Like most kids growing up in Southie, Matty Fontana had a tight-knit group of friends. He grew up on L Street and then on 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 nowhere 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 have 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 of a kid from Southie.
On December 22nd, Fontana will be headlining for one night only at Laugh Boston.
You can get your tickets to Fontana’s show here.
Make sure to follow him on Instagram too.
Photo by David Muller