Pro wrestling meets comedy at Matt McCarthy's Silver Lake show

From the poster for the Comedy 'N Wrestling Connection comedy show in Silver Lake on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.
From the poster for the Comedy 'N Wrestling Connection comedy show in Silver Lake on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. Courtesy Matt McCarthy

Comedy and pro wrestling may seem like unlikely friends, but there's a big crossover in their fanbases. That's evident in a wrestling-themed comedy show Thursday night, the Comedy 'N Wrestling Connection in Silver Lake.

The show is hosted by comedian/actor/writer Matt McCarthy, who has appeared on late night television and hosts the "We Watch Wrestling" podcast with fellow comedians Vince Averill and Tom Sibley.

"I hope nobody shows up expecting a wrestling show, but there are going to be a lot of pro wrestling elements to it," McCarthy told KPCC. "It's my two favorite things in the world, outside of rock and roll: Pro wrestling and stand-up comedy. Can't be beat."

The event is set to feature standup, sketch comedy and other wrestling-themed comedy bits performed in a miniature wrestling ring.

The wrestling ring stage from the Comedy 'N Wrestling Connection comedy show.
The wrestling ring stage from the Comedy 'N Wrestling Connection comedy show. via Matt McCarthy

"It's just such a natural pairing, because when you boil down to it, they're the exact same thing, both comedy and wrestling," McCarthy said. "Because it's a man alone, fighting for justice. I remember hearing George Carlin say, any joke really you can boil down to, it's a search for justice. Whether it's about kids today, or what you think about the government. It's you see something wrong with the world, or funny with the world, and you're trying to express that opinion to the audience."

That good versus bad dynamic is even more clear in pro wrestling.

"It's the babyface, the good guy, the hero fighting for justice, overcoming the odds. It's standing up for what's right and representing all that's good within us. And doing it in the most absolutely outrageously entertaining way possible," McCarthy said.

McCarthy's goal on his podcast and in comedy: remember to have fun.

"You can take [comedy and pro wrestling] seriously, but at the same time you can get the most amount of enjoyment from it when you're not taking it so seriously," McCarthy said. "I mean, I take [wrestling] very seriously, but when I'm at the show, I have to get wrapped up in it. I have to, that suspension of disbelief. ... Because it's all storytelling. As opposed to just telling it with words, they're telling it with their bodies, and through athleticism."

Other comedians on Thursday night's show include Aparna Nancherla, Brandie Posey and more — including a wrestling referee-themed bit from Ithamar Enriquez.
 
"If you are ever wondering what the word inimitable means, watch Ithamar perform, because nobody is doing what he does," McCarthy said.
 
You can check out what McCarthy describes as the "unsung forms of art" of comedy and pro wrestling Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center. Tickets cost $10.

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