Matt Nagin’s new book “Do Not Feed The Clown” is something undeniably funny and inconceivably different.
By D.B. Frick, senior comedy writer for Stagebiz.com and former writer, performer and producer for The National Lampoon.
Comedy is a very subjective concept. What one person finds funny another might not. Any person who says any particular thing isn’t funny, is wrong. This is because someone will find it funny. Even if just one person laughs. Then it’s funny. It’s not an argument. It’s a fact.
If all 8 billion people in the world don’t laugh, then I guess it’s not funny, but if one does, then that person found it funny. What you get with Matt Nagin‘s new book Do Not Feed The Clown is something undeniably funny and inconceivably different. A collection of 34 short comedic pieces. Some of them even come off a pitches for films or TV shows, podcasts even.
I’ve been lucky to have known Matt Nagin for several years now. Matt, or Nagin, as many of his friends call him, is the son of a sharecropper and Alastor, God of family feuds… Okay that isn’t true, but he has written some great comedic material over the years. In addition to being an actor and comedian, Matt is promoting his second foray into comedic writings and stories since, Butterflies Lost Within The Crooked Moonlight which is available on Amazon was first released way back. The Tables of Contents for his new book, “Do Not Feed The Clown,” reads like a book on “How To Not Make Friends and Not Influence People.” With titles like “Go Fund My Extraterrestrial Law Suit,” “A Brief Guide To Hell” and “Confessions Of A Wayward Santa” and a few dozen other great concepts, Matt Nagin truly covers a lot of funny.
For me, the funniest of the 34 original pieces was “A Brief Guide To Hell.” Hell is a ubiquitous concept in comedy. One of my favorites. There is so much one can draw from. Hell can literally be anything. This piece reads as if one were arriving in hell for their first day and getting the down low from possibly Satan himself or in my mind, Burt Reynolds.
With talk of millions of hate letters that arrive in hell every day, each point of reference in the piece is really just an excuse to remind the person who has arrived in hell that they are doomed and to remind the reader that they are also doomed. Noted. Whats funnier than “doom”? Here, Hell is a place of fire where cigarettes are banned because they are a fire hazard and Amy Schumer’s “The Leather Special” is the only entertainment.
A second piece by Nagin that stands out in this collection is “Glorious Casting Notices.” After a despondent but honest explanation of the level of degradation actors endure to get even the lowliest of parts, Matt lists a litany of actor types that could be requested in a casting notice, but unlikely to be able to be met. Several of which were Paraplegic Soldier, Wounded Mute Freak and Monkey Boy among another dozen or so. Matt’s mind is truly warped, and just what we need in these trying times. He has a knack for playing with concepts anyone can identify with but goes in a direction no other mind would dare.
I think you catch my drift. Matt’s mind is a quandary and one could only ponder how his dendrites and synapses create the ideas they do and how he gets from point A to point Z. Again, you really ought to check out Matt Nagin. You can start at MattNagin.com, @MNagin on Twitter or peruse his writings on this very website. Do Not Feed The Clown is available on Amazon.