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Matteo Lane on mastering the comedic journey with authenticity and laughter as a gay entertainer (exclusive)

Author: Christopher Wiggins

In the labyrinthine realm of comedy, Matteo Lane distinguishes himself with a humor that’s both bold and unflinchingly genuine, navigating the unpredictable journey from obscurity to stardom with the grace of a seasoned performer. Speaking to The Advocate

Eric Scire

Ryan Walter Wagner; Ian Laidlaw

Before performing at the Kennedy Center in an overtly political town, Lane explained why his shows are more about his daily observations and experiences with little to no explicitly political content.

“I found a groove in expressing myself this way, whereas other comics like Trevor Noah, for example, or Jon Stewart, are people who find the humor in politics,” Lane said. “I don’t know that I find the humor yet. I don’t know if that’s my lens in life. So, do I hate Trump? Of course. Is my show a political rally to prove to people that Trump’s an idiot? No. But are we all like-minded because we’re all coming from similar backgrounds? Probably.”

Lane couldn’t hide his excitement and gratitude about his February 4 and 10 performances at the Kennedy Center.

“It feels very nice,” he admitted, talking about the thrill of performing in such a prestigious venue.

This milestone, as Lane sees it, is not just a personal victory but a collective one for the LGBTQ+ community.

Lane discussed the complexities of finding humor in today’s political and social landscape emphasizing the omnipresence of humor.

“Anything can be funny,” he said.

“You can really find humor anywhere,” Lane responded to a question about whether it’s funny, sad, or terrifying that it is the reality that former President Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner for president despite being impeached twice, indicted 91 times, found liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll, inciting an insurrection, lying constantly and the many other attributes that make him an outrageous political candidate.

“I think it just depends on who wants to receive [the humor],” Lane explained. “I come from a group of friends and a family where, in dark times, we try and make light of it.”

Addressing the topic of bans on drag performances and books, Lane said he’d continue to perform despite potential challenges

“I think as queer people, we’ve dealt with this before, and we understand what’s happening,” Lane said. “Sometimes, when you’re walking through fire, you’ve just got to walk faster. So, I’m going to keep performing wherever I’m scheduled to perform. I hope people buy tickets and we have a good night. And if it gets stopped, then I’ll deal with it then, but I’m just going to keep going and going and going as do drag performers, as do other queer performers. What else can you do?”

Lane’s ability to speak multiple languages (he speaks Italian, Spanish, French, and German — the latter learned from an Austrian teacher in high school) isn’t just a party trick; it’s a bridge to wider audiences and a testament to his diverse heritage. “I can do a little bit [of] German, [and] I’m now speaking Spanish all the time in Italian,” Lane said, laughing at the quirks of juggling languages. His linguistic skills are more than just communication tools; they are extensions of his identity, enabling him to connect with a global audience while staying true to his roots. Lane has performed for audiences in Italy and will be traveling to Germany for a run of shows there. During his current show, The Al Dente Tour, Lane talks about a time he traveled to Italy and ran into Oprah Winfrey.

Lane’s discussion about the nuances of gay culture across different languages was enlightening and entertaining. “There’s a gay voice in every language,” Lane observed during his performances at the Comedy Cellar in New York.

He said that his conclusions about the intriguing phenomenon regarding the “gay voice” across various languages were fueled by his unique interactions with a diverse nightly audience. Each evening, while performing to a different crowd—not specifically there to see him, which provides a rich backdrop for his informal surveys— he’d ask the audience.

He said that he would probe the multilingual audience, inquiring if they can identify a “gay voice” in their native language.

“Whether they were speaking Mandarin, Cantonese, or Japanese, I would ask, ‘Can you hear gay voices in another language?’ And they would always say ‘yes.’ And so I’m like, ‘okay, this must be like an international thing of like the sort of gay flair,’” he said.

“Because I can hear it in Italian, I can hear it in Spanish,” Lane added. “You know, it’s just so funny to me.”

The conversation took a light-hearted turn in the interview when Lane’s husband, Rodrigo Aburto, made an appearance in “very short shorts,” having just returned from a cycling class where, according to Lane, “they do what seems to me like impossible things, and then you know comes home and acts like nothing happened.”

The news coverage of his wedding to Aburto last August was funny to Lane. The couple, who opted for a modest ceremony at city hall, did not anticipate the media attention their union garnered.

“We were shocked by that,” Lane said. “Someone said to us the next day, ‘Oh, all these magazines wrote articles about you guys getting married, and I was like, ‘What? I’m not Dianne Keaton. I’m not Mariah Carey!”

He added that he had wondered, “How slow in gay news was it that day that my marriage made it to all these different outlets?”

As the interview wrapped up, with the anticipation of his Uber Eats order beckoning (he ordered eggs and bacon), Lane detailed the nights spent refining jokes and constantly pursuing the perfect set. “It’s a lot of work,” he said.

“I really saw myself as Mariah Carey, and I landed as a gay comic, so when they say ‘shoot for the moon, you’ll reach the sun, or you’ll reach the stars’ or whatever, this is me reaching the stars,” he chuckled. “I got pretty close.”

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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