From "Inside the Closet" to standup

Matteo Lane, one of comedy’s LGBT rising stars, is making his way south for a run of shows that include Nashville’s own comedy institution, Zanies. Matteo has appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers and Comedy Central’s Adam Devine’s House Party, as well as MTV’s GIRL CODE and MTV2’s GUY CODE. We catch up with him to find out what audiences can expect from his show, what makes him laugh and more.


How did you get started in stand up comedy?

I was trying to make it as a singer, but it was too hard, and I had really awful gigs in strip clubs at 4 a.m. singing in between a drag queen and a stripper. But I’ve always loved Ellen and Kathy Griffin and Joan Rivers.

I had a friend dating a comic, and I asked if I could try it, and he said yes. It was 3 minutes at a s****y bar in Chicago, and I loved it.


Who was your favorite comedian growing up?

As a child, Ellen. She had/still has the best delivery of any comedian. She was also so accessible to kids. I loved her face and expressions when she’d tell jokes.

When I was 16 I discovered Kathy Griffin, who changed my life. But the biggest influence of all was Joan Rivers. She gave me the comedy bug. I miss her everyday.


You recently started a podcast called “Inside the Closet” — tell us about your podcasts and what listeners can expect when they tune in.

It’s a podcast that’s not a podcast. I don’t wanna talk about comedy, or interview people about their lives/careers in comedy. It’s just me and my amazing cohost Emma Willmann, and we chat about sex, dating, and interests. It’s a peek inside our lives and what gays talk about.


You are also collaborating with Bob the Drag Queen on a comic book: Tell us more about that project.

It’s called Kick Ass Drag Queen, and it’s about a barista by day and super star drag queen super hero by night. It stars all your favorites from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and it’s hilarious. Bob does all the writing and I do all the drawings. We have a BLAST doing it.


Now some quickies:

Favorite way to waste a day?

Watch The Golden Girls, make pasta and watch bad infomercials with my cousins.


Favorite thing to hear after you perform?

“We loved you in Cabaret.” jk… Probably just, “Thank you.” I’m not good with compliments. I’d rather hear what I did wrong so I can improve it the next night.


Least favorite thing to hear after you perform?

“My gay friends would love you: are you single?”


Other than you, of course, who is your favorite comedian to watch?

Joan. But my Aunt Cindy is also the funniest person I know.


Ask yourself a question here!

Will you ever find true love?

Yes—it’ll be in Italy and come with a bowl of carbonara.


If your comedy was a style of bathing suit, what style of bathing suit would it be and why?

A tankini—‘cuz it’s ridiculous


Celebrity Crush?

Susan Boyle


No, what celebrity would you like to see crushed?

Mariah’s already doing that for herself.


If 13-year-old you saw you today, what would they say?

Thank God you left Arlington Heights!


You’ll be in Nashville on November 29th performing at Zanies Comedy Club. Is this your first time in Nashville? Other than performing at Zanies, what do you plan on doing?

Hopefully eating good food. I actually want to see live music: I know that sounds corny but it’s true. Also, local drag shows.


Any advice for aspiring queer comedians?

Be yourself and make your own rules. Respect your peers and be patient.


To catch Matteo at Zanies on Tuesday, November 28, at 7 p.m., tickets are available online. You can also find his podcast, Inside the Closet, on iTunes.

NOTE: according to Zanies Nashville, this show is cancelled...





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