Friday, November 30, 2012

Your Dog In My Lap.

The latest ad from the PetSmart shoot, in which I played a dad performing various dad-like holiday duties, is now appearing like crazy in stores, circulars and online. Yep, that’s me as Santa, sweating my ass off in front of a roaring fire in July. Luckily, the suit didn’t go up in flames, or for that matter, seeing as I’m Jewish, just spontaneously combust.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yeah – What She Said.

I would never bury the lead, so here it is: yesterday my blog received one of my favorite comments of all time.

It came from a reader named Jeaneva Spencer, regarding Angus. T. Jones $350,000 per episode paycheck:

“He makes HOW MUCH an episode?! WTF? Goodbye university. I could be an ungrateful twat for half that.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Two Men And Half A Jerkoff.

So, Angus T. Jones is fed up with the filth on “Two and a Half Men.” It’s enough to make you miss an actor leaving the show over drugs and hookers.

Is there any better job on earth than starring in a sitcom? It’s everything awesome: making people laugh weekly for a monster paycheck. This little shit makes $350,000 an episode. And they put Martha Stewart in jail.

Last night, Angus issued a tepid apology, saying his remarks showed “a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed.” Yeah, right.

How about you instead get off my TV? And get out of the way of hundreds of thousands of actors who bust their asses every day with the hopes of earning everything you have. And when the dust settles, and no producer will ever employ you again, feel free to look on the bright side: your tirade is officially the “dog rides a skateboard” of religious nuts going kablooie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Belated Weekend Recap.

Braved the Trample Other People For Cheap Goods Mere Hours After Being Thankful For What You Already Have Black Friday crowd to try the burger at a new restaurant at The Grove called Fat Cow. Definitely worth it. Cute waitresses all wearing “Skinny Cow” t-shirts, too… Kickass celebrity sighting: Jason Bateman at ArcLight Cinema. He’s shooting the ten new episodes of “Arrested Development,” and they’ll be released all at once on Netflix. Nerds, put down the 12-sided die down and start that subscription… Saw Hitchcock, but before I did, I wondered: is this a movie about Hannibal Lecter posing as a director while wearing the skin of a really fat guy? BECAUSE I WILL SEE THAT MOVIE.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My 1500th Entry.

It’s hard to fathom: 1500 times I sat at my dinner table and banged out a post. If these walls could, talk they would say, “I am so bored.”

And if you haven’t yet clicked away yet, you are most excellent, and as is tradition, I present to you my five favorite entries of the last 100:

Inside The Actor’s Studio Apartment: The Spinoff. You may not have the talent to become an Oscar winner, but grab a stencil and a can of spray paint and you are parking like one, my friend. Pull it in, here. 

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 46: It’s All Good. Sure, I chose a business that has often feels like God is pelting you with water balloons, but it’s also one that encourages suspending disbelief. Reject rejection here.

Day 3: My Friends Turn Pro. Yes, I legally got married. But on the bright side I’ll get all the benefits of divorce without the horror of marriage. Come say “I don’t” here. 

Day 4: If I Could Just Get Serious For A Second. Even when I write about an orphanage I can still manage to bash marriage. Take this entry in holy something here. 

Take Your Time. If hurricanes are supposed to take the path of least resistance, why did this one hit the city that’s home to my high school guidance counselor? Brace for it here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sir.

Ricky is celebrating his first birthday today, which means he’s officially no longer a puppy. I considered writing him a card in which I’d list ten things to expect now that he’s a man, but instead I went old school. It was a tradition to let Petey pick out a toy at PetSmart on his birthday, and Ricky got to do exactly the same.

Whittling it down is a true art form, so I stood back and let the master go to work.

We finally had a mini-playoff among the Kong ball, squeaky bone and vulcanized gummy bear.

The upset winner: the gummy bear, who went on to lose a foot in the celebration.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happiest Thanksgiving.

I’d like to believe the whites and Indians really did sit down and share a meal in peace on the first Thanksgiving ever, because I just can’t understand how they wouldn’t be able to get along. Didn’t they see that bumper sticker telling them to coexist?

Well, there was plenty of camaraderie at my brother’s house yesterday. 27 people total, two turkeys, unlimited wine (which helped ease the blow of the horrendous Jet game), a table stretching from one room into a hallway into another room, warm weather and good laughter and I wish we could do it every week. Just one more reason why this has been my favorite year ever.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Give Thanks.

Have a relaxing Thanksgiving, everybody! Unless you're catering my dinner, in which case, stay focused and keep the sangria chilled.

