Twenty-one-year-old, Portsmouth, New Hampshire comedian Matt Shore, who has been playing music since he was 7 years old, has only been doing comedy for a year and a half. He found refuge in the creative release comedy brought him.

Shore headlined an open mic event held by the University of New Hamp-shire (UNH) club “MUSO” on Tuesday, March 5 in the Memorial Union Building’s Entertainment Center.

“I’ve always been a generally goofy boy,” Shore said. “A couple summers ago I got really into watching stand-up specials on Netflix and was inspired to give it a try. I did an open mic at my college and it was absolutely terrifying. Thankfully, the audience was very nice and from that point I became obsessed with joke writing.”

Inspired by acts such as Flight of the Conchords, Reggie Watts and Bo Burnham, Shore found that the combination of music and comedy was the key to finding the perfect balance in his performance.

“After hitting a creative wall trying to write serious songs and deciding to take a little break to try comedy, I realized I could totally enhance my performances by writing funny songs,” Shore said. “This got me out of my songwriting rut and I found my new favorite thing to do. Writing goofy lyrics is ridiculously fun for me.”

His newfound passion opened doors, and Shore, a graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, began playing local shows. Even landing a spot opening for Eugene Mirman, vocal actor of Gene on Bob’s Burgers.

The college crowd appreciated Shore’s sense of humor.

“His bits had a very loose and improvised feel, which made the whole set feel very relaxed,” senior history major William Snow Downing said.

Cal Gross-Santos, sophomore anthropology major and arts and lectures director for MUSO, explained that MUSO puts on open mic events to create a welcoming environment to foster passion.

“MUSO does open mics to bring in cool and talented artists from the local area and from around the country. We also do it to give people a platform to talk about things that matter to them and share ideas through art with the community!” said Gross-Santos.

From students wielding guitars and singing both covers and originals, to students trying their hand at stand-up comedy themselves, the environment was comfortably full of laughter and excitement.

“We chose Matt Shore because he’s a comedian from my home town,” Gross-Santos said. “The idea of someone from my home town wanting to perform music/poetry/comedy/anything makes me so happy.”

Shore couldn’t have been happier to be at UNH.

“Everyone was incredibly nice and welcoming,” Shore said. “I feel like the target audience for my comedy is college-age friends, so this show definitely had me in my element. Also, there is a part in my act where I ask the audience a question and multiple people very respectfully raised their hands which I thought was hilarious. I’ve done this joke a bunch of times and people usually just yell out answers so that was wicked funny.”

With free coffee, donuts and laughter, the MUSO open mic event proved to be fun for all.

“UNH was awesome! MUSO runs a great show,” Shore said. “I got there right when the show started so I got to see everyone perform during the open mic which was really fun. Also, donuts?!”

As for Shore? He shows no signs of slowing down, performing all around the seacoast as well as producing “Comedians in Bars Getting Coffee,” at the Book & Bar in Portsmouth.

More from Shore and his comedy can be found online on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Sophia Kurzius
Staff Writer