Hey. I’m Matt Ruby (email@example.com). I live in Brooklyn and I'm a standup comedian and the creator of Vooza, a video comic strip about the tech world. This is Sandpaper Suit, a comedy blog about standup, filmmaking, and whatever else I feel like talking about. Established 2006. Phew, that's a while.
People need to trust you. They need to feel safe and give themselves permission to go with you "on a ride." (That's why it's so key to build confidence at the start of a set.)
1: It's the Mind of the Audience
In the same way people go to a roller coaster to get thrown around at high speeds, theater audiences know they are safe. As a film director you can throw things at them, hurl them off a cliff, or pull them into a dangerous love story, and they know that nothing will happen to them. They're confident that they'll be able to walk out the exit when its done and resume their normal lives. And, the more fun they have, the quicker they will come back begging for more.
This KISS bit reminds me of quote I dig about editing jokes as far as you can: "If it's not part of the joke, then it's part of the problem."
7: Keep the Story Simple!
If your story is confusing or requires a lot of memorization, you're never going to get suspense out of it. The key to creating that raw Hitchcock energy is by using simplistic, linear stories that the audience can easily follow. Everything in your screenplay must be streamlined to offer maximum dramatic impact. Remove all extraneous material and keep it crisp. Each scene should include only those essential ingredients that make things gripping for the audience. As Hitchcock says, “what is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out…” (Truffaut)
You've got to stay ahead of the audience. If they know where you're going, they won't be surprised and they won't get that aha moment that creates laughter.
12: Surprise and Twist
Pull the audience in one direction and then another, trick them, and keep them from knowing what's really going to happen. You must make the audience think they know whats coming next, and then you pull the rug out from under them. It must never turn out the way they expected.
One sentence email from my dad: "Who is Hannah Montana?" I told him and asked why he wanted to know. His response: "She was mentioned a few times on various TV channels, but they didn't say who or what she is. Apparently she is now on the way to becoming a national icon or whatever. I feel totally out of it not knowing such vital information."
Moby then linked up the video at his blog because he thought it was funny: "i especially like the image of me being eaten by a tyrannosauraus rex. and if you're going to die, it might as well be at the hands of a very young hall -n- oates."
Responses poured in from his fans. Some thought it was funny, others thought it was in poor taste. But one diehard fan, Patrice (his MySpace profile image to the left), really took it personally...
10/16, 2:23 am - Moby posts video.
10/16, 2:34 am - As long as I live no body will kill you [Moby] without being killed by my own hands No matter how long it would take me and find the bastards That's a vow ;o) P.
10/16, 2:41 am - What a crap song !!! I try to imagine the guy getting his rocks on recording that shit track !!! While in 100 y's time pupils will study your music @ school like classics, nobody will ever remember this man ... just like eninem of my arse by the way!
10/16, 2:42 am - I AM THINKING ABOUT KILLING MATT FUCKING RUBY LOL LOL
10/17, 7:47 am - [Posts these photos]
10/17, 8:26 am - [Sends me MySpace message with a note and alternate lyrics]
Kill Ruby Kill Ruby Kill Ruby until he's dead
He eats shit and he's a real fucker He eats shit and he's a real fucker
Would you like some proper food ? No I can't coz I'm Matt Ruby I only eat shit
Croak Son of a whore !
KILL RUBY KILL RUBY until he's dead
Kill him with a mower Kill him with a mower
If I were his father If I were his father I would cut his balls off and give them to feed our pig ... Yes let Matt Ruby's balls make our pig stronger ....
KILL RUBY KILL RUBY UNTIL HIS DEAD!