And every year I like to thank all the people, places and things that make my blog possible. I’m thankful for:
  • People who Google “HOT SEX PORN” and find my blog 
  • Casting calls for Shakespearean go-go dancers 
  • A puppy born on Thanksgiving 
  • Violent thoughts about Kenny G 
  • Michael Vick chew toys 
  • Mooning gnomes
  • Jewy hockey fans 
  • Weapon-designing frat brothers 
  • Sassy neighbor chicks from 70s sitcoms 
  • Sammy Davis, Jr.’s headshot 
  • The sitcom “Paterno/Petrino” 
  • Dude saving a parking spot with a bucket of kitty litter 
  • Jury summons from two different states 
  • My hate mail 
  • Beefy police chicks with black eyes 
  • The Ben & Jerry’s combination lock 
  • Sheena the bomb-sniffing dog 
  • Placenta beauty soap

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Eighth Great Film Of The Year.

Produce an inferior Bond film, and the fanboys feel betrayed. They whine, they fume, they wear black.

But Skyfall is one of the most spectacular James Bond films yet. And Daniel Craig is still the best Bond ever.

I won’t get into much detail so as not to spoil the movie, but Javier Bardem is a kickass bad guy, the dialogue is cool and funny and there’s an excellent nostalgic tribute to old Bond films.

This Thanksgiving weekend, when your asshole relatives push you one too many times, put down the carving knife, head straight to the theater and see this film. That way when you return home and stab them repeatedly you’ll at least have seen one of the year’s best before getting hauled off.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Note To A New Man.

My dad was in the habit of telling my brothers and me “you’re nothing,” which I took to mean “shoot for the stars.”

I kept in mind this sage advice as I wondered what to write in the card I gave to my friend’s son Jake on the day of his Bar Mitzvah. According to Jewish law, Jake is now accountable for his actions as a man, so I decided to let him know ten things I wish I’d been told had I had an accountable man in my life at his age. Here they are:
  1. You may not find a career you like right away, but you’ll eventually find a career you love, and there’s no age limit as to when that can happen. 
  2. Talk to girls. Every day. Develop the ability to feel at ease with them and understand what they like. Then thank me in 20 years. 
  3. You’ll make huge mistakes. Women will break your heart. Bosses will unfairly fire you. Be glad these things happen. Learn from them. They’ll make you a whole person who appreciates the good times.
  4. If a really big dude ever starts in with you, remember: crazy always wins in a fight. 
  5. There’s nothing sadder than someone who peaks in high school. 
  6. Parents can be critical, or checked out, or wrongly push you to achieve in ways they never could. Your parents are the total opposite of that. 
  7. The Target in Torrance actually has Jewish greeting cards. 
  8. No, you’ll never use geometry in the real world. It’s not about that. It’s about the discipline and intelligence required to learn it. You’ll use that every day. 
  9. The key to success: wake up early. 
  10. You’ll plant lots of seeds in whatever you pursue in life, and you won’t see the trees for a long time. But trust me – they’re coming.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Friend Jeff’s Son’s Bar Mitzvah: An iPhone™ Photo Gallery.

Kudos to the temple for making literature available answering the question everybody there was asking.

If God doesn’t allow the use of cell phones during Jewish ceremonies, why would he create a way to watch the Florida State/Maryland game during them?

Listed in the accompanying program: everyone who made a speech. Bummer that the bar mitzvah boy chose this time to make his feelings clear to the chick he grew up with.
The after-party featured a game truck, or as I like to call it: “How to Lure a Dozen Boys Into your Van Using the All-New Black Ops 2.”
Walking around like a correctional officer was the rabbi, who made sure everyone heeded Jewish law and wore a yarmulke. And you know what happens when you force us to cover our heads, Rabbi? That’s right: Pit Bull wearing a yarmulke.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

That’s My Boy.

I didn’t exactly know how to respond to the beer can some asshole left in my yard yesterday morning, until Ricky promptly walked over and pissed on it.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Ever get one of those letters from a lawyer informing you that you’re a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit? Usually you never hear from them again, but I actually received a check yesterday from my insurance company: Farmers. I only hope the 78 bucks they were required to fork over won’t encourage them to someday let me bleed out.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I’m in the middle of a super busy week, but wanted to stop and say to whoever pulled the plug on my new favorite show, “Animal Practice”: I am so mad at you, but right now I have to prioritize my hate. And it goes men’s leather necklaces, cooked green peppers and then back to you, champ.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 48: Opening Up The Mailbag.

