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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sketchfest Q&A: Comedian Matt Braunger

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 7:55 AM

Page 2 of 2

What was it like to be on the David Letterman show?
You get so nervous because it's a show you grew up loving and I was such a big fan. Literally 15 minutes before I was about to do my set, a booker told me I was going to get to sit and do an interview with David Letterman after my routine. The booker asked if I had a funny story to tell David, so I said sure, and I told the booker a story. I did my set, then I sat down with David Letterman and told him my funny story, and David Letterman laughed. I could tell it was a genuine laugh. I felt like my life was made. I could die now. The funny thing I remember is when it was over, you shake hands, you take pictures, and then you leave out a side door onto a stark empty street in NYC by yourself. I was standing there thinking, "Did I just dream that? Did that just happen?"

Was your family supportive of your career?
My parents were both just extremely supportive. They were school teachers, and believed in doing what you love, not in just following money. They were proud I would get out there night after night after night and take risks.

In terms of security, we have no security, and everything has collapsed. The days of working at one company and getting a gold watch at the age of 50 are long since gone. If you are going to follow your dreams and be an artist, there has never been a better time then now. You really might as well.

Did you ever want to quit?
No, it never crossed my mind. Never. I had been a bartender and a waiter for six years, I'd been a PA, I'd worked as a closed captioning writer - I always felt like there was something I could do on the side. As a kid I'd have nightmares about feeling left out. I always knew I'd break my own heart if I just took some job for the money and I didn't work as a performer, or a writer, or something really creative. I might have a nice apartment, and drive a nice car, but I would just hate myself. It's not because I want to be a star; I want to do stuff that entertains people.

What's your ultimate career goal?
I'd like to collaborate with all the hilarious, amazing friends I've met and create projects we can write, direct, and act in. I'd like to have a steady comedy career. I'd like to have a decent television and film career, doing writing and some acting, without having to be the star. I'd just like a career with some guaranteed work, but doing what I love everyday. My philosophy on life is that you have to keep improving your problems. You are always going to have problems no matter what, but it's up to you to make them better problems. No matter how frustrated or pissed off I get, I look at my problems and say these are better problems then I had four years ago. Way better problems.

Why should check out the show?
I always really try to put on a fun show and try to make sure no one wasted their time to see me. I never take it for granted that people left their homes and spent money to come see my comedy show. This is my last date in January before I go off the road for two months. This show at the Punch Line is going to be a big hurrah for me.

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