Matt Baker juggles talents, performs at Veishea

Cole Komma

From juggling to jokes, Matt Baker has serious chops. Through hard work and perseverance, Baker has made a name for himself which has led him to traveling the world and appearing on TV shows such as “America’s Got Talent” and “Tosh.0.” At 11 p.m. April 20, 2013, and 2 a.m. April 21, Baker will bring his show to Iowa State.

Hailing from the West Coast, Baker’s stunt career began as a professional hacky sacker where he toured Europe with the first-ever American hacky sack team.

“I went pro at 17. Pretty much what that means is I started competing in world foot bag championships,” Baker said. “I did pretty well, and I got sponsored by Snickers candy bars and toured Europe for about six months doing demos.”

According to his biography, Baker flies to more than 200 performances each year. 

At one point during the tour, Baker began to incorporate humor into his acts in order to keep the crowd interested.

“In Europe, I would do a little show and I would have a translator, and I realized they just wanted funny stuff, “ Baker said. “Then when I came back [to the United States] I started integrating more unusual skills into my show because there’s only so much the audience can take of hacky sack.”

As a boy, Baker says he was always using humor as a way to gain attention from his family. Baker perfected his jokes doing open mic nights at various clubs.

“When I was 18 or 19, I toured the [United States] in my van, doing clubs. I performed basically anywhere they would have me. … That’s the best way to develop a show is to do it as many times as possible,” Baker said.

Baker’s show is so developed, in fact, that NBC’s hit show “America’s Got Talent” asked him to be on their 2010 season. According to the biography on his website, he was also voted “Seattle’s Funniest Prop Comic.” 

Also according to the biography, Baker is “a five time Guinness World Record holder. … He has made people laugh in [more than] 14 countries, had presidential candidates cracking up and has shared his humor with U.S. troops overseas.”

“You’re hip, funny and well choreographed. You’re the total package,” said previous “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan during the segment. 

After almost every show, someone will come up and talk to Baker about his career, and Baker tends to offer the classic advice of following one’s dreams.

“If I can inspire a few people do what they love to do in their life, then it’s worth it for me, because this is what I love to do,” Baker said. “These students can make money doing whatever they want. There is not one pathway to get where you’re going.”