Matthew Crosby – A Career and Life of Comedy and Laughs

A conversation on the career of the comedian, behind Hypothetical and Pappy’s

Comedian. Writer. Dubious composer. These are just a few words that can be used to describe the alluring Matthew Crosby. From the moment my eyes first laid upon him in that 720p Zoom call, I knew he meant business. The call, despite having a start time of 12:00 was joined at 12:01, some might see this as unprofessional, not me though, I know the real Crosby.

The thing that first struck me about the seasoned comic was his eyes, not only were they ever so slightly magnified due to his prescription lenses (giving him an almost cartoony look), but his deep oak eyes also provided insight into his years of experience, yet they were clouded by a deep sadness. Plus his breasts were amazing…

This is how I might have started the article if I was a 30-year-old male journalist describing their first encounter with any female celebrity under the age of 40. Fortunately for you, I am neither a real journalist nor is Matthew Crosby a woman under 40. Instead, I will start this article by levelling with you and saying just how much I was bricking it before this call.

Let me start from the beginning. Matthew Crosby is a comedian, you might know him from a wide array of places: 1/3 of his sketch and podcast group Pappy’s, his Radio X show with fellow comedian Ed Gamble, his comedy writing on shows like The Last Leg, or perhaps you even know him from the shows that he had a hand in creating; sitcom Badults and panel show Hypothetical.

After the highs of making it to the quarter-finals of the 2007 So You Think You’re Funny? and Pappy’s nomination for the 2007 Edinburgh Comedy Award, Crosby felt confident enough to take comedy seriously and stopped doing any other jobs that didn’t relate to it. I on the other hand have been following Matthew’s career since 2012 when I heard about him on the podcast Answer Me This! And thought it was cool that we both had the same name.

So when I sat down on a Zoom call to talk with the B-lister (I respect you a lot Crosby but maybe not quite B. Lowercase b perhaps?), I was beyond nervous. What if I embarrassed myself? What if he wasn’t as nice as he presented? What if the parasocial relationship that I formed with him wasn’t what I had hoped?

Thankfully he was everything I had hyped him up to be, thus disproving the myth that you should never meet your idols, or create a fictitious, unrealistic and one-sided friendship with them.

“What is the purpose?” You scream out to the uncaring void, “Of an article about an interview that can be watched?”. Well let me tell you, there are all sorts of reasons to be reading this fine piece of investigative journalism: to know what was going through my head at the time of the interview, to see questions and answers that got cut out (either due to being too irrelevant, too long, or because I asked a stupid question that I want to erase from history), and the ultimate reason of me being told to do so.

After an intense discussion about Matthew Crosby’s job title, and most importantly if he could stretch composer to fill that bill, it was decided that Matthew is nothing more, and nothing less, than a comedian.  

Yet despite this title, you’re not going to find a Matthew Crosby stand-up DVD. Yes, he works in comedy, but with most of his job involving writing and not performing, would he not be a comedy writer instead? This isn’t the case in Crosby’s eyes.

“When I’m writing for a show or another comedian, I’m just a comedian helping another comedian be funny.”

He viewed the debate of semantics to be a waste of time. If you want to work in comedy, stop caring about titles and who dictates what you can call yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re a comedian, or a comedy writer, or a comic, or a humourist, stop caring and just get to writing jokes.

Despite having done comedy for so long and in such a traditional format (i.e. live and television), he is fairly liberal about what constitutes as comedy and who can claim to be a comedian. You might expect that by this point he would be an old cynical man, hardened by the years of long hours, hard work, and people sometimes not laughing at his jokes. But, instead, he spoke of the newer forms of comedy (YouTube, TikTok, and the internet in general) with an amount of respect and the understanding that funny is funny and that’s all that matters.

“As long as you’re making someone laugh, then you’re doing something right.”

This discussion eventually led onto the things that Crosby might not consider comedy or those who really aren’t allowed to claim to be comedians. Eventually, he hesitantly admitted that despite enjoying certain TikTok comedians, there is a genre that he was unsure about. A major part of TikTok is of course lip-syncing to other audios in your own video, but when you lip-sync to someone else’s comedy, he started to question what you were adding.

Crosby described the time that another comic had someone sync to their comedy video without credit. Eventually, this led to the second video being promoted by TikTok without the creator of the original video getting any recognition. This seemed to rub him the wrong way; it was odd that this person was almost being praised for plagiarising someone’s work, without adding anything of worth to it… However, after about 20 seconds of thinking it over Matthew came to the conclusion that maybe they too were a comedian, and perhaps ‘they were making a funny face’.

If by this point you’ve already watched the interview (something I highly recommend you do), and are unfamiliar with Matthew Crosby, you might be confused by the last question that I asked him. Aside from a desperate attempt to prove my extensive knowledge of Matthew and his work, thus impressing him so much that he might offer me a job on Hypothetical (you’ve got my email, hit me up), this was also a reference to an old segment on his radio show.

So I feel it would only be appropriate to plug all the places you can find Crosby’s work. There is of course his Radio X show every Sunday from 8am-11am: The Ed Gamble And Matthew Crosby Show. He’s got his podcasts with Pappy’s: Pappy’s Flatshare, and the panel show he co-created: Hypothetical. If you want to find more out about the real Matthew Crosby, he is active on Twitter as @matthewcrosby and Instagram as matthewcrosby1.

Matthew Crosby in Radio Studio
Matthew Crosby in Radio Studio

Needless to say, it was a joy to chat with Matthew. He comes across as an incredibly genuine person who seems endlessly passionate about comedy and television. Unfortunately, the whole interview did need to get cut down, but every response given by him always had some useful nugget of information in it, or it was just plain old funny.

Anyone wanting to work in comedy, or TV, or just any creative field in general, can learn so much from someone like Matthew Crosby, so even if what he does isn’t your thing, I really do think that you can find something of worth here.

Illustrated by Georgia Harmey

About The Author

Matthew Cowan

Hey, I'm Matthew, a 20-year-old writer, and creative based in Glasgow (writer meaning I like to write, and does not necessarily indicate quality or professionalism). Currently, I'm studying Broadcast Production: TV & Radio at UWS. As far as writing is concerned I mainly enjoy comedy writing and screenwriting, but I like to get my metaphorical foot wet in any genre of writing. When I'm not writing I like to watch anything on a screen, read, listen to podcasts, and worry about how I'm wasting my time by not writing.

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