Question: how many Snapple Facts do I have to get before it counts as a GED?

Okay, a better question from an actor named Donald Lee Gibson:

“Matt – these get your butts to LA entries are so effing great! I’ve been out here for four months and I’m loving it! I've learned a lot from your blog. 

What’s the smartest thing you’ve done for your career in la and what’s the dumbest? Why? 

Keep on keepin on!” 

You asked nicely, so I can’t help but respond.

My smartest move was writing, producing and starring in my movie. It provided me with footage for my acting reel, helped me make great relationships with actors and crew and taught me a lot about producing a big shoot. And my film was accepted into 45 festivals and won awards and I was flown in to do Q&As and it was one of the best years of my life and I could go on. Keep in mind that shooting your own film may cost you your life savings, but if you’re going to gamble, gamble on yourself.

As for dumb moves, I’ve been lucky – no massive mistakes. I never paid a conniving agent or manager to represent me. (Don’t ever pay them – they should make money off you, not from you.) I haven’t burned a bridge with any gatekeepers. And I show up for every opportunity friendly and prepared.

But gun to my head, I suppose I’ve stuck with a couple of acting classes too long. You reach a saturation point with some teachers, when you’ve heard all the stories and the rhetoric, and you find yourself dragging your ass to get there, and you don’t attend them so much as do time in them. Classes aren’t cheap, and it’s tricky enough keeping your morale up during the lulls of acting, so don’t let a class become another wet blanket. My opinion: scare yourself, with classmates more talented than you, scenes out of your comfort zone and a teacher who really busts your balls.

Wow, thanks Donald Lee for helping me realize I’ve steered the ship pretty damn well. Nothing egregious. Hey, speaking of egregious, how about that Petraeus dude? Better yet, how about his biographer? She is one nutty whore.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An All-New “Excerpts From My Text Messages.”

I’m a big fan of crafting all forms of communication. For a free sample of my writing, see this blog.

Or send me a text. It’s been a few months since I’ve posted a few of the real ones I’ve sent and received. Here are a few recent examples (mine in blue):

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Recap.

Kickass: seeing Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels exiting of ArcLight Cinema together. Less than kickass: I told them I loved “The Newsroom” and they ignored me… Had an amazing dinner Friday night, then donated blood Saturday morning. I envy the recipient who gets to have Mezzomondo’s spinach and ricotta ravioli coursing through his veins… Love this slide show about New Yorkers responding to the hurricane… Saw Lincoln, which was good, except for one glaring historical inaccuracy: not one mention of his vampire hunting skills.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Once Again, Out-Of-Context Thank-You Notes I’ve Recently Written To Casting Directors.

• I actually know a guy in New York who loves a good rub ‘n tug joint. I call him “Dad.” 

• I was impressed with the food in the Philippines. I’d assumed their meat was just deflated kickballs.

• Honey Boo Boo is hands down my favorite Sacha Baron Cohen character.

• Has the Hitler comparison ever not backfired?

• I don’t think brains hear “I should get tattoo sleeves to go with my giant penis” much.

• Please forgive me for leaving my bedazzled codpiece at home.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


There’s nothing like a visit to an impoverished nation to reinforce just how white you are. Like the ghost of Tilda Swinton white.

I blogged in the Philippines about visiting Virlanie, the orphanage to which my friends Bru and Aina decided to donate all of their wedding money. It was an entirely selfless act, only amplified by them bringing lunch and toys to the kids when they presented them the check. I tagged along.

Virlanie takes in kids that have been physically and sexually abused and/or abandoned, and does its best to provide them with some sort of normalcy. The boys and girls were so sweet, each greeting us by taking the backs of our hands and holding them to their foreheads – a Filipino show of respect to elders called “mano.” And they wanted to be picked up and they wanted to know our names and all I could think was that these kids weren’t all that far removed from their abuse. And I just wanted them to know that not all grownups are monsters.

That day has resonated with me more than any part of the trip, and last week, Aina’s mother passed along the above photo of me with a little girl that I think really captured how I felt.

I find myself now looking at my niece and nephew differently. They’re so damn spoiled. I know it’s not their doing, but it sure would be nice for them to see the bullet they dodged some time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Get Your Butt To LA, Part 47: This Way, Please.

I truly hope when you arrive here, you’ll begin working immediately, but it often doesn’t work that way. Things take time. “Rome” by the B-52s wasn’t written in a day.

