Matt Fernandez talks about his start in stand-up, Twitter fame and day jobs
People who complain about Twitter, or even worse, specific tweets, seem to be ignoring the fact that, if somebody’s 140-character offerings aren’t to your liking, guess what? Unfollowing is an option. Go ahead and do that.
If an occasional retweet pops up in your feed and you lose your shit over it, guess what? You’re uptight. Drink a beer, take a pill or both.
I’m of the opinion that Twitter is mostly awesome and I would likely have never had the opportunity to talk to the subject of this week’s interview without the social media phenomenon. Matt Davis, a comedian I love and one of my first interviews, retweeted this from Matt Fernandez recently:
India criminalized gay sex. All those sweet ass mustaches gone to waste…
— Matt Fernandez (@FattMernandez) January 22, 2014
And I immediately followed Fernandez’s outstanding Twitter feed.
I quickly discovered that Davis’ RT wasn’t even my favorite Fernandez offering thus far. This is:
And now, ‘Hide and Seek with 50 Cent’ Ok, go hide Fiddy. 1, 2, 3… You can find me in the club. You’re not very good at this.
— Matt Fernandez (@FattMernandez) January 17, 2014
After perusing more of his Twitter feed, watching some of his stand-up clips and repeatedly laughing out loud, I reached out to Fernandez and he joined me for a phone chat on Tuesday. We talked about his early days in comedy, having a real job and yes, that beard.
Visit Fernandez’s website and, if you like Twitter in any funny way, shape or form, you must follow him. He might even be featured in The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes at the end of the interview.
TC: How did you get into stand-up?
MF: I don’t have a good answer for that. I just decided to try it one night and my friends had always told me I was funny so I signed up for an open mic and invited all my friends. Now, knowing what I know, that should be a crime. (interviewer laughs) No one should sit through an open mic that isn’t a comic. Like, not a felony, but maybe a misdemeanor, you know? But it went well so I kept doing it, and right now, I love it. I don’t want to do anything else.
TC: Did you think about doing stand-up early in your life — teenage years or earlier — or did the idea come later?
MF: When I was in my teens, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I never thought of stand-up as a real option until I did it. If it hadn’t gone well, within the first few months, I probably wouldn’t have kept doing it.
TC: You said the first open mic went well. Did you continue doing pretty well or did you hit some bumps in the road early on?
MF: The next open mic after that, I fell back down to Earth. I didn’t have any friends at that one. There were 10 people and five of them were comics so it was definitely humbling, but I kept doing it anyway. I figured it would be like that. That’s what I expected the first time.
TC: Were there any really shitty jobs you had to work while pursuing stand-up?
MF: Oh yeah. I still have a day job. (laughs)
TC: What is it?
MF: It’s OK. It’s not the worse thing ever. I do data entry in a radiologist’s office. It’s boring and terrible, but it gives me a lot of free time to write and I keep the bills paid.
TC: Funny or Die listed you as one of the 15 people that people should follow on Twitter and I agree, but don’t you think Funny or Die is a bit drastic? I mean, if people aren’t funny, they die? What’s up with that?
MF: (laughs) I have no idea. There’s no gray area with them, I guess. You either have to be funny or they will send someone to kill you. I guess they have a team of assassins. I’m not sure how it works, but luckily, I guess I was funny so I get to live another day.
TC: If you tweets ever fall off, man, you might be in trouble, you know?
MF: I’ll have to get off the map and cancel all my credit cards.
TC: Do you have the most formidable beard in comedy? I don’t think I’ve seen one better.
MF: Oh, I think there are some better. I think Mike Lawrence has a great beard, and of course, Kyle Kinane, but I grew my beard because I have a ridiculous face. I still have the face of a 9-year-old even though I’m a grown man. It was hard for me to get respect.
Then I was like, ‘Oh, I can just grow a beard and no one will know how ridiculous I look under here.’
Here it is, The Best Tweet I Can Find In Five Minutes:
Host: Seen on TV & he just had a new baby girl! Give it up for, Nore Davis! Me: when did my child become a credit?
— NoreDavis (@noredavis) January 29, 2014