barrel House and tickets can be purchased here:


Sal Calanni and I filmed a short last year as a pitch for a travel show. It was rejected. This Thursday, however, it rises from the ashes and will be screened at The Roxie Theater as part of the Festival of the Moving Image! Take that Hollywood! The screening is at 7pm, which means Sal and I won’t be there. Why? We are both performing at the aforementioned benefit, that’s why. We do intent to be at the after party at the Pork Store, however, so if you come check out our film be sure to tell us how much you liked it / hated it while we drink and wait for people to notice us. Info and tickets here:

Ok, that’s it for now. See you in 3 months.


And a special thanks to Slidell…

So these past few days have been pretty awesome. Doing the Late Late Show was a great experience and the positive response from everybody has been amazing. Thanks to Craig, Phil, Bart and all the people at the Late Late Show who gave me the opportunity, Molly and the Punch Line and Jamie and the Hollywood Improv for giving me stage time, Kevin Shea for housing me in LA, and Ryan Stout for his sound advice after I ate it the night before taping.

I’d also like to express an extra-special thanks to my friends from Slidell. I was uncertain of how everyone would react to hearing someone call their hometown a piece of crap (and obviously I didn’t care because I said it anyway). Thankfully, instead of burning my effigy in the streets of Olde Town, my old friends and acquaintances responded by congratulating me and then posting and re-posting my set on Facebook and Twitter over and over again. There’s nothing better than a crowd that can take a joke, and you guys were one hell of a crowd. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

– Matt

The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Read (and my unsolicited response)

I have a love hate relationship with blogs. I find that I either read something truly unique that expands my awareness of an issue or I just waste 20 minutes wading through hyperbolic garbage. The blog re-posted below is one of the latter. This comes from Elite Daily, which claims to be “The Voice Of Generation-Y…a medium for people tired of disingenuous content.” (From their Facebook Page). My commentary is, obviously, in bold.

Why Men Aren’t Really Men Anymore

Finally, a blogger will explain to me how to be a real man. Please, enlighten me.
Life • Paul Hudson • May 29, 11:39am

There was once a time when men used to be real men. When? What time period? A range of years would be preferred, but I’ll settle for the last year when they stopped being men. I ask because specifics like these are what separate actual journalism from amateur garbage. When they dressed with style, when they had a certain honor code they followed that involved treating not only their elders and each other with respect, but women alike. Which men did this? I’m assuming you didn’t just make these broad generalizations up and you based them off of observations of actual historical men. Unfortunately, those days are far- gone — a thing of the past. Yea, again, a year range would be awesome. Like, is this before or after husbands were legally allowed to rape their wives? Was that when men were classy? What we have now is… to be quite honest, I’m not sure. Hey, we both don’t know what the fuck it is you’re talking about! Whew!

There are of course certain men out there who still have their affairs in order, but we are few in number. How many? I’m willing to take a percentage on this. Like, 20%? And what does this data consist of? Monetary worth? Good deeds?What people are most often subject to is the company of boys who are refusing to grow up and man up — boys who prefer to play with their toys than to do their part in bettering society, the human race and the world as a whole. Agreed! Put the video games down and volunteer, dudes. Finally, we’re on the same page. These poor excuses for men have the bodies of adults and the mentalities, as well as the social outlook of toddlers. Horny toddlers, but toddlers nonetheless. My girlfriend’s nephew is a toddler. He likes to kiss dogs on the mouth. Its kind of awesome. How dare you insult him.

It’s all about character — or in this case, the lack of character. Something has been happening during this era dubbed the “information age.” Social media platforms have taken away the need to interact face to face, taking away the need for actual interaction. This is great in many regards: you can now keep in touch with friends and family all over the world from a handheld device. You mean a phone, right? You know phones could do that before they had the internet. It was called long-distance. Also, I believe your argument is starting to lose focus. Gee, I wonder if that will continue.

However, much of the interpersonal confrontations are now also taking place online. People no longer feel that they have a need to meet in person to discuss their differences; they can now troll each other online. Back to phones: I recall you could talk to people while not being face to face by using those, too. People are using the Internet as a shield, hiding behind IP addresses in order to speak their minds. NO ARGUMENT, but once again, FOCUS…LOSING The Internet acts like beer-muscles. It makes you believe that you are stronger than you actually are, making you more aggressive. There is nothing wrong with being aggressive when circumstances require it. Like when? When you are actually being physically assaulted? And how aggressive do you get back? What. Are. You. Talking. About?

Personally, when my fight or flight response mechanism kicks in, I always go with fight. Good for you, violence is the answer! We are talking about the true definition of fighting right? Not an internet fight? Because you never specify this. It’s not by choice; it’s just the way that I am wired. Fact. We have no way to control our compulsions and become better people. Great observation. Online, people have no need to run away because they are already in hiding — so they always choose to “fight.” Like you! You just said you did that! Although the fighting they do is just about as significant as the fighting I do when I play Call of Duty. Hey, that’s a video game, isn’t it? Wait a minute, isn’t a video game a toy? Didn’t you just say that men today are at fault for playing with toys? Do you have an internal editor at all?

The same interaction from beneath cover can be seen when we look at the intercommunication between men and women. It is no secret that both men and women alike have sexual urges. Men, however, feel the need to get off more often than most women. Science! So instead of having to spend the time to meet a real woman and have actual sexual intercourse, they watch porn. Psyche! We do both!

Instead of going out into the real world and meeting women, they stalk women on Instagram. See above response to porn! People now date online as well. It’s much easier to talk to a woman online than it is in person—or rather, it’s not that it’s easier. Both are just as easy, but for some reason, men now prefer to hide their faces behind their monitors. (Every time I use the term ‘men’ in such context I quiver) I’m quivering reading this right now! I may vomit! It’s out of fear and laziness. Men have become lazy pussies. There ya go, talkin’ like a real man. I don’t even want to use the word pussy because it brings to mind women, who nowadays have much more character than men. As opposed to when they had less? What does that mean?

