Interview: Matt Vasquez4 April 2018
When I first saw Matt Vasquez perform comedy, I was about to go on stage. His first impression was legendary and the marksmanship of a great comedian. He made me burst out with laughter immediately. With the golden whip of dry wit, Matt Vasquez never misses a quip, and perpetually has an index finger on the Australian comedy pulse.
“Hey man, what’s your name?”
A wry smile comes over Matt’s face, he knew the punchline had gone and knocked me into the corner. I couldn’t believe how brave he was for someone I’d never met. Apparently, Hemmingway would similarly deliver a scathing punchline upon meeting new acquaintances. Right before buying them a drink. Matt has the same love of scathing hospitality. Vasquez’s sometimes-savage humour is always filled with mirth and allows for audiences to uncover anomalies and oddities they had never dared contemplate.
Matt is distinctive in his novelty. Think the opposite of a 30-yeat-old white male on stage asking “What’s the deal with Peanuts? Am I right people?” Matt’s comedic perspective comes from a diverse perspective and unique voice. He delivers a breath of fresh air that the Australian comedy scene is inhaling.
Matt is the feather under the chin that keeps you laughing throughout. On the way to a gig in Bendigo Matt calmed my nerves immensely, explaining that bogans were friends and that we would (probably) get out of Bendigo alive. I felt my profuse sweating somewhat subside as Matt’s comedic wisdom washed over me.
“Even if they do kill us, we can use that for material in our next gig.” Matt doesn’t smile. He’s serious. I think he would break his neck slipping upon a banana if it meant he’d get a laugh from an audience at some later date when recalling that pesky little banana.
It is widely held that Matt Vasquez will be a fixture on the Australian comedy circuit for many years to come. Similarly to people who saw Wil Anderson peform in front of 50 people in 2001, right before he got huge. Seeing Matt Vasquez tear it up at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival will be something recalled to friends smugly over the next twenty-five years. Not to be missed. The future of Australian comedy is upon and among us.
You can see Matt Vasquez at the MICF as part of Comedy Mad Dogs from 9 to 22 April at the Pilgrim Bar, Vaults 15–19 Federation Wharf, Federation Square, Melbourne. 7pm. Tickets: $14 concession. $18 full.