Matt Kirshen traveled all the way from England to compete on this season’s Last Comic Standing. He was chosen in the London round (along with fellow finalist Gina Yashere) by scouts Ant, Alonzo Bodden, and Kathleen Madigan. Targeted by the other comics for being one of the few with the least experience, Kirshen put up a good fight and made it to top 8.
Kirshen got started in comedy when he was still a college student. In an exclusive interview with BuddyTV, he tells us about the early part of his career. “I had wanted to do it for a while. I kept my eye on open mics and my friend James got me to do it. Both of us started together and we’re both still going.
This is the first season that the show will be airing in both England and Australia but Kirshen had never seen the show before trying out. “I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into,” he said regarding the challenges. Perhaps his most uncomfortable moment came when he had to perform his comedy act for a drag queen who did not find him amusing. “Oh God, I don’t know how people at home watch it. I was at home squirming watching it!”
Heading into the season, he didn’t know any of the American comics. He knows that the fact he hasn’t been doing this as long as some of the others is a reason he was targeted. “I had already done one head-to-head with Debra and knocked her out. I didn’t know what was going to happen after with Ralph and Doug. I thought, well, they’re going to pick me. I had only been going five or six years and everyone else has been going at least ten.”
One might think comedy in England differs from comedy here in the states but Kirshen says: what’s funny is funny. “We all get the same stuff, we watch the same movies, we get a lot of the same sitcoms. The only difference is that Americans cheer a lot more. I’ve never seen someone get a round of applause for saying they quit smoking.” Kirshen plans to stick around in the states and plans to tour here. He will post all his upcoming tour info on his MySpace page.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)