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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

click to enlarge matt_b_comic_small.jpg

The only cure for the crappy, rainy weather is comedy... well, comedy and beer. Luckily, the Punch Line not only sells booze, but the club will also host but the very funny Matt Braunger this week as part of SF Sketchfest. He'll be at the venue along with Kyle Kinane and Brendan Lynch this Thursday at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10 p.m.).

An award-winning comic, Braunger started in improv and transitioned into stand-up. The mix helped him earn a reputation as one of the most diverse and talented rising stars on the scene. His album Soak Up The Night, released by Comedy Central records in 2009, is available both on iTunes and on vinyl (we love the old school vinyl release). His television credits include The Late Show with David Letterman, Live At Gotham, and Mad TV.

When did you start doing stand-up?
I started in improv in Chicago right after I graduated from college. I was always a comedy fan, so I started to take classes at Improv Olympic. I was lucky enough to study under Del Close a couple of months before he died. I got kicked off my improv team because I couldn't afford to take the classes. One of the things people don't understand about improv is that you have to take the classes to be able to perform. Anyway, that's when I turned to the dark side of comedy: stand-up.

When did things start to hit in your career?
It's been a strange process. From Chicago I moved to LA. I felt like I was a hamster in a wheel, and I wasn't really going anywhere in Chicago. I figured I might as well be a hamster in an enormous field full of wolves, so I moved to LA. Plus, I wanted to have an acting career and a writing career as well, and knew I'd have more opportunities in LA. I first got noticed at the Chicago Comedy Festival in 2001, but it wasn't until the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal in 2007 that the ball really started rolling. The Montreal festival was what allowed me to quit my day job about a year or two later.

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