As a stand-up comedian, life-long wrestling fan and a former WWE writer, Matt McCarthy is diverse in the ways of getting comedy across in the confines of a squared circle.
Despite not having professional ties to Stamford anymore, Matt stays embedded in his wrestling fandom by co-hosting the We Watch Wrestling Podcast with “pro wrestling encyclopedia” Vince Averill on a weekly basis and just recently released his new stand-up album, Sober Dad (purchase here) in which he furthers defends wrestling fans as they’ve always been subjected to a side-eye or two.
WWE has sure given fans and non-fans plenty of reasons to side-eye their attempt at humor over the years. Matt knows all too well the tricky tight rope that needed to be walked when he wrote for WWE back in 2011 to 2012 and then once more in the beginning of 2016 as a consultant which he did for two more years.
“It’s tough enough being a writer there but it’s especially tough being the comedy guy,” McCarthy began, “Because Vince McMahon’s idea of comedy is somebody getting their foot stuck in a bucket, you know? Stuff like that. Or climbing into a coffin with a mannequin dressed like a woman. Stuff like that,” which apparently McMahon remained a fan of long after that coffin on Katie Vick was closed.
“I remember somebody brought up the Katie Vick thing in a meeting once and I remember him just going, ‘God…funniest thing we’ve ever done.’ Yeah, still digging in his heels. He’s like, ‘Hmm, people just don’t appreciate dark humor.'”
In their near seven years of doing We Watch Wrestling, McCarthy and Averill (whether it was solo or with their former partner Tom Sibley) have never missed recording an episode for each week and the chemistry between the two shows. Something Matt made note of was the chemistry between Chris Jericho & MJF during their polarizing “Le Dinner Debonair” segment last week on AEW Dynamite. He believes that as seemingly out of place as the segment may have been, it’s not going to do any sort of damage.
“The product is bulletproof,” he said before citing Katie Vick once more. “Triple H climbing in a coffin with a mannequin! You know? You’re going to run some people off, but not with a musical segment, I’m sorry. You’re just not. I found Matt Hardy almost cracking his skull open on the concrete much more offensive. Let’s be honest. It stopped, it started, it’s like, ‘Guys, God bless ya,’ but it’s like, ‘no.'”
Matt initially didn’t get to see “Le Dinner Debonair” in full and knew that getting the complete context was key in assessing if the humor worked or didn’t work for him.
“I cannot pass judgment on something that I have not seen. So I’m going on Twitter, trying to find when it gets posted on YouTube or whatever and I find it posted, but it’s just the song. I’m like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. I don’t care about the song. I need the set-up! I need the whole segment. I need the whole six, seven-minute thing,’ because it doesn’t work just them singing for no reason. I need to see them start singing for no reason because even when something has no context you still need to see it in context. Like I can’t just see the punchline.
“So when I was finally able to see the whole piece, I loved it. I loved it. Them one-upping each other, ordering the [steak], cause when I see the button of like the raw steak, I’m like, ‘I’m out of my element,’ but I loved it when I saw it from start to finish, I thought it was great.”
McCarthy does delve into the details of Sober Dad, noting how he saves his wrestling bit for the final track as it’s a further elaboration on the case he made for the wrestling fan on his previous album which was aptly named Pro Wrestling Fan.
“Plenty of stand-ups have done bits about wrestling and about being a fan, but nobody has ever stood up and taken like a stance as ‘This is why I’m a wrestling fan. This is what we go through as wrestling fans dealing with these people who just don’t get it, don’t wanna get it. You hear the same inane arguments of just like, ‘You know it’s fake, don’t you?’ Oh God, all that shit. And the routine I did, we pressed it on vinyl, but the reason I mention it is because I have a few other thoughts are expanded upon on the Sober Dad album. So there’s the whole closing segment of the album is about the pro wrestling fan and I look at myself as this, ‘I’m doing this for us,’ you know? And every time I do the routine. Either there’s wrestling fans who are like, ‘Dude, thank you so much. I am going to use these,’ and I’m like, ‘Please! Use these things in your everyday life,’ but also without exception, people who don’t watch wrestling, have never been interested in wrestling come up to me after shows and they’re like, ‘I want to watch wrestling now after hearing that!’
Plenty more from this over hour-long conversation with “The Matt-Based” McCarthy and you can tune into it all below:
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