About Matthew Gregory "Matt" Besser
Matthew Gregory "Matt" Besser (born September 22, 1967) is an American actor and comedian known for his work as a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, an improv/sketch troupe who also had their own sketch show on Comedy Central for 3 seasons. Later on he would create and star in Crossballs, also on Comedy Central, for one season in the summer of 2004.
Besser's grandfather's cousin was Joe Besser of The Three Stooges!
Besser was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), which started out as a Chicago sketch and improv comedy group in 1991, earned a cult following from the start. Original members included Ali Farahnakian, Adam McKay and Horatio Sanz. In 1996, the UCB relocated to New York City. In NYC, they made three seasons of their sketch-comedy series Upright Citizens Brigade on Comedy Central from 1998 to 2000. The cast consisted of Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh. It originally included a voice-over by Del Close. Nearly 10 years since it's cancellation and the show continues to maintain a large following and is often hailed as one of the great cult sketch shows. Comedy Central has released the first two seasons on DVD, it is currently not known when the third and final season will be released.
Since then, Besser and the UCB moved on to other projects and opened comedy theaters in New York City and Los Angeles. He was the creator and co-star of the Redman & Method Man MTV hidden camera prank show Stung. In 2004 created and starred in his second Comedy Central show, Crossballs which mocked news debate shows by pitting fake experts (played by Besser and other comedians) against real people.
Besser has appeared in films such as Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Martin & Orloff (written by UCB cohorts Roberts and Walsh), Year One, Drillbit Taylor and Junebug, in addition to a number of sitcoms. In 2003 the UCB filmed their first full-length improvised movie, Wild Girls Gone. After several years of being unreleased, the long-awaited film will be screened at several indie-movie theaters in the LA area and will eventually be sold for digital download on iTunes in early 2010. The troupe had also performed their signature brand of longform improv (ASSSSCAT) in a special for the Bravo channel in 2005. In 2008, they also released a DVD entitled ASSSSCAT!: Renegade Improv Comedy through Shout! Factory, which features an uncensored improv performance by the troupe and special guests, the DVD also includes deleted scenes and along with other bonus features.
In 2008, Besser played the part of "Courtney Frenchip", the hippie roommate of David Cross in David's Situation, a pilot made for HBO written by Cross and his Mr. Show teammate Bob Odenkirk. As Odenkirk explained on his web site, “It will follow a traditional sitcom feeling, but will also feel like a big sketch, even though the characters will remain the same each week.” The pilot was filmed live on May 9, 2008.
Besser and the Upright Citizens Brigade continue to run comedy theaters on both coasts. The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre currently has two locations, in Chelsea, Manhattan and Los Angeles, California. Besser and the UCB currently perform several times a week at the Los Angeles theater, most notably in their long-running hit improv show ASSSSCAT 3000 every Sunday night.