Get up, stand up

Josh Blair

Matt Stanton is a college student who stands up for what he believes in – comedy.

For the past six months, the senior communication major has been performing as a stand-up comedian.

He has entertained during open mic nights at the Funny Bone in Newport, as well as other clubs throughout the tri-state.

Stanton said the audience’s reaction towards him has been positive. “I’ve never had a time where they look at me like a complete idiot. They think of me as the little kid next door.”

Jeff Jenna, owner of the Funny Bone, said, “I think Matt has done very well with the audience. I think he’s come a long way. Even since his first performance… he seems to be a much stronger performer.”

A good night isn’t always based on the audience’s reaction. “Some audiences are just there and they don’t feel like laughing,” Stanton said. “I go by how I felt it went.”

He said he doesn’t experience stage fright and loves being on stage, but does worry that he’ll completely forget what he’s doing.

A poor performance isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For Stanton, it can be a learning experience. “It makes you realize you don’t know everything and you always need to work harder,” he said. “You may think you had a perfect night, but you always could change something.”

Jenna said, “It’s inevitable to have a bad night. Nobody in any profession has a great time every time.

“One of the things you learn over time in comedy is how to manage your bad nights, how to not let them be as bad as they can be.”

After deciding to try a career in comedy, Stanton attended the Funny Bone’s comedy school. Since then, he’s had performances in Louisville, Dayton, Columbus and Indianapolis, as well as regular performances at the Funny Bone.

An influence for Stanton doing stand-up comedy was a speech class he took at NKU. He said, “All I did was stand-up every time. I realized, ‘Hey, I could actually do this.'”

One benefit Stanton’s received from doing stand-up comedy is meeting women. However, it’s not as great as it would seem. “Some were a little bit creepy and some were a little too hammered,” he said, “but I’ve met some.”

Stanton attributes his love of comedy to growing up watching Saturday Night Live. He learns to become a better comedian by studying comedy, reading about it and watching as many stand-up performances that he can.

Stanton’s ultimate goal as a comedian is to do it for a living and eventually support his family by making people laugh.

Making a living off stand-up comedy doesn’t come easy. Jenna said, “Stand up is a very tough business. How hard is it to become a brain surgeon? There may be eight or nine thousand brain surgeons in America. Well, there are about 3,000 professional stand-up comics. So it’s twice as hard as being a brain surgeon in my opinion.”

Although it’s difficult to make a living through stand-up comedy, Stanton has determination. “It just takes a lot of time and a lot of work,” he said.

“If you don’t put time into it people can tell and you won’t get the reaction you want.”