"The Show" is the glistening brainchild of comedian and romantic, Matlock Zumsteg. In August of 1998, Matlock began writing funny words on paper, spurred by his deep love for sketch comedy. He soon realized his sketches were nothing without actors, so he, along with friends Mark Owens, Adam Aragon and his friend God, and the infamous and mysterious J.W., began performing and perfecting comedy skits in front of people at Aroma Roasters, a local coffee shop.
The response was, well, mild interest…which quickly grew into hoards of seething fans, nearly living at the coffeeshop in hopes of catching another genius performance.

In fact, Matlock met his current fiancee, Melissa Gordon at Aromas when he shoved a sheaf of his sketches under her nose. After that day she swore to love The Show (and Matlock) forevermore, and The Show gained another constiuent. Matlock had been attending theatre classes at SRJC, where he met another Show staple, Ken Haus.

Matlock then went to the Santa Rosa Media Center (shameless plug) and stole some video equipment while dressed as a Fuller Brush salesman. (Lie.)

With his new friends and resources, he filmed a sketch that aired on Public Access Channel 72: "Indifferent Man."

Matlock worked at the fabulous Round Table Pizza at this point, a fine establishment that led him to Stephan Boules, a budding comedy writer. The Show consisted of Matlock, Mark, Adam, God, Ashe Joyner (who thought we hated him,) Stephan, JJ (The Prick,) Melissa, and the amazing musical/comedic genius of Logan Whitehurst, and various combinations of these met at Lyon's Restaurant sporadically to go over new sketches and schedule film dates. Jeff Towery was recruited from Aromas' around this time, and The Show's new headquarters was Adam's scummy little Winnebago parked next his mom's house. It was the Trailer of Death, and it ushered in a whole slew of random Show footage, including night trips to San Francisco, solo dating service characters from Matlock, and a bunch of new sketches, most of which were lost when the crew went out for a smoke break at Lyon's, and a waiter tossed them in the trash. The Show seemed cursed. A few sketches were filmed, including Capitan Jim, but going was slow.

At this point, Logan and Matlock recorded some random audio clips and sketch "Capitan Jim" in Logan's studio. Logan's career was looking up, but even he couldn't breathe new life into The Show.
Matlock got his own large penthouse apartment in East Santa Rosa, and in March of 2000 came up with the idea of holding auditons to gather more talented, and hopefully motivated new Show members.

We, being at this point Matlock, Mark, Ken, Melissa, and Jeff, decided to see how much local talent we could rally under the gazebo in Santa Rosas' Howarth Park. The turnout was surprising, in a good way. We got at least thirty people throughout the day, and of that, we recruited nine outstandingly talented new Show members. We were impressed that so many sincerely talented people were interested in little ol' us! The first was Kelly McKay, a former sketch comedy troupe writer and performer, who we think just might be Kerry Kenny from MTV's The State in disguise. (She looks just like her.) Next, we were honored by the presence of Michael Olsen, talented comedy writer and actual college graduate, whose wife is an assitant DA (kinda awkward with all The Show members that support Prop. 215, if ya know what I mean.) And then there was the fascinating animation spectacle put on by John Harden, whose audition was a videotape of his animated story about a boy and his chainsaw. The Show was in love. Also added to the roster was Mr. Professional Stand-Up Comedian Ross Turner, who Matlock ended up stalking for a while. Then there was Tim Fisher, whose story we will not go into here (he owes us money,) and Erin Lane, one of the world's funniest women. Jeff Hollis showed up to help out, and we lured him in too. And foxy redhead Steven Thomas seduced us with his awkward wit, so we hired him too. Ian McDavid, who later ended up being in the Rocky Horror Picture Show with us, sang a song from Grease for his audition, and the attempt was so cute we had to have him.

More tried out, but we had to choose the ones that stood out as being particularly original and naturally talented. No offense to everyone else who tried out, but you guys sucked. You were funny to watch though, and we thank you for your time. Please don't kill us.

So this new assemblage of Sonoma County's best met collectively at Round Table Pizza for the first ever real professional Show meeting, complete with pizza and drinks. It was intimidating, but the group proved they could work (and eat) in a sort of crazy flow together, so hope was regained.

Meetings continued at our upstairs apartment, which unfortunately was located directly above the manager. He just loved our late night rehearsals, where screaming half naked men would leap around on the balcony at three in the morning. Somehow, slowly, with the help and patience of all involved (and a couple grand in equipment from Matlocks'loving mom,) the first episode was finally completed.

It aired on Public Access 72 six times between October 8th and 20th of 2002.

It is now for rent at any of the three Sonoma County Video Droid video stores, and is currently paying off our late fees at said store.

The Show is now reconnecting and hopes to have a brand new episode out within the next year. The script looks good, and what with all the learning we've been doing, it should be a good one.

Recently The Show has had some brushes with fame. Steve Martin, comedy God, was in the Aromas' parking lot filming his latest movie "Cheaper by the Dozen." We stayed up all night, and waited there for him to show. Matlock circled the set like a rabid dog, The Show Episode One VHS in hand, waiting for his chance. Finally, Steve was caught alone, and Matlock not only got his signature, he actually gave him the tape. Maybe Steve is watching it right now. We like to think so.

Our friend Jared also got a copy to Mr. Show star David Cross. Matlock almost wet himself when he heard that. The Show is out there...let's hope Hollywood is ready.

-Melissa Gordon, Head Editor, The Show

We're always accepting applications for local video crew and prop people in the vicinity of Santa Rosa, Ca., and writers are free to apply no matter where you live. Please email for further instructions. We're available for questions, interviews, and often coffee, if you "need to talk."