Matt Besser is a comedian known for improv shows like “A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.” and the Comedy Central sketch show “Upright Citizens Brigade”. His character acting has been seen in such movies as “Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story” and “Freak Dance” to such sitcoms as “Modern Family” and “Parks & Recreation”. He hosts of the improv comedy podcast “improv4humans with Matt Besser” and has produced other audio series such as “My Dead Wife, the Robot Car”, “Stolen Idea: the Punk Rock Musical”, and “Estates of Perfection”. He can also be seen in his stand-up specials “Pot Humor” and “Besser Breaks the Record”.
Raised a Razorback in Little Rock, Arkansas, Matt Besser attended Amherst College where he learned how to collect CDs. After graduating, Matt toured the Midwest doing stand-up, while taking improvisation direction from Del Close at Chicago’s Improv Olympic Theater. In Chicago in 1991, he was a founding member of the sketch group Upright Citizens Brigade, and with them he has performed and written such stage shows as “Saigon Suicide Squad” winner of Best Sketch at 1996 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen.
Besser’s stand up albums include: “May I Help You Dumbass?” , “Woo Pig Sooie!”, “The 6 Most Important Sets in the History of Standup”, “Besser Breaks the Record” which was also filmed as a special for Seeso. Most recent standup special was “Pot Humor” which can be watched on Amazon.
As an improviser he was a member of Chicago’s “The Family”; forever a member of “A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.” the UCB Theater’s long-running flagship improv show.
In 1996 the UCB moved to NYC and produced their sketch show “Upright Citizens Brigade” for three seasons (’98 – 2000) on Comedy Central. In fall of 2005 the UCB premiered their improv show “Asssscat: Improv” on Bravo. In 2008, another Assscat special was filmed at the UCB Theater in LA and premiered on Comedy Central.
With the success of their tv shows, the UCB opened their own comedy theater and improv school which operates two theaters in NYC, and two in LA.After the UCB tv show , Matt teamed up with Method Man & Redman to create and perform in a hidden camera show on MTV called “Stung”. He was creator and star of “Crossballs” which ran 23 episodes on Comedy Central; “This Show Will Get You High” on Comedy Central; and also created and starred in “The Very Funny Show” for TBS.com. Besser has guest starred is such sitcoms as “Parks & Recreation”, “Modern Family”, “New Girl”, “Children’s Hospital”; “Bernie Mac Show”, “Frasier”, “Fresh Off the Boat”; “Drunk History”, “Comedy Bang Bang”, and featured in the movies: “Freak Dance”, “Year One”, “Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox Story”, “Drill Bit Taylor”; “The TV Set”, “Bad Teacher”, “Wild Girls Gone”, Sundance Film Festival favorite “Junebug”; and co-star of zombie western “Wanted: Undead or Alive”. He wrote & co-directed the film musical “Freak Dance” which can be seen on Amazon.
Along with Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, he is the author of “The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual”.
Matt currently hosts the best podcast in the universe called “improv4humans with Matt Besser” and creates epic podcast projects with his podcast partner Brett Morris like “Estates of Perfection”, “My Dead Wife, the Robot Car”, and the punk rock musical “Stolen Idea” all on Stitcher Premium, Spotify, SiriusXM.
Booking? Where can I see you perform?
I live in LA where I perform standup and often do live shows of improv4humans.
If you want to book my standup or improv4humans in your town…email email@example.com
What social media platforms are you on?
Twitter/X; Facebook; Threads; Facebook; BlueSky; Instagram
Crossballs: are the “real” guests in on the joke?
Only one guest understood the premise of the show while they were still on the show and by then the show was seconds from being over. A few guests knew that our characters were throwing out jokes but they thought that they were real people joking around not characters. The guests were not told that the name of the show was Crossballs until they got to the studio. It was explained that the name was derived from Crossfire and Hardball and that explanation always seemed to suffice. We never had a reveal moment in the show like they do on hidden camera shows because we are not a hidden camera show. These people were entering a debate and a debate is what they get, just not on the terms that they had imagined. Most of our guests have been great sports about it when they discovered all the levels. And a couple have gotten so upset that they have actually threatened me. So no the guests are not in on the joke. And maybe there is no joke.
How do I contact you?
Discord message board on improv4humans.com
What is your hip hop name?
Matty B aka DJ Flip Fingers aka Holy Magoly aka Professor Besser
Santa Fe Reporter
The Village Voice
The New Yorker
The Laugh Button