Chris Mata's 'Rear Naked Joke Hold' 

click to enlarge Chris Mata - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Chris Mata

Chris Mata reminds me of the blonde bully from all those '80s films. I can imagine him dressed in black karate gear sweeping legs while screaming "Cobra Kai!" Only unlike the blonde bully, Mata is funny — like wicked funny. It's almost a crime that a guy who can beat your ass physically also has the rapier wit to destroy you verbally.

Many comics often have to fake their confidence in front of crowds. They scream the most meaningless of points or rip on people in the audience for "not getting it." But Mata's confidence is just what you'd expect from an mixed martial arts fighter — which is how Mata entertains himself between gigs. It's an awesome and rare combination Brock Lesnar and Dave Chappelle couldn't pull off as a tag team.

His jokes are sharp and well crafted. He discusses race without pandering to easy stereotypes, riffs on relationships by presenting his own honest mistakes, and stays true to his own point of view. At no point is he scared of the crowd or worried about the show. It's this discipline that got Mata on Comedy Central and this dedication to craft that has made him a favorite of national headliners like Mitch Fatel.

He got his start here in SA, but is now based in L.A., where he spends his time training MMA fighters, telling jokes, and just trying to figure his life out. You'll hear all about it when he headlines the Rivercenter Comedy Club next week. Just know that at no point in the show will you be locked in some jujitsu hold being told dick jokes while a penis is mashed into your face as you reach for a tap out. For that you have to pay extra.

Chris Mata

$15
8:30pm Wed-Sun; 10:30 Fri-Sun
Rivercenter Comedy Club
849 E Commerce
(210) 229-1420
rivercentercomedyclub.com

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