Matt Graham Interview
September 13, 2012 - Latest News
Today, I’m thrilled to continue my interview series with comedians (and in this case Scrabble champion). Matt Graham, who is currently starring in This Too Shall Suck at SoHo Playhouse as part of the Fringe Encore Series spoke to me about his grandmother’s favorite joke of his, whether he prefers Larry Bird or Magic Johnson and what animal he someday wants.
TED GREENBERG: What are the three books you couldn’t live without?
MATT GRAHAM: Well. Not counting the Bible or this one blue book, which I generally cuddle when I am scared but don’t read anyway, or the Scrabble player’s dictionary. I am gonna say;
(1) The Stranger; most impactful
(2) A Confederacy of Dunces: funniest
(3) and then get cheap and say anything by Vonnegut or William Poundstone (one fiction/one nonfiction).
I am not an avid reader. Did most of it in a binge in my early twenties.
TED GREENBERG: Are you a Bird or a Magic Johnson guy?
MATT GRAHAM: Wow. This is an amazing question, almost as if you know about the evolution of my life. It was always Bird. I grew up in Indiana, lived in Boston and was Celtics before that, and was a player who was used to being the underestimated white dude. However, at some point within the past 5 years, I decided I like Magic better as a player. He was so unselfish, could fill any role, was a star who didn’t really play like a star. On the other hand, Bird was kind of a hotshot, sorta selfish, unduly flashy, etc… I still think he had a couple good years, but he didn’t like it when he wasn’t making the final shot, because then he wouldn’t be taking it, and his ego could not handle that. I still hate the Lakers, and tire of Magic’s overwhelming media presence. So on court it’s Magic by a hair, but off court Bird by a mile.
TED GREENBERG: What was your grandmother’s favorite joke/routine of yours?
MATT GRAHAM: My grandmother only saw me once, early on, and I probably didn’t do well. If I would guess one she would have liked that I did back then – “My little league team was sponsored by a pharmacy. We had to wear childproof caps.”
TED GREENBERG: After you steam/tilt in poker, what do you to get centered?
MATT GRAHAM: I really don’t tilt almost ever, which is funny since the rest of my life often finds me an emotional wreck. I get more concerned about how big wins affect me than big losses. I get centered when running bad by not playing, which is fine. I could take or leave poker, with a small edge toward leave.
TED GREENBERG: Will you have children?
MATT GRAHAM: That would seem a clear no, but the ordering force I perceive in the universe (that I choose to call God) has had me do a lot of things I never thought I would do. If it was the woman of my dreams I would probably be convinced. Still, I love cats and animals so much I have a hard time not seeing that as my nurturing passion. I hope to one day own a capybara (rescued, not one from the wild).\