With his full, luxurious red beard and matching hair, comedian Matt Zigan is one recognizable character. A Florida native, he grew up Cocoa Beach where he says, he hopes "to never return."
A fan of death metal, the funny guy even has his own band Matt Zignan's Crappy Death Metal whose songs include songs titled "Changer Yer Jeans" and "Impeccably Indefatigable." He says he wants to die somewhere in the Scandinavian wilderness and he hates the smell of new cars.
As he'll be performing at the Moustache Ride Comedy Show tonight, we thought we might ask him a little about his interesting facial hair and what it's like making people laugh.
New Times: What's your favorite thing about performing comedy?
Matt Zigan: I am an emotionally-stunted man child, so desperately in need of attention and approval that I make a spectacle of myself for groups of strangers in the hope of using their laughter as a balm for my social and sexual inadequacies. J/K, my favorite thing is I get to make people happy.
You have a great long beard. What's the inspiration for this hair choice?
This is the much abridged version of a manuscript length lunatic-screed-cum-manifesto that I authored on the subject of beardedness while attempting to answer this question:
Apparently, society has decided that I am eccentric for refusing to drag razorblades across my face each morning. Also, I love being a crested monkey. We are a primate species and our males have manes. I think it's neat. Tens of thousands of successive generations of natural and reproductive selection have fashioned us into a sexually dimorphic ape species, and among those dimorphic traits is facial hair. Pardon me, oh glabrous masses, for having the gall to agree with mother nature. The custom of shaving also seems to be an attempt to deny the aging process. Our culture worships youth, and nothing says old man like a big bushy beard. I was also an awkward child, and I like that my face is different from when I was a boy. Living in my post-modern permanent adolescence, my beard is a touchstone of adulthood that doesn't frighten and alienate me. I like having a thicket of experience on my face that reminds me of the impermanence of life. Plus, I'm a bit of a weak bitch, and it reminds me to be a viking. Also I am really, really lazy and have a double chin. So there's that.
What's the worst thing you ever said to a heckler?
Hecklers are usually just drunk or caught up in a moment, and being a big, loud idiot myself, I tend to try and ignore them or be nice as a first response. I can't remember any specific dialogue, but one of my bests sets ever was entirely thanks to this lady who had gotten drunk and interrupted every other comic with condescending bullshit.
She had to have the last word, which makes it really easy, and the crowd hated her, so it was loud, cathartic laughter. And by the end, she had given up on words and begun spilling drinks and throwing bottles as she stormed out. It turns out this lady had come with her husband and her boss, who both took the evening as an opportunity to add the prefix "ex" to those titles. Heckling me cost this lady her husband and her job. Truly my finest hour.
What was the coolest, most awesome gig you've ever had?
I got to do a guest spot at a Doug Stanhope show, which is always a gleeful carnival of exotic misery. I was on a show with ECW legend New Jack, which is as close as I'll ever get to being a pro wrestler. I'm still very low on the totem pole. I've done a few Improvs and such, but the real highlights of my career have been random nights at open-mics and one-nighters with friends.
Who is the funniest person you know?
There are a surprising number of talented comics in South Florida, and comedy is very subjective. But in terms of making me laugh, local comics Adrian Mesa and Patrick Schroeder are at the top of space mountain, where they reside as men of the hour and towers of power that are far too sweet to be sour.
Who is the funniest person you don't know?
Again, I'm uncomfortable with "funniest" because of the extreme subjectivity of the art form. Humorists to whom I would erect massive step-pyramid altars fit for endless human sacrifice include Dave Attell, Doug Stanhope, Paul F. Tompkins, Glenn Wool, Douglas Adams, and John Swartzwelder, to name a few.
Zigan will be at Jessica Gross' new monthly comedy night at Lester's (2519 NW 2 Ave, Miami) The Moustache Ride Comedy Show. The funny people will converge upon Wynwood's newest bar and coffee shop tonight at 7:30 p.m. The night will include South Florida's funniest: Forrest Shaw, Pam Bruno, Dominic Perenzin, Irene Morales, Gene Harding, Dan Decotiis, Scot Lenter, and Lisa Corrao. Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.
2519 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL