COMEDY REVIEW: “Two Matts and a Rat”


You’d be understandably forgiven for looking at the title of “Two Matts and a Rat” and having several pressing questions. Who are these two Matts? Why is there a rat at a Melbourne Comedy Festival show? How come two Matts are performing a comedy show with a rat in the first place? These queries seem to bounce around your brain as you wait to be called in, in the cozy Tasma Terrace. Any confusion towards the show’s vague but threatening title is slowly relieved as one by one the comedy trio of Mathew Hespe (Matt 1), Ian McCarthy (The Rat) and Matthew Vasquez (Matt 2) take the audience on a hilarious journey through their own problems with seeing a psychologist, dating and using coin counters.

The night’s first set was given by Mathew Hespe, an up-and-coming comedian who, despite having only 2 years worth of experience, had a confident and sarcastic sense of humour that had some audience members gasping, then laughing.This made for an unpredictable set as Hespe was raw and emotional one second, and laughing off the sadness the next. People always admire an upfront and honest comedian, and Hespe was truly open throughout his set which had topics ranging from his ethnicity to his dating history. Going above and beyond what is generally expected from a comedian in terms of candour, Hespe was respectable in the way he siphoned embarrassing and awkward life events into a hilarious and snappy set.

Fresh off of a stint of RAW Comedy competitions and even making it to the semi-finals of this year, it’s pretty easy to see that Ian McCarthy knows exactly what he’s doing when he’s on stage. Ironically, although he is the eponymous rat of the trio’s show, his wit and his comedy skills shine throughout his set. Each of the three comedians clearly have a differing comedy style which keeps the night interesting and engaging. If Hespe’s schtick was being awkward, McCarthy’s was being wholly self-deprecating. Weaving stories about his appearance and dating into political satire and discussions of weed legalisation, McCarthy’s set was a gorgeous tapestry of laughs without a hitch. He worked the audience with confidence and used perfect delivery that allowed the jokes to just hit with precision. McCarthy’s jokes were observational and anecdotal ultimately making his set sound like a dear friend recounting his horrible yet funny week over a few beers.

Last but not least was the dry and monotonous Matthew Vasquez. I mean it in the nicest way, but if we’re comparing schticks, Vasquez’s was pure mundanity. Reminiscent of Luke McGregor, Vasquez had a nervousness to him that seemed to charge the audience with tense laughter. Vasquez would make a joke about the task of counting spare change and the audience could not hold in their laughter for just how nervous the energy in the room was. Being a RAW National Finalist in 2018, it’s clear that there is a craft to Vasquez’s stifled delivery with some pauses lasting an uncomfortably long amount of time. If anything, this made the punchlines much more impactful and effective just through the sheer way that he could break up the room’s tension with one simple sentence or remark.

It’s clear that there is a lot of talent in the three comedians behind Two Matts And A Rat. Not only that but the trio have assembled a show that parades these talents in three diverse sets. Each of the three sets feels like a brand new experience and end up becoming three individual sneak-peeks into the exciting upward trajectories of some of Melbourne’s best rising stars.

“Two Matts and a Rat” will be running at the Tasma Terrace every night until the 7th April. Tickets are available here.