Matt Okine: The Best Medicine

matt okine

Australian comedian and actor Matt Okine has experienced more than ten years of hurdles and triumphs from a burgeoning career in show business. On recounting his journey, hints of modesty and an intriguing realism are peppered throughout his dialogue. But In 2015, Matt Okine is set to reach new heights. The Brisbane-born comedian became a household name when he began co-hosting triple j’s influential national breakfast show. He is also a regular face on Australian television, appearing on programs such as Legally Brown and It’s A Date, and has supported international comedy greats like Dave Chappelle. But while he describes his journey to success as the slowest and steadiest race he’s ever run, he insists it’s one that’s been well worth the effort.

Matt first studied drama at Brisbane State High School, collecting an acting degree at QUT and discovering the art of stand-up comedy. In 2004, he entered triple j’s RAW Comedy competition on a whim. “I wanted to see what it was like on stage,” Matt explains. “I took two friends and they were the only people I told. I was super scared.” Despite the nerves, and in spite of having performed only three previous gigs – being the preliminary stages of the competition – he made it to the national finals. 

Matt would go ahead to hone his craft on the Brisbane comedy circuit before heading for the bright lights of Sydney. His life as a struggling artist would supply a rich source of material. “Being broke was my best inspiration, because when you’re broke, you’re always frustrated,” Matt recalls. “If you go out you can’t afford anything, so you sit at home and get frustrated with all the crumby things around you: your terrible toaster, your shitty vacuum cleaner and all your rich friends on Facebook who are going to Mexico for the summer.”

Fast forward to 2015 and his comedy has matured to exploring his newfound security. Matt brings his new show The Other Guy to the Brisbane Comedy Festival, exploring growing into adulthood and why racist people always seem to catch the bus. “It’s going to be an hour of the funniest shit you’ve ever heard,” he insists. But for all his achievements, the funny man feels he still hasn’t figured out what ‘success’ really means. “Honestly, it’s just about being happy and being in a good place mentally,” he says. “Really though, success is upgrading from a goon bag to a $15 bottle of wine.” But regardless of career milestones, making people laugh is why he’s in the game. “It’s a fundamental right to laugh and feel happy,” Matt comments. “That’s why it’s never going to stop being an important art form.”

From the archives: This is from our original site, MyCityLife, posted back on 11 March 2015

Photo Credit: Zak Kaczmarek

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