Grew up… learning to write comedy from the best minds on TV. Matt made his way in Hollywood as a staff writer for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip back in its glory days, when it was actually funny.
Living… in L.A. As he puts it, “I hate Los Angeles like everybody else, but I have to work here ‘cause in any other part of the country I’m unemployable.”
Profession… executive producer and head writer on Studio 60. Matt’s triumphant return to television came in the wake of his receipt of a prestigious Writers Guild award. He’d have no qualms about returning to the show at which he started if it weren’t for his ex-girlfriend’s presence in the office: “The woman I broke up with is a cast member and it would be awkward if I went to the party and… killed her in front of all those people.”
Interests… mouthing off. Sometimes Matt just doesn’t know when to stop talking, and it’s gotten him in trouble more than a few times. He was originally fired from Studio 60 for agreeing with Bill Maher’s controversial comments about the 9/11 hijackers.
Relationship Status… newly single. Matt recently broke up with his girlfriend, Harriet Hayes. Or, as he’d point out, she broke up with him for making a wisecrack about her singing of the national anthem at a Dodgers game: “I’m sure you were great, but it’s the national anthem. They were standing already.”
Challenge… overcoming his strong feelings for Harriet in order to maintain a professional relationship with her. Matt is finding it hard to get over Harriet while simultaneously trying to save Studio 60 from comic oblivion, for which he needs her to play a pivotal role. “I admire her,” Matt says. “I’m knocked out by her talent. And I like it when she makes me laugh, and I like making her laugh, which isn’t easy to do, so it’s gratifying.”
Personality… funny, cynical, and sarcastic. Matt’s big mouth has a tendency to annoy people – especially the network executives – but it’s his comic brilliance that brings in the audience (and the money) to Studio 60. At least for the moment; Nielsen ratings and network execs can both be fickle beasts.
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