The rol­lick­ing Red Rocket: Toronto sub­way serves as set of new talk show

North York Post - - Cityscape -

If you’ve taken the TTC sub­way late at night at all re­cently, you may have no­ticed a strange man be­ing filmed as he in­ter­views guests on those clas­sic red velour seats.

His name is Matt O’Brien, and he’s not your av­er­age standup co­me­dian. Now he’s sit­ting down on late night sub­way trains to in­ter­view guests for his new talk show.

Win­ner of Best Standup at the LA Com­edy Fes­ti­val, O’Brien has taken the com­edy world by storm. He’s been killing it on iTunes in the past year, land­ing the num­ber one spot on the Canadian Com­edy charts af­ter re­leas­ing his first standup al­bum. Now, O’Brien is work­ing on his novel comedic project, Late Night Talk Show on a Sub­way, where he hosts and films his own late night talk show … lit­er­ally on the sub­way.

Although he has more than 17,000 fol­low­ers on Vine alone, it’s not just the “Vin­ers” who are en­ter­tained by this Toronto fun­ny­man. O’Brien is spark­ing new in­ter­est with his odd ap­proach to his own late night talk show. The idea came to him five years ago, but it wasn’t un­til re­cently that he de­cided to put it into mo­tion.

The show has no script, no di­rec­tion and, ac­cord­ing to O’Brien, some­times no in­ter­est, as many don’t seem to un­der­stand the con­cept of it at all. “It’s just so stupid. It’s meant to be stupid. And some peo­ple don’t get that,” he says.

But maybe stupid sells. This late night show seems to be gen­er­at­ing quite the buzz. The show is filmed in one take, as O’Brien in­ter­views his guests, and it is later edited into four-minute seg­ments.

The pas­sen­gers rid­ing the train don’t seem to mind O’Brien film­ing his show on board.

“It’s funny film­ing things like this in Canada where ev­ery­one is just so po­lite. Some­times, if peo­ple around us know we are film­ing, they’ll warn oth­ers to be quiet as if we are shoot­ing some ma­jor show,” he says. “Even the TTC em­ploy­ees on board while film­ing are shock­ingly sup­port­ive.”

What’s next for Matt O’Brien and the Late Night Talk Show on a Sub­way? “I’d love to shoot some­thing even more ridicu­lous,” he says, “like a cooking show while rid­ing the TTC bus!”

— Tina Robin­son

Matt O’Brien per­forms at clubs around town, not just on the sub­way

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