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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘Try things and fail’: Comedian Matt Braunger proud to be a ‘6’4” stack of mistakes’

Matt Braunger will release his latest album and comedy special, “Finally Live in Portland,” on Tuesday. (Courtesy photo)

Comedian Matt Braunger has a lot of wisdom to impart and does so through his stand up sets and specials, including “Finally Live in Portland,” which will be released on Tuesday.

He also doles out helpful suggestions weekly on his podcast “Advice From a Dips%$#.”

But he makes one thing clear: He’s not Dr. Drew Pinsky, who hosted the radio talk show “Loveline” and has appeared on numerous reality shows.

“I’m not trying to be Dr. Drew,” he said. “And he’s licensed. I’m not. Quite the opposite.”

In other words, though Braunger does want his anecdotes and advice to help people, the bottom line will always be entertainment.

Take, for instance, “Finally Live in Portland,” which Braunger filmed in 2017 during the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, which he helped create.

In the special, Braunger reveals the story behind the tattoo he got as a 19-year-old on a dare in a pool hall.

Or the one about how he and his wife once took “what could be called a heroic dose of mushrooms” on the Fourth of July.

“Try things and fail,” he said in the special. “That’s how you learn what you’re supposed to be doing… You’re looking at a 6-foot-4 stack of mistakes.”

Braunger doesn’t quite consider his material self-deprecating humor; it’s more his way of being open with listeners.

“I’m just being honest about how I would be nowhere in my life without my mistakes, and I’ve gotten through so many of these things through humor,” he said.

Rather than focus on getting his material in the perfect order, for fear of wandering into one-person show territory, Braunger likes to keep audiences guessing on what he’ll say next.

Case in point, Braunger also manages to work jokes about the Girl Scouts, the alt-right and a crazy elevator ride into “Finally Live in Portland.”

“In a sense a comedian’s job is you take a lot of hard lefts and hard rights,” he said. “ ‘Oh, you thought I was going here? Misdirection.’ And that’s fun and that keeps it immediate and in the moment.”

Before enjoying “Finally Live in Portland” on Tuesday, fans of Braunger can see him live at the Spokane Comedy Club on Saturday.

But fans might be surprised to learn they won’t hear any material from “Finally Live in Portland” on stage as Braunger has recently recorded a new album.

“Finally Live in Portland” was recorded a year and a half ago, and since then, Braunger has developed a new hour of material.

He decided to record the new album, so he’d catch the material in its prime.

“I like to record them and then have them like they’re frozen in amber to preserve for all time,” Braunger said.

Between specials, Braunger has continued to release episodes of “Advice From a Dips%$#,” which evolved from his previous podcast “Ding Donger with Matt Braunger.”

“I was getting asked advice by younger comics and things like that and I was like ‘Who am I to give out any advice?’ … And it was like ‘OK, there you go,’ ” Braunger said about the origin of the advice concept.

Braunger’s producer Amanda chooses the calls for him, so he never knows what questions to expect.

Though as much as he loves comedy specials and doing the podcast, Braunger said there’s nothing quite like seeing a comedian live.

“People in the audience are just as important as the comedian,” he said. “It literally is even keel. One cannot exist without the other.”

Having grown up in Portland, Braunger can remember a time when Seattle got all the shine over the Rose City.

He’s excited to return to Spokane because he knows the city has dealt with the same kind of overshadowing, all the while experiencing growth others are missing out on.

“People should definitely take some time and look around and enjoy themselves before the inevitable boom comes where people start moving there and you’re resentful,” he said with a laugh. “I’m glad to not only come but to do two shows, which is really rad.”