Comedian Matt Besser is a disciple of the Arkansas Razorbacks, and though he hasn’t lived in Arkansas since he left high school almost 20 years ago, he’s out preaching the gospel in comedy clubs around the country.
“I’m calling the Hogs, all through the South,” he said in a recent telephone interview.
Besser is bringing his “Woo Pig Sooie” comedy act to Vino’s Brewpub on Thursday, June 1. It’s political satire, Besser says, as he offers his takes on red and blue states, theocrats and Christian fundamentalists.
“My religion is the Arkansas Razorbacks and that’s who I have faith in,” he said. “The show has a lot to do with my parents’ marriage. My dad’s Jewish and my mom’s Presbyterian and they met in Little Rock. A Jew marrying a Christian in the 1960s in Little Rock was a big deal.”
So, Besser tries to show the rest of the country that while Arkansas may have been colored red in the last election, there is a lot of blue. “I tell them that we’re a swing state, we take pride in that,” Besser said. “We swing blue sometimes. We’re only 51 percent lame when it’s a red state. I try to convince people we’re not a Li’l Abner state, we’ve got some smart people down there. Yes, we have [Gov. Mike] Huckabee, but we also have Bill Clinton, Wesley Clark. But then we’ve also got Christ of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs.”
The irreverent Besser expects his comedy to be appreciated differently at Vino’s. “It will be a dialogue rather than a monologue there,” he said.
Besser, who attended Little Rock Central and went on to Amherst College in Massachusetts, has spent the past 10 years either in New York or Los Angeles.
He was co-creator of the Comedy Central show “Crossballs,” a takeoff on “Crossfire” and “Hardball.” It ruffled feathers, as most of Besser’s comedy does, and the show was canceled when an interviewee took offense.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.