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Entries in Matt Oberg (7)



Matt Oberg | Photo: Marianne Ways

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss Matt Oberg in "Matt Oberg's Hit Parade: George Michael" (feat. Will Hines, John Flynn, Kevin Scott, Nate Starkey, maybe even George Michael impersonator Michael George), happening TONIGHT @ 9:30PM at The PIT (123 E. 24th) | $8/$10

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.



Leave it to the New York Lottery to defy the odds that two members of the same improv team would book the same commercial. Enjoy Matt Oberg and Scott Eckert, members of Big Black Car, scuffling on a street corner. I doubt this commercial seemed funny on paper, but combine Oberg's scream-talking and Eckert's convulsions, and you've got something good. Fun fact: I heard the director liked Oberg's character so much that he taped him riffing for several minutes on the various "Van Helsing props" in the trunk of the car. Oberg points to a 24-pack of bottled water: "Check it out, got a shit-ton of holy water here. I know a youth pastor who hooks me up with a sweet deal."

Matt Oberg for Axe Body Spray

Double shot: Matt Oberg is versatile. Here he plays a convincing suit who's handling a bunch of a-hole reporters. PS - if you're not tuning in to Comedy Central's Ugly Americans to hear Oberg breathe life into everyman Mark Lilley, then you're doing yourself a disservice. And big ups to Axe's casting person: I spy with my little eye a bevy of New York actors like Anthony Devito and Rory Scovel. And I recognize others, but I don't know their names!

Nate Starkey for Milky Way

And to fulfill the Rule of Three, here is Nate Starkey, also a member of Big Black Car, dressed up like a 1950s robot. That loves candy. Does compute!

  • THE PLUG: Don't miss Big Black Car performing with The Baldwins, SAT, NOV 6 @ 8PM at The PIT | $5

Special thanks to PIT artistic director Jeff Lepine for the links. Were YOU or someone funny you know in a spot recently? Send the link!


THE HONEY SHOT - Downtown Superstar Ten Minute Hour

Kevin Scott | Photo: Keith Huang

Wanna plug? E-mail me photo & credit. And join our flickr group. Send 10 days in advance.


Ask For It By Name: Zach Woods for Starburst

I remember lunchroom arguments about which was better: Starburst or Mamba. The answer: Neither -- they're both good. Just like this ad featuring an Asian Scotsman and a zombie-fied Zach Woods (The Stepfathers, The Office). Hm. I just watched this ad again. I take it back. Starburst is better. If only because they pick ad agencies that know how to stretch concepts, but not just for the sake of stretching. Cases in point, these two separate ads featuring area comedians Matt Oberg and Rick Younger and Kristen Schaal from a while back.




Leonard Powers (voiced by Randy Pearlstein) and Mark Lilly (voiced by Matt Oberg) | Image courtesy of Comedy Central

It may be St. Patty's Day today, but tonight is the premiere of Ugly Americans (Comedy Central, 10:30PM / 9:30C). To commemorate this animated homage to the multicolored, splotchy and well-worn fabric that is The U.S. of A., we spoke to the guys who voice two of the main characters on the show: Matt Oberg (Mark Lilly, a social worker at the "Department of Integration,") and Randy Pearlstein (Leonard Powers, an aging, drunken wizard). When they're not speaking into microphones, Oberg and Pearlstein can be seen improvising every Wednesday at The Peoples Improv Theater.

Let's go left to right here. Who is Leonard on Ugly Americans?
Randy Pearlstein: Leonard is the senior member of the cast. He is the Ed Asner, the Lou Grant. He's the guy who's been around for 700 years, so everything is just as cool as a cucumber to him. Meanwhile, the young kids are racing around, nervous, anxious -- he plays it cool. He's the grounded member of the cast -- the Fonzie, if I may.

And Mark Lilly?
Matt Oberg: Mark Lilly, to keep with the Happy Days, is the -- Opie? What was his name on the show?
RP: Richie. I know you have seasons one through five on DVD. That was for charm purposes.
MO: I'm playing it cool. But, yes, Mark is the Richie Cunningham of the show. With a little bit of the Chachi. He's the one guy who's not a creature, has no powers, is a human, and he's a social worker who's sort of the reason all of these aliens are in the same room.
RP: He's the heart of the show.

From what I can tell Lilly is the character who keeps finding himself in the eye of the storm.
MO: In the auditions, I remember we'd get in the sound booth -- a whole bunch of us, Randy, Kurt Metzger, and Pete Holmes. And those guys would just start slinging gags around. And then I would just read the next line. And that got me the job. So, yeah, Mark Lilly is kind of the straight man.

And as the straight man, or Voice of Reason, did you not get to sling gags around?
I don't want to get pigeonholed as the straight man, 'cause I'm a maniac. But I never really saw the sort of avenues to the improv. There was enough going on that I sort of thought it was time to bring it back home when I said the lines I say. So, really, what I do on the show is read aloud into a microphone.
RP: But some of the people who read for multiple characters on the show would tend to go pretty nuts. But then Matt would ground it quickly, whether with just a line or a bridge line to get it there. I remember during the  callbacks we'd be crammed in this little booth and then there'd be this pause and Matt would go, "Well, as we were saying..." and just nail it. Like a laserbeam!

So how did you find Leonard fitting into this puzzle?
RP: I like Leonard. Among all the craziness, I think he's a nice dude. He's a drug addict, a sex addict, and a party animal who's 700 years old, which is inherently funny, but he does care about Mark's character and living life like it's his last day on Earth. I'm not a frat guy, never was a frat guy. But through Leonard I get to be a frat guy.
MO: He's a 700-year-old sophomore in college.
RP: And he's magic. Anything he wants magically appears.

So how would you like the cable-subscribing portion of America to perceive the show?
MO: Perhaps it takes a show like this, which displays how ugly New York and America can be, to help us all realize how beautiful our nation has become.
RP: And in nature, some animals are considered ugly to our eyes -- the rats, the ferrets, the sloths. But  truly, they're all of equal value. And as you know, among the people in comedy, some of the least attractive people are the funniest and best to be around.


Thanks, guys.

--Keith Huang



Last Christmas Karaoke | Kevin Scott, Matt Oberg

A Cubby Jones Christmas Special | Scott Bateman (feat. Mary Jo Pehl)

"NO, HO, HO!" The American Apparel 2009 Holiday Ad | Freshwater Picnic


Ugly Americans Teaser Airs Tonight

Image via Animation Magazine

Alert comedy hivesman Soce the Elemental Wizard tipped us off today that Comedy Central will air a short preview of its newest animated series, Ugly Americans. The series is being executive produced by Dan Powell (The Colbert Report, Important Things With Demetri Martin) and David Stern (Monk, The Simpsons) and produced by Devin Clark. Animation is being handled by Augenblick Studios. The series is also a spin-off of original web series, 5-On, and according to our pals over at CC Insider:

Ugly Americans is about a social worker who helps monsters adjust to living in New York and features the voices of Natasha Leggero, Matt Oberg, Randy Pearlstein, Mike Britt, Kurt Metzger, Rebekka Johnson, Pete Holmes, Julie Klausner, Larry Murphy and Michael Leon Wooley.

Why are we excited? Because we know and love all those voices! Ugly Americans won't air officially until March 2010, but get a quick fix tonight during South Park @ 10PM (EST). Here's the preview clip:

Ugly AmericansMarch 2010
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