10/18, 9:30 am - I started a doll voodoo and needles on Matt Ruby with some italian witch ... soon His balls will dry down to the size of raisins His tongue will swell at night unexpectedly from 1 am to 2 am causing hyper ventilation and suffocation ! His nails will turn purple, blacken and fall then will regenerate instantly after 1 hour, repeatedly with unbearable suffering only at daytime, driving him to distraction ... He'll wake up if he can sleep with the devil's feet every fridays for the whole week-end and finally will have hallucinating visions of his mother moaning and getting pound-shagged by a monkey in front of him every time he utters the word Moby Until he apologizes for being untalented and retires nooooooowwwwwww
[Note: If my balls dry down to the size of raisins, what will my father use to make his pig stronger?!]
About Patrice So just who is my nemesis? He's got an interesting bio at his MySpace page. He starts off by talking about how he's written 130 "down or up-tempoed tunes" (diverse!) and sings "22 tracks per night as an average" (stamina!). Then it gets really good...
I was 25 when I decided to go and live in LONDON England. I studied there and partook in several auditions for musicals like Les Misérables and Pocahontas with good scores, for cruise liners. Back vocals on Rachid's demo, solo artist who happened to be one of Earth, Wind and Fire members' son. Worked as an extra on Portray of a Lady, 5th element, James Bond 18 and James Bond 19 where I met Talk Talk's first percussionist with whom I made comic shows and gigs in UK.
Alright, I guess when you make a song/video about wanting to kill someone, it's only fair to get some grief back in return. But I never expected to get death threats from someone who brags about 1) being an extra in a movie where he met Talk Talk's first percussionist, 2) auditioning for cruise ship musicals, and 3) singing backing vocals on the demo of a guy who is the son of a member of Earth, Wind, and Fire.
Inspired by Patrice, I'm thinking about adding this my bio: "I played the triangle during the American Idol audition of Sal Benedetto, nephew of Vincent Benedetto, bass player on two of the tracks on 'Sports' by Huey Lewis and the News."
Anyway, if I turn up murdered, send that image of goth Harry Potter Patrice to the cops, would ya?
Flying Carpet last night rocked! Thanks to everyone who came out (Rififi was packed) and to all the comics for bringing it (last minute guest David McSavage put in a great set too). After the show, one person told me it was the funniest show they'd ever seen and another comic said the show had "three of the best comics alive on the bill." Nice. Next one will probably be in January...stay tuned.
Tonight (11/27), you will have the the time of your life. You've never felt like this before. Yes, I swear it's the truth. And you owe it all to Flying Carpet.
I'm talking about the stacked lineup at TONIGHT'S FREE FLYING CARPET SHOW AT RIFIFI AT 9:45PM (map). On the bill: From San Francisco, Mr. Will Franken. I'd describe his act but you just gotta see it. SF Weekly called him the best comedian in San Francisco and the SF Bay Guardian called him “the best alternative to psychedelic drugs.” So if you're trying to quit LSD, this is the perfect show for you. Also bringing the trippiness: Mr. Reggie Watts. Beatboxing soul confusionist extraordinaire. He will also blow your mind. And there's sketch group Jerk Practice. Saw these guys kill it at a Halloween show and I said come bring some of that to Flying Carpet and they said, "Right on!"
And that's not all...We also have Ms. Julie Klausner, star of Obsessed with Julie and Jackie, a righteous show at UCB (they make great videos too). She's also a writer for "The Big Gay Sketch Show" so if you're gay it will be right up your alley. And if you're not gay, she's a chick...so no worries. Also: Mr. Vince Averill, a super standup who's performed around the country and stars in his own weekly comedy show on Sundays at Beauty Bar. He will be kickin' it in a very Byron Allen-esque way.
And it will all be hosted by yours truly, the King of Siam, Mr. Matt Ruby. I will tell you all about Moby's #1 fan who has been threatening to kill me!
And you get all that for free. Damn. See you there at 9:45 pm. Cuz' you're the one thing I can't get enough of.
Before you get your turkey on, here's an early warning for next week's Flying Carpet show at Rififi...It's a stellar lineup with standup, sketch, video, & music:
FLYING CARPET FREE comedy extravaganza Tuesday, Nov 27 (9:45pm) RIFIFI at 332 E. 11th St. btwn 1st and 2nd Ave.
