Meet Your Neighbor: Foster’s Ambassador of Comedy, Matt Styner

Foster does many things well. Chief among them is bars—we do bars really, really well. Sometimes we do better in quantity than quality, but we do hit on both fronts. And as such, the availability of live music, happy hours, karaoke and trivia is pretty on point. But many of you might not know that we also have comedy on Foster. Live comedy. And it’s been that way for nearly two years: first at Starday Tavern with “Laugh Yer Ass Off” comedy night, and now at FoPo Tavern with “Ferociously Funny Fridays.” And starting Tuesday, there’ll be a second weekly comedy night with a comic showcase at Double Treble (more on that below). Today we bring to you the man behind the comedy, Matt Styner. 

Matt Styner1) You run a comedy show right here in the neighborhood. For folks that never saw your weekly event at Starday Tavern or who haven’t been to FoPo Tavern, where you currently host Ferociously Funny Fridays, can you tell them what they’re missing?
Sure thing! I try to bring in a good mix of fresh Portland talent, as well as a mix of comics known around town and points beyond, but at FoPo, they’re all on the same playing field. Each comic gets the chance to do ten minutes, which is more than any other open mic in town. I try to make it feel more like a show than an open mic though.

2) It’s been nearly two years (???) since you started doing comedy on Foster (originally at Starday, now at FoPo Tavern) what’s the reception been?
That’s right, it’s been just about two years now. The reception’s been great, especially lately. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from both audience and performers for Ferociously Funny Fridays. Starting out at Starday on a Monday night was kind of Stynerrough at first, but it was fun, and it gave me an opportunity to do something a little different when we added Open Mic Of Doom! to the mix.

3) So in a addition to hosting a local comedy show, tell us a little about Matt. What’s your day job and how did you choose Foster for your comedy endeavors?
I live and work in the Foster neighborhood, right now I take calls and schedule appointments for Reliable Appliance Repair, which can be pretty stressful, so I like filling my nights with funny business. I live with a handful of other comics and friends and I’ve really enjoyed being out here. I chose to put my comedy shows here because of that as well as the fact that there wasn’t any other comedy night in the neighborhood, which I figured my neighbors deserve. 

4) Foster is slowly establishing itself as a night-time destination due to its cluster of bars and music venues. How do you feel live comedy fits into the scene on Foster long-term?
Absolutely! Comedy is a huge part of Portland’s entertainment scene, with things like the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Helium Comedy Club, and tons of shows and open mics all over. I’m actually even working on putting together another show in the area over at Double Treble on Tuesdays. That’ll be a little different though.

5) Ok, since this is a blog about our love for Foster itself, we figured we’d ask: what draws you to the neighborhood and what are some of your favorite haunts?
FFFBannerActually, I think fate brought me here. My last house gave me the boot, and I had to move real quick. A spot opened up in the house I live in right now, and I took it, since I knew a couple of the other people in the house. At first I thought it would be temporary, but I ended up really liking the neighborhood. I usually hang out at Da Hui or O’Malley’s when I’m having a drink in the neighborhood. The happy hour and karaoke night at Da Hui are probably my favorite things in the area. Eddie who KJ’s there is friggin awesome.

6) And one more follow up question: if you were to liken Foster to a movie character, movie soundtrack, musician, or song, what would it be?
I don’t know if it’s the most accurate, but the first thing that comes to mind is Tank Girl. It’s charmingly gritty, a little bit foul-mouthed, but a lot of fun.

Much thanks to Matt for taking the time to chat with us, as well as all the time and energy he’s putting in to make Foster relevant in the comedy scene. You can now catch Matt hosting “Attack of the Killer Comics” every Tuesday at Double Treble, as well as his already running “Ferociously Funny Fridays” at FoPo Tavern; both shows start at 9 pm.

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