Generation-Y is the instant gratification generation. LINK. VISIT THIS LINK. We want what we want right at the moment we figure out that we want it. We are willingly giving up one of the most important things in life: the waiting period. Having to wait and having to deal with our urges and wants without instantly having them satisfied is what builds character and is what we are now lacking in this fast-paced age. Like how you hammered out this shit-fest in half-an-hour, right?

If we want food, we order it online and have it delivered. Remember how we couldn’t order food to be delivered before the internet? Right? Oh wait. If we want to listen to our favorite song, we find it on YouTube, iTunes or Spotify. Oh no! If we want to watch a movie, we either buy it on demand or stream it online. Gasp, the convenience! If we want sex, we masturbate. I think this predates internet and delivery food, btw If we want to have a good time, we do drugs. Ditto We have this false belief that doing things faster will give us a life more fulfilled — that it will lead to us being happier. But that isn’t the case. Most of us aren’t happier. We do more, but we experience less. We are never in the moment because we are always considering what we will be doing next in order to not become bored. Once again, I agree, but what the fuck does this have to do with the title of your article? Is this about men being “men” or society being overly-convenient? All of those conveniences are enjoyed by women, too, you realize. Girls have Spotify, last I checked.

Character is most often built during those moments between activities, during moments of solitude and reflection. Like how? An example would be awesome right here. Men no longer feel the need to pause and reflect because the options for whatever it is they want are only a click away. They certainty don’t feel the need to think about evidence for their arguments. The options are endless and therefore we never truly experience disappointment. Never. We are never disappointed. Ever. Except, maybe, when we read this.

We never really feel that we are missing out on something because we no longer give things much importance. Jackie never got back to your text message? I’m sure you have several other women in your contacts that you’d equally like to f*ck — once. Yea! Its like I have this little piece of paper filled with numbers of people I like to call to hook up with! And when somebody turns me down I look at this piece of paper and dial another number! Seriously dude, you are killing yourself with phone examples. Dudes were douchebags before iPhones. THEY FOUND A WAY. Then you’ll get bored and move on to the next one. Men treat women like interchangeable commodities. Only now! Not in the past! When men could literally have a woman as a piece of property. Not then. Now. I do believe that most men still hope to one day fall in love and settle down. Aw, you’re sweet But none of them will unless they change their way of thinking and living. NONE. NOT ONE. THAT IS NOT AT ALL OVERSTATING THINGS

Being focused on self-satisfaction will lead to nothing but broken relationships. Real men are not selfish. Real men are just as concerned for the feelings, needs and minds of women as they are for their own — not just women’s bodies and their sexual usefulness. Real men have a well-defined code of ethics and respect that they follow. This is, so far, the only reasonable, well said and truthful statement you’ve made. Congratulations. 1000 monkeys with a 1000 typewriters.

How can anyone call himself a man if the last time he had to confront another man — whether it be over a social incident or for business purposes — was before he hit puberty? What? If you don’t have the twiddle-diddles WHAT? to approach a woman at a bar in person and have a proper, intellectual conversation, making the woman feel respected and comfortable, then move over for the real men. Yea, be a real man and pick up chicks at a bar. There ya go, buddy. Get em nice and drunk while you’re at it. Ass.

It’s awful because women are becoming accustomed to such boys and believing that these pansies are all that is left of our sex. If only they had more ‘Bros like you to choose from. Sigh. Some great women are settling for these fools and then finding that they themselves have no choice but to wear the pants in the family because their “man” is PMSing. All I can hope for is that the law of evolution will see the world rid of these weaklings, these characterless, hopeless pseudo-men. True speak from a genuine man of science like yourself.

Ladies… real men do exist; there aren’t many of us, but we’re survivors and will be around for a while. Come find us. Wait, are you just a bitter single dude trying to pick up chicks on the internet with this inane article? Making you the exact Call of Duty playing dipshit that you are criticizing? Man, I’m sorry to hear that. Well, good luck, you’re obviously a real catch.

Punch Lines All May Long!

By “Punch Lines” I mean the Bay Area clubs that are oh-so-good to me. Its the beginning of a busy May where I’ll be featuring in Sacramento starting tonight and in San Francisco from the 22nd – 25th.

So if you’re in the East Bay, check me out this week with Dan Soder and Casey Ley. If you are in SF, I’ll be with Barry Rothbart and Colleen Watson . I’m really excited for both of these weeks. Both Colleen and Casey are good friends of mine and its always a fun to work with people you like hanging out with in general. And while I don’t personally know Barry or Dan, they are both funny guys who tweet about sports, which leads me to believe we’ll get along just fine. Then there’s the fact that I’ve got LOTS O NEW JOKES. That’s right, there’s plenty of stuff you haven’t heard.

So yea, that all starts tonight. Other news includes: I edited, audio mixed, sfx’ed, animated, lit, helped shoot, helped direct, helped run live sound, drank lots of coffee for a project that is meant to promote ABC’s “Family Tools” sitcom. This means I’ve got an actual network TV credit as a video editor/animator. Not too bad for just getting back into the game. Hopefully this leads to more editing/animating/production!

Speaking of video: if you go to my YouTube it’s pretty bare. That’s because I took out most of the old content as I plan on updating it with video of this week and the May 22-25th’s sets. It’s time for a refresh.

Finally, my birthday is tomorrow. Don’t worry, you still have time to get me something. I’m easy to shop for. Crumpled dollar bills out of a dirty hand is my favorite thing, so that’ll do.