Matt Horgan and Tim Stoltenberg have been working together on and off for more than 15 years. They first met while performing at Atlanta’s Dad’s Garage Theatre — Horgan still reps the ATL, while Stoltenberg keeps it funny in L.A.

As far as the comedy scenes in both places, Stoltenberg says the makeup is inherently different because “why people do improv changes from community to community. In L.A. it’s more about getting seen. I think in Atlanta and Charleston it’s about the love of the art form.” Horgan concurs: “I can say that one of the nice things about the improv scene in Atlanta is that you don’t have the carrot of SNL hanging over everyone’s heads, so if people get into improv here, it’s generally because they simply love it and want to perform. It’s certainly not for the money! I would imagine Charleston is pretty similar.”

In Grampa Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ol’ Days, Horgan and Stoltenberg play a curmudgeon and his grandson. They sometimes switch it up, but it’s usually Horgan playing the grandpa. A character he’s totally happy with, by the way: “I generally start out as Grampa, just because it seems like I’m more believable as a cranky old geezer. Though I think each year Tim spends in L.A. makes him grumpier, so he’s catching up with me there.” After more than a decade together, despite the time difference, the two are pretty in sync.

“That amount of time together on stage and the chemistry it creates leads you to trust each other implicitly,” says Horgan. “You also generally gain a pretty good understanding of where the other guy is coming from. If Tim brings out an offer in a scene, I can typically figure out what kind of awful joke he’s aiming for, and now I can do my part to make it even more awful and vice versa. In other words, if one of us starts the car rolling down a steep, dangerous hill, the other will typically cut the brakes. It’s an old comedy rule, but we definitely try and live by it in this show — make bad situations worse.”

If by bad to worse they mean funny to hilarious, then yes, they’re nailing that. When asked how and when he knew he was destined for comedy, Stoltenberg’s comedic timing is on the nose: “I got into comedy because I was the last child of three boys. I grew up on small farm and my father would always ask the kids when something went wrong. So, if the lawnmower was smoking he asked the first kid, who was the smart one, ‘Why is the lawnmower smoking?’ and [the oldest] would give an intellectual answer: ‘It may be a leak in the engine.’ Dad would ask the middle child, the forgotten one, and he would feel he was being blamed so he’d answer in denial. ‘It wasn’t me. I don’t know. I didn’t do it.’ And when it came to me, I got to add the punchline. ‘Why is the lawnmower smoking? Because it started hanging out with a bad crowd and wanted to look cool.’ Comedy works in threes, and I was the third.”

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