2015 was a massive year for the co-host of Triple J Breakfast, Matt Okine.
He received the Director’s Choice Award at the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival for ‘The Other Guy’; and the 2015 ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release: ‘Matt Okine: Live At The Enmore Theatre’.
He was also nominated for Best Comedy Performer at the 2015 Helpmann Awards and Best International Show at the 2015 NZ International Comedy Festival.
Unlike some who laugh off awards as meaningless honours, Matt is appreciative of the accolades he has received. “I know there are these people who are really cool about it and are like ‘nah, I don’t really care’. Fuck that, I care! I like awards. I like being able to look back and be proud of what I’ve done,” Matt says.
“I think the thing about awards is that you have to have something else with your shows. There’s got to be a good purpose behind it. There’s got to be a good meaning, which is what I always set out to do. I don’t necessarily make shows to win awards, but when people award me them then damn straight there’s a place on my bedside table for them.”
Kicking off 2016 with the same attitude as 2015, Matt is keeping quiet about what he has planned for his new show, but gives us a little insight as to what to expect. “We get a lot of texts on the Triple J text-line and among all the people telling us to play more Tool and the people telling us that we suck, one text came through last year.
"It said that something I described while on air wasn’t just a meaningless quirk that I had, but was possibly quite a serious medical situation that I needed to get looked into as soon as possible. I guess the show this year will probably look at how a little test can send you on a journey of figuring out if you’re ok or not,” Matt says.
Going from strength to strength in the comedy world, Matt is inspired by the interesting situations he constantly finds himself in. “I get most of my comedy from finding myself in stupid situations, which comes as a result of always needing to say yes to things… and also just being dumb and making dumb decisions that lead me into situations where I think, ‘oh, I really regret this situation right now but I’m really glad that at least I have something to talk about in my show this year’.”
Matt believes that being tired and cranky is the best recipe for success. “They say tragedy plus time equals comedy and given that I wake up at 4:30am and generally work on six hours sleep I tend to look at the world in a pretty depressing light given that I’m usually tired and cranky.
“So once I’ve mulled over the lack of sleep that I’ve been getting for the last two years, once I give that a little bit of breathing space, funny things appear,” he says.
A Brisbane lad, Matt admits there's plenty to do and see while back home for the Brisbane Comedy Festival. “Brisbane is so awesome because it means I can walk outside onto the balcony of the Powerhouse and I’m bound to see someone who I’m good friends with or someone I played soccer with or someone who I owe money to.”
Four years on since his debut show, ‘Being Black N Chicken N Shit’, Matt is looking forward to playing the main theatre at the Powerhouse, where he saw his first ever stand-up show. “I’m back doing four shows... now I’m doing it in the big room and that’s in the very same room where I first saw my first stand-up show, Wil Anderson, when I just left high school.
"I went and saw him because I listened to him on the radio… So it’s crazy to think that there’s going to be an 18-year-old in that crowd who sees my show and who listens to me on the radio, and if they’re anything like me then there’s probably an empty goon bag somewhere in New Farm park with their name on it.”
Matt Okine Tour Dates
3-6 Mar - Brisbane Comedy Festival @ Brisbane Powerhouse8-13 Mar - Adelaide Fringe @ Palace Nova20 Mar - Canberra Comedy Festival @ ANU Arts Centre24 Mar to 17 Apr - Melbourne International Comedy Festival @ Melbourne Town Hall7 May - Sydney Comedy Festival @ Enmore Theatre14 May - Perth Comedy Festival @ The Regal