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Links 1 through 10 of 289 Matt Ruby's Bookmarks

"All you have to be is honest about the way you feel or the way you’re viewing it. A lot of comedians get self-righteous and they attempt to be right all the time, and preach to the audience. If you can’t get your point across and be funny, you shouldn’t be doing that kind of material because you’re boring. And realize you’re going to be wrong half the time like every other dummy in this country. We all batt about .500. I don’t need to always be right. I look back on a lot of situations I was wrong about. So don’t sacrifice funny to sound smarter than the audience. Carlin never did. He never sacrificed funny and he was the smartest guy in the room every time he was onstage."

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"I like all my characters I play or create, to be honest. I don’t think you should ever feel above the role or sneery towards them. Comedy is above all about empathy in my opinion and I think as an actor, the more you empathise with a character, the more engaging he will be to an audience. It doesn’t mean he has to be perfect or squeaky-clean, but he must have his foibles planted somewhere in humanity. And at some level he has to be vulnerable...Who needs winners? They’re not in the slightest bit funny or interesting. Give me a loser any day."

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"Me, Patrice, and Keith, and Kevin Hart, we used to always take each other to Hack Court.  Which means we would say you’re going to Hack Court and quote one of the bits and say why it’s f***ing hack.  And normally we would convict each other regardless of merit.  Because it was just fun to convict your friends of being a f***ing hack.  There was nothing worse than being onstage and doing a bit that was questionable and kind of generic and 1 of the guys would walk in, so you knew that you were going to get beat up.  It’s like when we did Tough Crowd (with Colin Quinn).  If you did any of that applause-generating nonsense, Colin was gonna murder you, and the other guys would murder you, DiPaolo, all those other guys, we would kill each other for that sh*t.  So you learn to get away from that.  The stuff like 'Hey man, we just gotta be good to each other as people,' the horrible sh*t that comedians do just for cheap, slut applause, we learned not to do that."

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“You got to fall in love with it. I am a big fan of obsessive behavior. I’m a big fan of what people think of as workaholism. I don’t think that this is a real problem in (our) culture that people are working too hard. I’ve seen the antithesis of that. So I am a big fan of go crazy and become obsessed to the exclusion of all other things...People say you need to have balance in your life and a broad perspective. I’m against all these things. I advocate for narrow and unbalanced. And that is the only possible route to becoming a comedian.”

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"I've never viewed myself as particularly talented. I've viewed myself as...slightly above average in talent. Where I excel is with a ridiculous, sickening work ethic. While the other guy's sleeping, I'm working. While the other guy's eating, I'm working. While the other guy's making love, I mean, I'm making love, too, but I'm working really hard at it!"

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"Those 'alternative' rooms, I'm not saying they're all bad, but there is that error, of that these crowds are really intelligent and they're smarter than the crowds in comedy clubs. It's just something about it, like, 'You are performing in front of a crowd like you.' So I don't see where the challenge is. As much as those guys make fun of like the Blue Collar Tour, it's like 4 southern guys performing in front of a bunch of southerners, you're doing the same thing. You go into those rooms and people will have bits about like reading comic books or Sci-Fi movies that fing destroy. And you're just sitting there like, 'Okay, that was funny, but it wasn't that f***ing funny, why is it killing that hard?' Then it's like, 'Oh, he's basically doing an I love Texas bit in Texas.'"

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"When I say awful things, I think it's clear to the audience that I just stumbled into a terrible part of my brain. It's just where my brain goes first. The difference is that I said it out loud. That's all. It's just a big excuse to say awful things. But people know that. They intrinsically trust somebody: He's just fucking around. People get tired of processing life in a linear way. When you watch my show or my stand-up, you're opening the top button on your coat and sitting back, but with your brain. When I say vulgar things, it's usually not to be mean or sexually charged. It's just a dumb lashing-out in a direction that's inappropriate."

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"I'm honest at times but I'm surreal at times. But in exercising that I'm defining who I am. Doing my show and showing the weird things that I can think of is such a better representation of myself than me telling a story about what I'm feeling, or talking about my family. Stand-up is such a self-aware art form and the absurdity of what it is, which is 800 people watching you pretend you're doing something for the first time, is so disingenuous. If you expose it for what it is there's a lot of drama in that...No, I don't care whether it's funny or not. I've kind of stopped valuing laughter as the end-all measurement of what I'm doing. I want to be funny and entertaining, but I want it to be a little more nuanced than that. It's all about surprising people, and you're not surprising people if you're making them laugh every five seconds." [thx MK]

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"Any given audience longs for a story, they expect a story and if you don’t give it to them they will feel cheated and/or unsatisfied.  I’m not an expert at story but I like to follow these bullet points..."

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"Comedy is a license to remove reason from a situation. If you take reason and logic out of a statement and leave in the passion and confusion, that’s really funny to people."

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