Matt Baca
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Matt Baca

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
Band Comedy Comedy



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"The Politics of Laughter"

Comedian Matt Baca took a political pulse of his audience.

"You guys excited about the elections?" he asked.

Blinding stage lights impaired his vision, so he couldn't see beyond the first few rows. At a show a few weeks ago, he made some Sarah Palin cracks, only to discover his crowd was conservative -- and about to emerge from the dark to bum-rush the stage.

This crowd erupted into applause in response to Baca's question.

It's a good time of year for comedians, with election bloopers and candidate quirks, giving them plenty of fodder for jokes. And political experts say politicians need to carefully handle the comedy circuits -- because no president wants to invest in laughing stock.

Baca, a University of Colorado business instructor who moonlights as a stand-up comedian, tried out some Palin jokes at the amateur show he emceed. He boldly stated that he loves Palin, which goaded a chorus of "boos" from the crowd. She's hot, he said, in a librarian kind of way, which led him to national security.

"The terrorists are going to be like 'I've been a baaad terrorist,'" joked Baca, setting off liberal-laced laughter.

Baca said he's not a "chauvinistic pig." (Do such subspecies of pigs wear lipstick?) It's just that he doesn't think Palin, the GOP's pick for vice president, is an intellectual.

Baca said he likes to weave a global perspective into his comedy, addressing how Americans could be viewed by other cultures. Sometimes that means taking risks.

"You never know what your crowd is going to be like," he said.

That's why CU graduate Dan Enfield, 22, doesn't mix politics with his stand-up routines.

"I try to stay away from it it," Enfield said. "It's an easy way to alienate your audience."

The comedic diplomat said he's "in the political party of being funny."

Frank Schuchat, a Denver attorney, poked fun at George W. Bush's leadership during his stand-up routine at Comedy Works last week. The rapid fire of one-liners targeted the left and the right.

"Frankly, I can't wait until 'W' becomes 'X,'" Schuchat quipped.

"We can give the next letter to Sarah Palin. She can be 'Y?'"

The next series of letters goes to Joe Biden: 'ZZZ.'"

Denver political analyst Eric Sondermann said being roasted by comedians is unavoidable attention.

"If you're running for president, Jay Leno and David Letterman are as much a part of your campaign as Ted Koppel or Brian Williams," Sondermann said. "I think there is a fine line between being a subject of comedy, and being the butt of the joke."

The latter can diminish your stature, said Sondermann.

He said Palin is easy to caricature, as evidenced by Tina Fey's impressions on SNL. And there are age jokes about Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Comedians could joke about Bill Clinton's zipper and Hillary Clinton's "all-consuming ambition" and marriage.

But Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has a bit of inoculation when it comes to comedy routines, Sondermann said.

"Given the sensitivity of racial issues, comics are holding back on going after Obama as they would go after John McCain or Bill Clinton. Obama is not quite as easy to typecast," he said. "That will change in a hurry if he becomes president.
- Daily Camera (Boulder)


Discovery Channel, American Guns
Food Network, Trivia Unwrapped
Comcast, New Faces

Competitions & Festivals:
2007 New Faces Comedy Works Comedy Competition, Semi-Finalist
2008 New Faces Comedy Works Comedy Competition, Finalist
2010 America's Got Talent, Latino Style Comedy Competition, Winner



Matt Baca has established himself as a premiere stand-up comedian in the Denver comedy scene and performing in clubs, corporations, and colleges all over the United States.

Matt draws from his experiences in education, the business world and travel to provide high-energy and character-driven observations. His comedy ranges from the intellectual to the slapstick, guaranteeing that there will be a topic for everyone to enjoy.

Matt is a regular MC and opening act at Comedy Works in Denver as well as the Denver Improv. He has shared the stage with Bill Burr, Richard Lewis, and Charlie Murphy to name a few.

Matt recently won the America’s Got Talent Latino Style competition and has been a finalist in numerous competitions, including the National Lampoon’s Comedy Pop-Off and the Comedy Works New Faces competition. He recently performed at the prestigious Boston Comedy Festival.