by: In Our Words and OutLoud Chicago Staff
The Maria Callas of Comedy, Matteo Lane, comes back for Queer Comedy. A Chicago native, Lane was very active on the comedy scene before moving to New York City. After appearing in previous seasons of Queer Comedy at Zanies, he returns from New York to reclaim the throne with a headlining role on February 26th at Zanies Comedy Club at 1548 N Wells, 8:30pm. His sharp wit, soaring voice, and tight jeans are not to be missed. We caught up with him recently to ask about his experiences with comedy and moving to New York.
In addition to comedy, you also have a background in art: how do the two complement each other?
My art supports my stand up career. The only times they come together is if I create artwork for a comedy show, or comic. Otherwise they feel pretty separate to me.
Your family finds its way into your set pretty often, do they like your material about them?
Ive had to stop telling my family to come to my shows because they will show up at all of them. They’re Italian, and insane. They also get upset if I DON’T talk about them. They basically come to my shows to see what I’ll say about them. But they are a huge comedic influence on me, and I love them more than anything in the world.
There’s a video of you backstage before a previous Queer Comedy at Zanies show where you were worried about a conservative audience member that you knew. What have your experiences been like with having audience members that you know personally?
I was so new to comedy a year ago, that it doesn’t surprise me that I worried about what other people thought of my set. A year later, and living in NYC has changed that dramatically. I just have to stick to what I think is funny, and not worry about whether someone is offended or not. And I hope I don’t see that video. I’ll probably hate my hair and what I was wearing.
How has the move from Chicago to New York been for your comedy career?
Amazing. Thank god for Chicago because it allowed me to find my way in the world of comedy. I understood the process of writing, open mics, show bookings etc. so it was an easy transition. At first it was rough because I didn’t know anyone, but now I’m running a very successful show, I have new friends and I feel like NYC is my new comedy family.
How are audiences different between the two cities?
I don’t think they’re that different. People are just people in a lot of ways. Chicago and NYC are both big cities so I find them to be very similar.
What are you most looking forward to with your return to Queer Comedy at Zanies?
To sit in the back of the theatre and have a drink with Bill Cruz 😉 But in reality it was the launching platform of my comedy career, and Adam Guerino runs a fantastic show! To this day doing the Queer Comedy Shows at Zanies has been one of the biggest highlights of my life, and as a comic. I couldn’t be more excited to do the show and to be back
home in Chicago.
Matteo Lane: When Lane isn’t making murals for President Obama, or creating storyboards for televised commercials, he is a national stand-up comedian. He is the host of the show Abigoliahs Bizarre Bazaar with Matteo Lane in Brooklyn and regularly performs in New York and Chicago at venues including Zanies, Comedy Bar and more. For more from Matteo Lane, www.MattLaneArt.com.