Comedian brings laughs to Palouse

Baker used to travel across world for hacky sack events, can catch bowling ball on head



Matt Baker attempts to balance a vase on top of a balloon during a show at the Neill Public Library on Tuesday.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

Very rarely are children given the opportunity to watch stand-up comedy, but Matt Baker gives families this chance with the funny stunt shows he performs around the country.

“The kids love the visual stuff, all the stunts, and parents love the comedy,” Baker said. “It’s all family friendly and even if the kids don’t get it, it’s appropriate for them and they can have that experience.”

Baker started his career doing hacky sack competitions which allowed him to travel all over the world. When he returned to the United States, he wanted something more, so he started performing stunts and stand-up comedy all over Seattle to create the show he performs today.

Baker’s comedy stunt show is known as one of the best on the continent. He holds several Guinness World Records thanks to his various skills showcased in his performance, such as the ability to kick a bowling ball into the air and catch it on his forehead.

“Most of what I do you can only find in YouTube gone wrong videos,” he said. “I do a lot of stunts you’d never think someone would be stupid enough to try.”

He also travels to small communities to bring a unique experience to children who aren’t able to make it to larger cities, such as Pullman and Moscow.

“Seattle kids have so much exposure to the arts, there are shows every day they have access to,” Baker said. “It’s almost more important to bring this kind of art to smaller communities so when kids are developing their tastes and opinions they can get that exposure.”

Baker performed two shows at the Neill Public Library on Tuesday to celebrate and promote the beginning of the summer reading program. The audience was full of children who were awestruck by his stunts and their parents who chuckled at the witty jokes that went over their children’s heads.

He regularly joked about his confusion of still being single and as he explained what a hacky sack was made of, he joked that his was special because it was “filled with [his] father’s broken dreams.”

Baker loves being able to work with children during his shows and said he believes they’re the funniest people in the world. He also wants to be able to show them the traditional route is not the only way to take in life.

“I wish I’d seen a show like this when I was a kid so I could have known earlier on that it was an option,” Baker said. “Kids need to know you can do weird stuff and make a living doing it.”

Baker will perform another show on the Palouse 6 p.m. Thursday during Entertainment in the Park at East City Park in Moscow. Admission is free and open to the public.