Raised a proud Razorback in Little Rock, Arkansas, Matt Besser attended Amherst College where he learned how to collect CDs. After graduating, Matt toured the Midwest doing stand-up, while taking improvisation direction from Del Close at Chicago's Improv Olympic Theater.
In Chicago in 1991, he became a founding member of the sketch group Upright Citizens Brigade, and with them he has performed and written stage productions including "Virtual Reality", "UCBTV", "Conference on the Future of Happiness", "Thunderball", "Bucket of Truth", "Big Dirty Hands", "Punch Your Friend in the Face", "The Real Real World", "That's F'd Up!", "Saigon Suicide Squad" (winner of Best Sketch at 1996 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen), and currently in "The Funny Show".
In 1996 the UCB moved to NYC and produced their sketch show "Upright Citizens Brigade" for three seasons ('98 2000) on Comedy Central.
Soon after the success of the tv show the UCB opened their own comedy theater and improv school which operates in NYC, and most recently the UCB have expanded to open another theater in LA.
After the UCB tv show , Matt teamed up with Method Man & Redman to create and perform in a hidden camera show on MTV called "Stung". He was a co-creator and star of "Crossballs" which ran 23 episodes on Comedy Central.
He has directed stage productions including "Feature Feature", "Immortal Combat", "Sidecarrin'" (1998 U.S.C.A.F), and Todd Barry in "Icky" (2001 U.S.C.A.F).
Besser's one-man shows include: "How Much I Lied", "May I Help You Dumbass?", "Don't Be A Dick", and "RUhi?". As a stand-up, he participated in the first USCAF. His most recent one-man show is called "Woo Pig Sooie!" and concerns his battles with God.
As an improviser he was a member of Chicago's "The Family" and is forever a member of "Asssscat" the longest running and greatest improv show in the history of the world.
In fall of 2005 the UCB premiered their improv show "Asssscat: Improv" on Bravo. More new Asssscats on DVD will soon be released on the UCB label.
Besser has guest starred on "Help Me Help You", "Pilot Season", "Reno 911", "Stacked", "Bernie Mac Show", "Frasier", "America Dad", "Watching Ellie", "Spin City", "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", "Jimmy Kimmel Show", "Late Friday", "Weekends at the DL", and featured in the movies "The TV Set", and Sundance Film Festival favorite "Junebug".
Maria started her performing arts career in Duluth, Minnesota at the age of 11 where she starred in the Chester Park Elementary production of How the West Was REALLY Won! A short number of decades later and look at her now! Rolling Stone just named her one of their 50 Funniest People!
Maria recently recurred as Debris Bardeaux on Netflix’s Arrested Development reboot, for which she was praised as “fantastic” (Entertainment Weekly) a “standout” (TIME) and “perhaps one of the high points of the entire new season” (Black Book Magazine). She also recurred on fX’s critically-praised Louie and Comedy Central’s Kroll Show.
Maria is the creator and star of the Chill.com direct-to-fans event Maria Bamford: the special special special, which Vulture.com named one of the Top 10 Stand-Up Specials of 2012, and of the cult hit web series The Maria Bamford Show, which screened at the Museum of Art and Design and was described as a “cold blast of brilliance” by The New Yorker.
Maria is the first female comic to have two half-hour Comedy Central Presents specials and starred alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis and Brian Posehn in the Comedy Central series The Comedians of Comedy and Netflix’s Comedians of Comedy: The Movie. She has made numerous late-night appearances, most recently on Conan and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Maria currently contributes comedic voiceovers for such animations as Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, PBS’s Emmy-winning series Word Girl, Nickelodeon’s Kung Fu Panda and Legend of Korra, and Fox’s upcoming Golan the Insatiable. She was also a regular voice on Nickelodeon’s CatDog and Back at the Barnyard (in which she reprised the role of Mrs. Beady from the Nick feature Barnyard).
Maria’s writing has been featured in The Onion, GQ and LA Weekly. She can be seen as both herself and her mother in the My Damn Channel web series Ask My Mom. Her latest CD, Ask Me About My New God!, is available on Comedy Central Records.
In terms of showbiz, Maria has made it and is swimming in a gravy boat, filled with scrumptious gravy. She lives with two overweight dogs and a boyfriend in Eagle Rock, California. Go, Las Tiendas de Llantas!
Jerrod Carmichael is an LA based standup and performer originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has been crafting his standup for over three years and this year was featured in Variety as being one of the top ten comics to watch, as well as being one of the New Faces at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival.
Jerrod is a regular around some of LA’s favorite standup shows, including Meltdown, The Improv, Laugh Factory and many alternative rooms.
Comedian Jerrod Carmichael is getting his very first standup special, and it's going to be a big one: an hour-long special for HBO. The untitled special will be taped May 7th, 2014 at The Comedy Store, and it will air later this year. Carmichael's HBO hour is being produced by Funny Or Die and directed by Spike Lee. This will be only the second standup special Spike Lee has directed, following the 2000 standup concert film The Original Kings of Comedy.
In an interview with us back in 2012, Carmichael discussed plans to do a special:
"I have an idea [for a special]. I think it's a good idea. It's very specific to me … If you do a special, you want to do it not just to do a special. You want to do it because you have something to say, and you think it can be impactful. So, what I want to say is coming out more, and I'm excited about that."
It's very rare for HBO to give an hour special to a comedian as new as Carmichael, who, although he's been doing standup since 2008, has never done a set on TV. Most comedians start with late night spots or a half-hour Comedy Central special, so Carmichael getting an hour on HBO, which is a prestigious and sought-after gig in the industry, as his first televised performance says a lot about how much faith HBO has in him.
Carmichael, who ranked first in a 2013 poll we conducted amongst LA bookers and hosts to determine their favorite up and coming standups, has appeared on Fox's The Goodwin Games, the upcoming movie Neighbors, and created and starred in a sitcom pilot that's currently in development at NBC.