You know you know him — you just don’t know how. He looks like the guy you would go get a beer with but not buy cable from. That’s a good thing because he stars as the inept cable guy in the Verizon FioS commercial. He is comedian Matt McCarthy, and you can see him when he’s out promoting his album Come Clean, as well as in the upcoming Will Ferrell movie The Other Guys.
Matt McCarthy: I grew up in East Providence, Rhode Island. My father’s side of the family came to America because of the Potato Famine. They moved from Ireland to England, where they were treated poorly, and then to America, where I’m now being treated poorly.
AU: Describe your comedy experience thus far.
MM: I was doing open mics and shows that require you to bring guests, and as you get better, you tend to get frustrated with those shows. You meet other comics that you like and you start doing shows that you never even knew existed.
AU: Did you have any pets?
MM: I had a dog named Cookie. He was half Golden Retriever half Husky. He died. I had a rabbit named Fred. He died. Fred died on Halloween. I was at a concert and they played that Curtis Mayfield song, “Freddy’s Dead.” I came back home and found out that Fred was dead on Halloween. Try carrying that around with you for the rest of your life. When I lived in the Bronx, one of my roommates got a cat, and about two days after he got the cat, I found him on the couch one morning, staring at the wall. I said “Hey, what’s going on?” and he said, “I think I made a big mistake!”
AU: What has been your family’s reaction to your comedy?
MM: My family wasn’t surprised at all when I became a comedian. The attitude was more of “what took you so long?” I’ve always been very extroverted and very silly. Doing stand-up comedy has certainly made me less of an obnoxious asshole at parties. I’m not standing on top of the table with an empty case of beer on my head yelling, “I’m the king of beers.” It was a combination of people telling me I was funny and completely despising my day job. I did that for six years, and now I’ve been doing comedy for almost seven years. My dream has already come true because all I ever wanted to do was quit my day job.
AU: What’s it like to get noticed for a commercial?
MM: I get recognized for commercials I’ve been in every day. Most of the time, everybody’s cool and I’ve never had a negative reaction. Nobody has ever said to me, “I’m so sick of seeing you. You’re so irritating.” For the most part, they either want to tell me I’m really funny, or find out that it’s me for certain. People can’t tell redheads apart. It’s pretty hysterical.
AU: Tell us about The Other Guys.
MM: The first movie I’ve been in, The Other Guys, with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, comes out in August. It’s really funny, and I know my part will steal the show. It’s absolutely incredibly funny. I play Therapy Cop Number 2 and it will be very exciting.