Texas native Matt Ingebretson returns to his home state next week for a series of shows at the Moontower Comedy Festival. The University of Texas grad co-wrote, co-created & stars in the upcoming Comedy Central show Corporate and hosts a hugely popular LA showcase called Good Heroin.
Matt talked to fellow Austin ex-pat and Moontower performer M.K. Paulsen about his early days in Houston, writing for the Texas Travesty at UT, and the inspiration for his dark corporate satire set in the “dystopian present”.
You have Texas roots, right? Tell us about your background.
I grew up about an hour south of Houston. I spent most of my childhood roller-blading around my neighborhood and drinking two liter bottles of Dr. Pepper by myself. And wearing cargo shorts and a t-shirt I bought from Pac Sun. That was the Texas I knew. Very few cowboy hats and boots, an ocean of flip flops and pre-distressed jeans.
You wrote for the Texas Travesty while an undergrad at the University of Texas. Tell us about that experience and how it helped you in your comedy career?
Texas Travesty was a good place to start in comedy. It was a university publication, so you could feel free to learn and make mistakes and not really know what you’re doing, but there was also a healthy dose of “you should feel ashamed of yourself if you’re not funny” coming from my peers. My senior year I took over as editor-in-chief. I had a real sense that if the work in each issue wasn’t good it was entirely my fault. It ingrained in me a feeling of constant dissatisfaction with everything I do, which is a great motivator in my life that makes me feel terrible constantly.
Your stand up show Good Heroin that you run with Dave Ross and produce with another UT Austin alum, Olivia Doud, is one of the most popular independent comedy shows in Los Angeles. How did that come about? What do you think has contributed to its success?
Dave is really good at building a community around live shows. Olivia is really good at booking the right mix of established comedians and talented younger comics who deserve a chance at a receptive audience. I just try to wear something cute. I’m the eye candy. I’m the hot piece of meat that drives the fans crazy. People come for the comedy but stay for my strong yet approachable jawline and timeless sense of style.
You just wrapped filming on your new show Corporate which was ordered to series last year by Comedy Central? What can we expect from the show? What was your inspiration for writing it?
I am editing the show right now with Jake Weisman and Pat Bishop, the guys I co-created the show with. Tonally I think the show is somewhere in between Office Space and American Psycho. It’s dark corporate satire that is really wild and fun and beautifully shot. Pat directed every episode. Jake and I star in it. The cast is unbelievable, and it varies from some of our favorite comedic and dramatic actors, to a bunch of our ultra talented friends in LA.
Some of the show is based on experiences I had when I first moved to Los Angeles and was making a living working a variety of day jobs in nightmare office environments. But beyond that, Pat, Jake and I are interested in finding the humor in the fact that we are currently living in a dystopian future, and how everyone is really mad about what’s happening in the world but also it’s the best time to be alive in human history but also a total nightmare but also Netflix is amazing but also the United States military is killing people all the time but Amazon Prime delivers noise canceling headphones to your house in two days but somehow there are still people who don’t think everyone deserves to have health insurance.
Is this your first time acting in a major role and how was the experience? What was the best and worst part about it?
Worst part: The fact that I’m selling my humanity to Viacom.
Best part: The fact that I’m selling my humanity to Viacom!
Any fun, on-set shenanigans you’d care to share with us?
Finally, I’d be remiss not ask: what do you miss most about Austin?
Sol taco at Cherrywood Coffee.