By David Gavri
Matt Golightly is a stand up comedian from San Antonio, Texas. Starting out as a writer for the San Antonio Spurs, Golightly transitioned into comedy and soon mastered every type of gig—comedy clubs, colleges, one-nighters, country clubs, and even corporate gigs. His quick wit, relatable material, and likeable stage presence earned him the number four spot as the “Funniest Person in South Texas.”
His insatiable work ethic, hard work, and talent has taken him all across the United States as well as overseas to Korea and Japan to entertain our troops. Golightly has been heard on The Bob & Tom Radio Show, and has also been seen on Fox TV, LAT TV, and the Late Shift with Kevin Ferguson. During his visit in Houston, he was genuine enough to hang with us after his show.
Now real quick, since you’re from San Antonio, are you more of a Texans fan or a Cowboys fan?
I’ve never been to a Texans game, but I feel like I would be a Texans fan. Those fans REALLY wanna win, and I like being part of that environment. I wanna be around people who are living and dying by their team.
Good answer, you’re in the clear. So how’s your weekend been here in Houston at the Comedy Showcase?
It’s always good. There are certain rooms in Texas that I get real excited about, and The Showcase is one of them. I’ve taped three DVD’s in my entire career, and I’ve taped every one of them here at The Showcase. There’s just something about that room…every show I do there, something crazy happens.
You’ve traveled overseas to entertain our troops. How is that different than performing in a regular comedy club?
Incredibly different. And it’s different from night to night, too. One night there we’d have a very small crowd of literally only seven people. And then other nights, we’d be in a big room in front of hundreds of people.
The best thing that happened there was that we got stuck outside the base for one night. The hotel we stayed at was awful, yet funny. In the hallway they had a vending machine that sold ipods and vibrators…together in the same vending machine! Along with a pack of gum… [offers us a piece of gum, which we gladly accept]
Sometimes the jokes write themselves. Got anything new worth sharing?
Well, my car got broken into recently. But they didn’t take anything, which is the most offensive part! They break my window, look through all my stuff, and just go, “Naa.” [wipes a tear from his eye]
Happy thoughts, think happy thoughts. Let’s talk about how you got into stand up comedy.
It all started right around 1999-2000. I used to intern for the San Antonio Spurs as their webpage guy. One day they asked me to make up kids games for the website. We came up with a lot of funny games. But I wanted to know if we just thought they were funny in the office, or if everybody else would think that they were funny as well. So that’s why I got into comedy. I had to know.
I went to the open mic at the River Center Comedy club. I made myself set a date to go on my birthday. I did not tell a single person that I was going to do stand up comedy. Because if it went badly, I could just be like, “No, I’ve never tried stand up…” But it went well, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I cannot imagine doing anything else. [looking up and to the right, staring deeply]
You look like you’re in deep thought. Care to tell us a whacky story from your comedy experience?
I was playing The Loony Bin Comedy Club in Wichita, Kansas with my buddy Rick. After the show as I go out to my car to leave, a girl randomly stumbles over to me from the club next door. She’s like, “Heyyy I was wonderin if you can give me a ride to the gas station so I can use a payphone…me and my boyfriend got in a fight, and uh…he bit me…”
And I’m thinkin, “Whoa, I’m definitely not letting her in my car. There’s an angry biter involved…”
The problem was that Rick didn’t lock my car door on the passenger side, so I get in the car, and outta nowhere, she’s also in the car! She’s sitting in the passenger seat like, “I mean its right there, if you could just take me…?”
I’m thinking, “Wow, I’m about to bite this girl…”
And that’s when Rick comes over to get in the car. And I’m just like, “Oh hey Rick, this is Britney, she got in a fight with her boyfriend and…he bit her.”
“Yaa Rick…he bit her.”
And we’re both just laughing away…right in front of Britney.
So we decide to take her to the gas station, and on our way there, Britney asks, “Hey can we stop and get some food real quick?”
I’m laughing, but at the same time I’m like, “Are you serious? No way!”
But Rick thinks its funny so he’s like, “Yaa lets get some food, I’m hungry.”
I’m hating Rick at this point, but we’re still laughing. We go to a fast food drive-thru, and I’m just thinking how an angry man with bloody teeth is probably gunna show up at any second.
Outta nowhere, Britney reaches into my cup holder and grabs my change to pay for her food. She looks at me like, “I just thought maybe…”
As she buys her food with MY MONEY I just look at her like, “Britney, I’m going to bite you.”
THEN, on the way to the gas station, Britney asks us to take her to a nearby neighborhood instead.
And now I’m thinking, “Britney, I’m going to bit you. I’m really going to bite you!”
So we get to the neighborhood. Now Britney wants us to turn on to another street. This street is a dead end and it’s dark. No street lights whatsoever. And that’s when everything stopped being funny. Rick is just like, “Umm we should just let her out right here and make her walk…”
And I’m like, “Na Rick, I think it’ll be fine!”
Rick’s like, “Man if you go down there, I’m gunna bite you!”
So we made her get out and walk. We gave her a choice to either get out right there, or we’d take her all the way back to The Loony Bin. Ironically enough, the place was called The Loony Bin…
What drives you to keep doing stand up comedy?
I’m always having fun with it. Tomorrow I’ll be in Austin, Texas, and then after that I’ll be in the Bahamas. Could I go to the Bahamas if I had a regular job? Sure, I could take time off, but could I go to the Bahamas and have them pay me?!
Tell us about your favorite moment on stage.
I had only been doing comedy for about two years, and I still wasn’t sure if I should chase this comedy dream. Slade Ham had his club out in Beaumont and he put me in there to feature. Being a young comic at the time, I was really nervous. During my routine, I got into it with some lady in the audience. I don’t even remember what exactly we said to each other. All I remember is that she said something to me, and I fired back at her…and it killed.
And at that moment, I wasn’t afraid anymore. It felt truly natural for the first time, and I knew that it wasn’t just a fluke. From that moment on, I knew that I could do this. From that point on I knew I was like, “Well Im at least gonna try because if I don’t try to do this for a living, I’ll regret it, and always wonder what could have happened.” [wipes another tear from his eye]
For more info on Matt Golightly check out http://www.mattgolightly.com/
Interviewed by Steven Padilla
Written by David Gavri