'Rebels of Comedy' bring honesty to Marlintini's

Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2004

Morgan Preston and TK Matteson, the self-declared "Rebels of Comedy," met at a gig at Central Washington University in Ellensburg and realized they had a similar approach to the fine art of stand-up.

"We deal with a lot of issues that people don't know how to deal with," Matteson said. "We do some light and fluffy sort of things, but we do a lot of heavy-hitting stuff and we do it in a way that a lot of people can't. A lot of people think a white can't talk about racial issues, but he and I can pull it off."

With 25 years of stand-up experience between them, Preston and Matteson formed the "Rebels" early this year. They've toured extensively through Oregon and are regulars at the Hollywood Improv and the Icehouse in Pasadena. They're working on a television show called "Comedy Bootcamp" and have been getting some notice from producers and troupes throughout the national scene. You can find their Web site at www.pinuppro.com.

For now, they have a 12-show October tour through Soldotna, Fairbanks, Palmer, Juneau, Anchorage, Ketchikan, Seward, Eagle River and Kodiak, followed by a November tour of Minnesota.

"The Rebels" play two shows at Marlintini's, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. Tickets are $12 for one show, or $18 for both.

"Both of us are very honest on stage, and our shows will click together that way," Preston said. "Once you see it, you'll understand it. We have similar ideas about being able to talk about things and not be hobbled by what should be said or what shouldn't be said."

"We want to give people a piece of comedy that a lot of them aren't getting," Matteson said. "A lot of comics are doing very basic vanilla ice cream comedy, and that's not what we're about. We don't pick on anybody. We try to push the envelope, and we try to cover a wide variety of topics."

'Rebels of Comedy'

When: 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.

Where: Marlintini's.

Tickets: $12 for one show, or $18 for both.

Originally from Texas, Matteson started a "Rebels" group years ago based on Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks' "Outlaws of Comedy" concept. That original group died, but he decided to bring back the "Rebels" name once he and Preston teamed up.

Preston be-gan performing in comedy clubs when he was 17. He's opened for George Wallace, Weird Al Yank-ovic and UB40, and is currently working on an independent film with Chad Smith (Flea from "Tears of the Sun"). Matteson grew up in Dallas and fled to stand-up at the age of 25.

"The shows aren't dirty at all. That's not what we mean by edgy," Preston said. "We both definitely have our own personalities. TK really hits on the racial issues, and I talk more on the family lines. I talk a lot about popular culture, about television and stuff that happens to me. There's a little bit of language, but it totally depends on the crowd."

"A lot of what we try to do is make people think," Preston said. "Guys like Bill Hicks pretty much said it all. Guys like Don Rickles, who I worked with in Vegas, said it all. He has full houses down there. If everybody was a comedian in the world, we wouldn't have the problems we have nowadays."

• Korry Keeker can be reached at korry.keeker@juneauempire.com

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