It started as a joke. About four months ago, Matt Jones was hanging out with a couple of friends at Oak Street Drafthouse in Denton when bystanders turned and started listening to his goofs. He realized at that moment that his jokes were pretty funny and could take on the opportunity to book a punk rock comedy show.
Jones plays in the bands Collick and Hate Your Friends but growing up, he loved comedy. Ever since he can remember, Jones says he watched TV comedy shows religiously.
“I always liked Dave Chappelle or Louis C.K. and all these kind of rock star figures doing it, but it wasn't always super accessible,” says Jones.
His inspiration to start his own came more recently from watching the Chris Gethard Show on public access. It wasn’t like any other show he’d seen before; he thought it was in the same punk rock spirit, so he took what he learned and ran with it. He figured that telling jokes on stage was something that anyone could do.
“It's kind of like [how] shitty punk bands were resisting the cock rock of the 1970s: It was all just guitar bullshit, [and] punks were like, ‘We don't need to be doing this crazy ass shit to be in a band that rocks. We just need to have the energy and passion to do it!’" Jones says. "That's what made that whole scene great, and it kind of applies to comedy too.”
Jones didn’t want the venue to be a bar. Instead, he wanted to set it up somewhere he could have complete control. So he talked to Michael Briggs at Macaroni Island and recruited a few of his friends. From there, it grew — into a multi-faceted game show, if you will. He talked to members of the Denton Comedy Collective, which had been brewing its own style of community gags for years and invited some of his funny friends from Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. Then came the sillier ideas.
First and foremost, the event is BYOD — bring your own dad. They thought the presence of middle-aged relatives who clash with the “hipster comedy” would be, well, funny.
“Yeah! Bring your fucking dad and I’ll give him a microphone if he wants to tell us his fucking views on the Obama administration or if he wants to tell us his ideas about the age population or advice or whatever they want to tell us,” he enthuses.
There will also be a face painting competition. This one came to him when he was trying to fall asleep one night. Participants will “sacrifice themselves” by having someone paint their face and then are required to post the pictures on social media, no matter how bad it looks. “I really don’t know how well that’s going to go. I actually have no idea what the fuck I’m doing,” Jones admits.
Then there will be Max Creed in a Box. All night long, Creed, who actually gave Macaroni Island its name, will be sitting in one of two boxes, and attendees will have to guess which one he's in. At the end of the night, he’ll jump out and everyone will find out which one.
“It’s a very dumb idea but something about it makes me very excited,” Jones says.
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Other aspects include a guy named Joseph eating an onion like an apple, talking puppets, a party wizard and "other dope shit." Jones says he hired a professional wizard, who is going to cast a big ass spell to ensure that everyone has a good time. Whether or not that's a good thing, he doesn’t know.
When asked if he has anything else to say, Jones lets out a scream for six consecutive seconds, then says, “No.”
MACARONI ISLAND STAND-UP takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at 2311 Houston Place, Denton. More info here.