Late night locals: The Matt Clemens Show 


If you go to Crackers with any regularity, you've noticed that their emcees have been getting exponentially better over the last few years. The same corps of five or six comics typically open the show to scattered laughter as they are asked to do the impossible—- warm up a hostile crowd by being funny without being edgy, controversial or too funny.

I've seen each of their sets three or four times or more, but somehow the jokes get funnier even though I've heard them before. You are likely to see either Kevin Ruble, Matt Clemens, Brent Terhune, and Blake Boatright at one of the Crackers clubs on almost any given weekend, so seeing their jokes evolve and their stage presence become more confident has been tantamount to the growth of the Indianapolis comedy scene.

If I may be brutally honest to make my point, the first time I saw Terhune I thought he was absolutely terrible, and the response to his jokes was painfully quiet. I was told that he had been very successful in the college scene around Muncie and Bloomington, but I just didn't see it. However, each time I saw his act, it kept getting better and better— eventually to the point where his 15 minutes only feel like about two minutes of scripted jokes, while the rest is very finely-tuned crowd play. The mob mentality within the walls of a comedy club is viciously uniform, and sometimes you have to put yourself outside the crowd to properly appreciate what's happening on stage. Otherwise your experience at a club is only as good as the guy next to you, who may or may not be an idiot with a shitty taste in comics.

So I've grown a certain affinity for these comics, perhaps partially because their growth through the ranks of Indianapolis comedy has been concurrent with my growing love and familiarity with this city. I can see Blake Boatright tell a joke about acronyms and remember everything about the night I heard the joke for the first time— where I was at in the crowd (right-center of stage), what I had to drink (Newcastle), and what base I got to later that night (a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell). I'm kidding, of course. I saved my first kiss for my wedding day, like all Catholics do.

Therein lies the personal appeal of "The Matt Clemens Show:" a hilariously low-budget locally made late-night-style talk show, featuring Matt and an evolving crew of characters comprised of the Crackers crew. People you pay to see be hilarious any given weekend, being hilarious for free in a completely different way. Terhune's "Jonathan Peepers" character is a brilliant spoof of those crappy gimmick comics, and Oskay's "Darryl" character only needs about two words to make an entire episode worth watching. If you can get past its homemade nature, there's a fun local show to be found.

Without further adieu...."The Matt Clemens Show"—- comedy about comedy, done right.

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