Several years ago, after his first performance at the prestigious Montreal Comedy Festival, comedian Joe Matarese struck a developmental deal with VH1. Later he had a similar deal with NBC, but none of the projects came to fruition. He was, however, able to buy a house with the money they gave him. Indeed, his real life sounds like a workable premise for a sitcom.
After years of trudging through the single life in L.A., the Cherry Hill, N.J.-native moved back east and found true love. His wife has a PhD in psychology. “As she would say, I’m smarter mentally than she is,” he explains. “I’m street smart and emotionally smart. That kept me in the game. I’m a sensitive guy.” Speaking of games, that’s one area in which Matarese can hold his own. “We do have Scene it,” he says. “She doesn’t know movies as well as I do, but there’s an option that’s kind of like Wheel of Fortune, where things start turning over and you yell it out. When it comes to letters and words she kills me.” Joe Matarese performs at Go Bananas Comedy Club Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $8-$12.