Like most kids growing up in Southie, Matty Fontana had a tight knit group of friends. He grew up on L Street and then Jason Terrace. As a rite of passage, he played youth sports and had a paper route in the neighborhood. A self-described “painfully shy and awkward kid” his friends affectionately called him “Fonz”. Back in the day, he hung out at the Tynan along with hundreds of other Southie teenagers where his friendships grew and strengthened as they navigated the journey to young adulthood. He learned from the best of them how to bust balls, think quick on his feet, and find humor in everyday life.
“Some of the funniest people in the world are from Southie. I was funny but no where near one of the funniest people growing up,” said Fontana. Back then, he had no idea he would go on to become a comedian.
Fontana left South Boston for LA back in 2002 with the goal of becoming an actor. After trying to make it work for several years, he decided to pursue comedy as a career. “A friend of mine was a comedian and asked me if I wanted to come and check out his set. After watching the show, I thought, I could do this.”
That was 7 years ago. Since then, Fontana has performed all over the country and regularly plays LA’s best clubs including ‘The Hollywood Improv’ and ‘The World Famous Comedy Store.’ He recently filmed his first TV special ‘Iliza’s Locals,’ with Netflix favorite, Iliza Shlesinger, which showcases some of the best up and coming comics in the LA scene. His star is on the rise.
Fontana’s hometown roots has laid a strong foundation for his comedy. “I don’t go for the easy jokes. You can’t do that in Southie. Going for the layup will get you boo’d off the corner,” says Fontana. On stage, he’s a storyteller who relates life experiences through his own lens of the world. Some topics in his act include being weird growing up, his family and random observations about society, all delivered with the sharp wit by a kid from Southie.
On December 26th, Fontana will be headlining for one night only at Laugh Boston. When he’s back in the neighborhood, he’ll meet up with friends and family and take the obligatory trip to Sully’s (“Two dogs, mustard relish, cheeseburger, large fries and a large Pepsi. Best fountain soda in the country)
You can get your tickets to Fontana’s show here.
Make sure to follow him on Instagram too.
Photo by David Muller