There’s a common notion that it takes ten years until you start enjoying consistent success. That sounds lengthy, but it can be a good thing. It separates the wheat from the chaff, chasing off the wannabes. And after a decade, your skills will be off the charts. In year one, a big audition can be frightening. But like killing hookers, it gets easier each time.

The tricky part of delayed gratification is finding signs along the way that you’re headed down the right path. My mentor, acting teacher Stuart Robinson, likes to say that an acting career can be like being invited to an amazing wedding, only you’re given vague directions to get to it. You know have to exit off the highway at Third Street to find the church, but you don’t know whether you need to go east or west. You choose east, and start driving and driving and don’t see a church until you finally make a u-turn and try the other direction. Meanwhile, you were only a half-mile before the destination, only you didn’t know it.

When you do get a sign, it’s really nice. There are the obvious ones, like booking a role, but others can be almost as special. Last week, I attended what’s called a “talent blast,” in which I performed a scene for eight casting directors all at once. The casting directors took notes, which were later emailed to me. Here are the comments I received:

“Great timing really enjoyed it… really funny, good timing… enjoyed your environment well… great straight man… really listened and reacted.. good pacing, great job very well done...”

 It’s nice to find out the career you’ve chosen is not only something you love but something that’s right. You’ll find out the same. God will give you signs. He’ll also occasionally toss a water balloon at you, but you’ll hang in there because there’s nothing else worth doing, and nothing nearly as fun.

Bottom line: I like to think of all my little failures as part of a larger victory. Come out here and win.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like… Hey, I Know That Dude.

There was nothing quite like the smell of Grandma’s house at Christmas. That’s when we found her dead on the toilet.

Actually, as Jews we were denied Christmas, but our neighbors invited us over out of pity to help decorate their tree every year, and I’ve loved the holiday ever since.

And over the weekend, the holiday campaign I shot for PetSmart began running. The first piece was a big poster in the front window of me capturing a moment with the family. (It was a big Escher painting-esque as I snapped of pic of me from behind me snapping a pic.)

There will be several more ads in the next six weeks that’ll be in-store, on PetSmart’s website and in circulars sent to your home and in Sunday papers – many of them featuring me more prominently, such as my fake wife and I sharing a moment with a cat, and me as the dad of the family playing Santa. By the way, I fully believe having to wear a Santa suit in July in front of a roaring fire was me literally roasting in Hell for posing ironically with PetSmart Santas twice. (Both here, and here.)

So drop by and check me out. And if you really must bring a Sharpie and tag my face, I only ask you keep it tasteful: mustaches and goatees, as opposed to penises on my mouth. Thanks.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Slop Du Jour.

The key to happiness is to surround yourself with hilarious people, so a shout-out to my friend Jeff, who labeled a coworker’s vomitous lunch appropriately.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Take Your Time.

I’m living my life, and I love it. I’ve got my career, and I’ve got my puppy, and I keep getting my neighbor’s Sports Illustrated.

The simple things.

Yet honestly, if I lost my home I’d be devastated. And I’d be inconsolable if something happened to my mom, who still lives in the house I grew up in in New York. (She’s fine, by the way. Only lost cable and Internet and mail. Yes, my mom uses the mail.)

As much as I love California, I was born and raised in New York, and have a strong connection with everyone there. It’s both surreal and heartbreaking to see a hurricane destroy this part of the country, and as tough and proud as my fellow New Yorkers can be, they have every right to take their time to get through this.

We don’t need to reimagine every disaster as a tale of heroism. We don’t need to turn every funeral into a celebration. A divorce is not a birthday party or a high-school reunion or a three-day spa getaway. Just as there’s a time to meditate, a time to live your best life, a time to be “fierce,” there’s also a time to cry hard, a time to be overwhelmed and a time to eat big doughnuts in bed. We all have a right to feel sorry for ourselves, and a right to even feel bad about that, too. So for God’s sake, let’s stop rushing to get to the good part.

You’ll pull through, New York. When you’re ready.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick Or Tirade.

This being an entertainment town, Halloween is off the charts out of control. I love seeing a good costume, but I’m not about to join in on one of the five holidays that give people permission to behave like assholes. You can’t throw a punch without hitting someone who’ll ask you want you’re going to be for Halloween. A grown-ass man – that’s what.

Eat me, haters.

But I do love taking the niece and nephew trick or treating, then swiping all the top shelf candy they collect. Great holiday after all. And now, happy first day of Christmas.