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This Week on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend: Comedian Matt Mira

06 April 2015

This Week on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend: Comedian Matt Mira Discusses What It’s Like Being A Writer for The Hit Comedy Central TV Series @Midnight, How The Nerdist Podcast Was His Idea, And Losing Over 200 Pounds

Los Angeles, CA – On the Monday (April 6th) episode of the top-ranked comedy podcast Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend, comedy writer Matt Mira talks with Alison Rosen in-depth about the origin of his career in comedy and how, unlike the vast majority of those coming to L.A. to start careers in entertainment, it all unfolded more or less the way he had envisioned.

“My plan was either to work at a Starbucks or the Apple Store. The reasoning behind that being ‘I’m bound to meet someone famous that’s in the business that I can befriend, and that should work out just fine. (0:43:08)”

His first job in L.A. was working at the Apple Store in The Grove, a popular outdoor shopping complex where celebrities are known to frequent. Working there as an  “Apple Genius”, he began meeting comedians like Chris Hardwick, Scott Aukerman, and Doug Benson. He was also going to shows at the UCB Theater and performing at open mics frequently.

“I became all the comics’ Apple guy. Everyone would come in and we’d shoot the shit for, like, 2 hours. (0:46:40)”

Chris Hardwick, particularly, would come into the store a lot. He eventually invited Matt to lunch and they became friends. “I had been telling him for a long time to start a podcast. I’d been telling him forever. (0:48:33)"

Finally, Hardwick reached out to Matt via email and asked him to produce and appear on the podcast that became one of the most popular podcasts on the internet, “The Nerdist”.

“I was doing [The Nerdist] for a couple years while I was still working at the Apple Store, which was odd because I’d be at the top of the iTunes charts while I was fixing iTunes. So that became a weird situation. (0:50:15)”

Vinnie Rutherford, the Executive Producer of G4’s Attack of the Show, went into the store with his wife Kristen (Matt had written The Nerdist TV pilot with Kristen) and Vinnie asked Matt while he was fixing their iMac if he wanted to be a segment producer for Attack of the Show. After five years of working at the Apple Store, Matt quit his job and began his career in television.

He now writes for Comedy Central’s @Midnight, a late-night internet-based improv panel game show, hosted by Chris Hardwick.

"One of the fun parts about @Midnight is that it’s on four nights a week. So, we write a lot of stuff the day of.  As a comedy writer, to write a joke and then see it on television that night, that’s a fun, very rewarding thing. (1:01:58)”

The show’s most popular segment is called “Hashtag Wars”, where the home audience can submit phrases via Twitter for a chance to be featured on the show.

“In our writer’s room we have a giant cork board that has on it every hashtag we’ve ever done written on index cards. Along with the number of tweets it got. (1:03:52)”

Matt revealed that they have recently began implementing hashtags into the show that “tricks” even those who don’t watch the show into participating in the hashtag war.

“So here’s how we ‘game the system’ now: We’ll just make a hashtag ‘blah-blah-blah in five words’. Someone will tweet it, tag @Midnight, and then someone else will see it, not realize what @Midnight is, and just using that hashtag (1:05:35). That’s fun for us too, though, to make something that not just our audience can understand and enjoy, but something people don’t even realize they’re enjoying from us. Those do, like, 150,000 tweets. It’s insane. (1:06:57)”

Matt also talks with Alison in-depth about a variety of personal matters, including meeting his fiancé, a Buzzfeed Executive Editor, on Tinder (0:20:25), getting expelled from college (0:32:05), working at a funeral home (0:37:30), and Alison engages him in an incredibly honest and compelling conversation about his journey of losing over 200 pounds (1:10:29).

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattMira, watch @Midnight Monday – Thursday evenings, and check out his multiple podcasts: Nerdist, James Bonding (on The Nerdist Network) & FEaB (on The Smodcast Network).

Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend Podcast is released on Mondays and Thursdays. Download on iTunes, Sound Cloud, Stitcher, or Alison Rosen Online. ARIYNBF is the top-rated female comedy podcast on iTunes. Listenership skyrocketed after her controversial firing from co-hosting The Adam Carolla Show podcast.