Matt Ruby wants to get away with anything
“Can we all admit that we have not figured out paper straw technology?” Matt Ruby asks in his 2020 YouTube special “Feels Like Matt Ruby.”
In the special and on stage, Ruby ponders issues like this (along with why hotels won’t wash towels anymore in order to save the rainforest). It’s why he got into comedy in the first place.
“I really just wanted to tell the truth and I realized that funny people seem to get away with doing that more than anyone else,” Ruby said.
Nearly 15 years ago, inspired by Chris Rock and other comedians who he was watching at the time, Ruby decided to give stand-up comedy a try and it was, he said, a “rabbit hole.”
For years, he went to different open mic nights in New York City, performing in bars, dingy basements and anywhere he could get on stage.
“That’s a notoriously tough crowd,” Ruby said. “Those rooms were as hard as possible. If you can get laughs there, you’ve made it.”
Slow and steady growth led to Ruby becoming a regular at the legendary Comedy Cellar in New York City. Now, he co-produces Hot Soup, one of the city’s longest running independently produced comedy shows, and his comedy has been filmed by Comedy Central, MTV, NBC and FOX. His two albums, Feels Like Matt Ruby and Hot Flashes, are in regular rotation on Sirius. He has been featured on CNN, The Huffington Post, New York and Time Out, and he’s been in the top ten on the iTunes Comedy charts. He tours across the country, as well as internationally, and has appeared at festivals including SXSW, Bridgetown, the New York Comedy Festival and the Boston Comedy Festival.
He’s come a long way from New York City basements.
As for his material, he said his favorite source is simply having conversations with people and creating an organic spark that turns into a topic he wants to focus on. His current work includes commentary on dating and relationships, dependence on technology, the current obsession with wellness, and, he said, “things that we are hypocritical or not telling the complete truth about.”
“I love when someone can get up there and say stuff that no one else could get away with,” Ruby said. “In our society, you have to watch what you say everywhere you go. Everyone is concerned about saying the wrong thing, and stand-up comedy is unique from that – it’s the one forum where you can say whatever you want and get away with it.”
Steamboat can listen to Ruby get away with whatever he wants this weekend when he performs at Schmiggity’s as part of Steamboat Comedy’s Winter Stand-Up Series.
“People these days spend a lot of time online and to be together in a room laughing and sharing a moment feels like it’s more and more of a rare and important thing for us as a culture,” Ruby said. “Comedy delivers that.”
What: Steamboat Comedy hosts Schmiggity’s Winter Stand-Up Series with Matt Ruby
When: Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5; doors open at 7 p.m. w/happy hour drinks, show starts at 8 p.m.
Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $20 general admission, $70 for a group of four; purchase online at steamboatcomedy.com; if sold out online, more tickets will be available at the door.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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