AVON — Avon native, Josh Matusak, returns home to appear at The Comedy Club as a contestant in the finals of The Funniest Person in Rochester.
Matusak, 21, was born and raised in Avon but works and attends college in New York City. Matusak attends film school at Manhattan College and works at Stand Up New York.
This coming academic year will be Matusak’s senior year and he will be graduating with a dual degree in Film Studies.
“As a child I was influenced a lot by Andy Samberg doing the Lonely Island videos, and I learned that we went to film school,” said Matusak. “It’s a blur of what I actually want to do.”
In May of 2012, Matusak’s brother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away the following month.
“When my brother died, Stand Up New York told me to go home for the summer and be with my family,” said Matusak. “I knew I had to balance my opportunity in New York with my family in Avon.”
Matusak had full intentions to participate in The Funniest Person in Rochester last year but felt that he could not tell jokes and grieve at the same time as his comedy would have gotten too dark.
“I immediately knew that I had to sign up this year,” said Matusak.
In The Funniest Person in Rochester there are four rounds in total. The competition on Sunday is considered the fourth and final round.
“Progressing through the rounds was pretty cool, we started with 120 comedians and now we are down to twelve,” said Matusak.
The winner of the final round at The Comedy Club will receive $1000, an appearance on Brother Weez, a spot at the Boston Comedy Fest, and a paid weekend at The Comedy Club in Webster.
“It gives a lot of incentive for comics to win,” said Matusak.
This show is very special for Matusak because all of his family and friends will be there, being well aware of everything that he has gone through in the last year.
Matusak describes his comedy as a mix between honest and dark. Some of Matusak’s favorite comedians include Mike Lawrence, regular on Stand Up New York, Artie Lange, from the Howard Stern Show, and Daniel Tosh.
“My comedy is quirky, dark and honest, and it’s really about how I feel others perceive me,” said Matusak.
Matusak explained that while he loves what he is doing, when he talks to people outside the world of comedy they just don’t understand.
“Unless you say the words t.v. show in your sentence describing what you do, people think you’re not a real comedian,” said Matusak.
Matusak aspires to one day have a part on Saturday Night Live, where a lot of his favorite comedians got their break.
“Leaving the day after the show to go back to New York is bittersweet,” said Matusak. “I hope that Rochester Comedy continues to grow and evolve.”
The Funniest Person in Rochester is Sunday, August 25 and starts at 6:30p.m. at The Comedy Club in Webster. Tickets are $7 and people are urged to come early as the show will likely sell out.