Will Franken (http://www.willfranken.com/) Named “best alternative to psychedelic drugs” by the SF Bay Guardian!
Reggie Watts (http://www.reggiewatts.com/) "Amazing and unlike anything you have ever seen. Unless you have seen a comedic stream of conscious operatic beat-boxing marvel. Then it's like that."—Eugene Mirman
Jerk Practice (http://www.jerkpractice.com/) Sketch goup that hosts "A Show of Hands" at The Creek and the Cave
Julie Klausner (http://julieklausner.com/) Host of OBSESSED with Julie and Jackie at UCB
Vince Averill (http://www.vinceaverill.com/) Host of Sunday nights at Beauty Bar
I like it when super fat guys grow those super thin beards. You know, the kind that show you where their jawline would be if their face and neck didn't congeal into one big blob.
The only way you should have one of those thin beards is if you are 1) over 300 pounds, 2) Puerto Rican, or 3) in a boy band. Or all three. And if it's all three, why isn't there a reality show about you on MTV? "Menudo Fatcamp" = ratings gold!
You know, that's wrong. We shouldn't make fun of fat people. They're naturally hilarious. We should just watch them and let the laughter flow on it's own.
I'm an audiophile. That means I'm like a pedophile...but for sound instead of little boys. I have genius ears. For example, read this sentence out loud. (I'll wait.) Sounds like crap. You should turn down the 5k a few db's, raise the top shelf, and dial in the reverb at 300 milliseconds. Trust me.
I DJ a lot. I spin Macedonian Brass Bhangra fusion. I only spin tracks that are 2,620 beats per minute. That's the number of beats a hummingbird's heart beats per minutes. See, I marry the digital w the organic. You probably haven't heard me spin because I only do sets at underground bank vaults in Berlin. People have to dig their own tunnels to get there. That's underground. Once in a while, I also spin at an abandoned mine shaft in Reykjavik.
I spin really hard stuff. You've heard of Jungle? Well, I spin Rainforest. It's called Rainforest because that's how thick my beats are. My beats are thick! And you know when the weather's really shitty and they call it a "Wintry Mix." That's my mix. I remixed winter. That's how good I am. I put sleet before snow and the dancefloor went crazy.
I also host a podcast. (For non-technical people, that's a radio show for people with no friends.) It's a podcast of mashups. If you don't know, mashups are when you take two songs that completely suck and you combine them into one song that's incredible. It's art, man. Last mashup I made: Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" mashed up with Cisqo's "The Thong Song." It's called "Genie in a Thong." It's genius, like Rachmaninoff. That's a classical composer. I've never heard him but I read about him once. That's how good my ears are...I just read about shit and I know what it sounds like.
I just finished another mashup. It's Kelly Clarkson's "Since You Been Gone" mashed up with the moans of a dying pelican. It's a political message: "Since you been gone...[mwaaaaaahnnnnnooooogggggggh]." That's "Blowing in the Wind 2008" right there, a call for political change. Everytime I play it, there's a coup somewhere in Latin America. Nicaragua or something.
You should check out my stereo setup. You probably have an iPod. Well, I've got an iPod...it's called a record player. Vinyl. I need all those frequencies because I hear it all. Maybe you can get by with MP3's. Then again, maybe you were in a car accident when you were a kid and it damaged your hearing and you still wet your bed and cry out for you Mom every night. Sorry, not my problem.
I've got killer speakers. My tweeters are tight. And man, you should hear my woofers. My woofers are huge. I can't turn up the low end all the way because I got a cease and desist order from the Indonesian government. See, I was pumping my favorite Norwegian death metal band: ¨. The name's actually an umlaut with another umlaut on top of it. Double umlaut power. I'd tell you to Google them but your keyboard probably doesn't have an umlaut key. I love death metal so much that I got a special keyboard that's made up entirely of umlauts. That's a true hardcore fan, man.
Anyway, ¨ is hardcore, dude. The band has seven bass players, three lead singers (who all sing into megaphones), a guy who plays the siren, and a DJ who scratches in the background. Nice. Last album, they brought a dozen homeless guys into the studio and stabbed them to death and recorded it.
Anyway, I'm blasting ¨ LOUD and I turned up the bass and then I get a call from Indonesia. Turns out my woofers started a crazy tsunami or something. Whatever, Indonesia. Get some soundproofing or something. I'm telling you, you've got to check out my woofers.
My tweeters are top shelf too. I turn up my high end and rottweilers everywhere start boning.
You probably listen to shitty music. Maybe you like emo. I like to listen to emo...when my pussy's bleeding.
That's on my light flow days. On my heavy flow days, I listen to Coldplay. That way I know I can endure any level of pain.
Listening to Coldplay is like being raped in the ears with knitting needles. It's like being raped in the ears by Chris Martin and then he ejaculates all over your brain. And you know what Chris Martin ejaculates? Sensitivity and anti-sweatshop pamphlets. He coats your brain with a viscous moral certitude.
I bet you like the Dave Matthews Band. Every Dave Matthews album should come with a sweatband. That way, after you're done listening, you can wipe the suck off your face.
Maybe you like the White Stripes. They used to be cool, before they sold out. I was into them in the early days, before they even put out a record. Before they even played instruments. I was into them when they were embryos. I got a bootleg of Jack White's ultrasound on a white label 7-inch. I said, "This kid's got something." And then he was born and I said, "Sell out." Being born is a totally mainstream move. Stay true to the womb next time, Jack.
Now I've got my eyes on a new prodigy, a four year old kid who lives in New Mexico. He plays a mean "Chopsticks" on the pan flute. Pan flute is totally hot right now. Lots of gypsy influence to his playing. And Romanian gypsy, not that Hungarian gypsy crap.
Alright, I'm gonna go listen to my new favorite band. They're called Wolfowitz. They're from the South Pole. The lead singer is an Eskimo who sings sea chants. Then there's one guy who plays sitar, one guy on lute, a choir of Gregorian monks, a theremin player, three guys who play the laptop, two guys who play moog, a brass section, and a DJ who scratches. They only record inside caves. Their new album sucks, but they've got a couple of B-sides that are cool.
The United States Congress welcomed Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, with loud cheers and standing ovations, a sign that France had been forgiven for opposing the American-led war in Iraq.
How can you forgive someone for opposing something disastrous? "Yeah, remember that thing we were totally wrong about...we forgive you for being so right. When you said don't go to war with Iraq, we forgive you for that. When you said there were no WMD, we forgive you for that. When you said it'd be a big mess, we forgive you for that." How big of us. Maybe we should also "forgive" them for having good food too.
Ya know who’s funny? Foreigners. They’re all like “Oooga booga…I don’t speak your language.” Hilarious!
I like how whenever something is bizarre, we call it “Chinese.” Chinese fire drill, Chinese checkers, Chinese water torture, Chinese handcuffs…Yet none of those are actually Chinese. We just use “Chinese” whenever we need to describe something that’s strange.
We should do this with other stuff too. Call a toupée a "Chinese mohawk." Tell a girl who’s PMSing: “Are you having your Chinese days?” Call a handjob a "Chinese handshake." You get the idea.
Kinda weird that the #1 video game here in NYC at every bar that's packed with liberals is "Big Buck Hunter Pro." They're all PETA-loving vegan liberals that hate rednecks, yet they LOVE to shoot Bambis with a big plastic rifle.
People make fun of rednecks who live in the south but at least they really HATE what they hate. There's no bar in rural Mississippi with a video game called Gay Pride Parade Pro. No one's playing "Operation: The Abortion Doctor Edition." "Pull out the fetus without scraping the sides! Bonus points for a third trimester kill!! Bzzzzzz. Awww, your clinic just got bombed."
No, they really hate us. Except for bagels. Everyone loves bagels. But I think you can love bagels yet still hate the Jews. That's allowed.