Matt Iseman always goes by one mantra, “Life is short, do what makes you happy.” It was the advice one of his family members gave him when Matt quit medicine to pursue stand-up comedy.
Those words still guide Matt and might be the reason he has never given up, no matter what. Iseman’s story, from his early childhood to changing his career path to winning four Emmy nominations, is inspirational.
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Raised in a Family of Four
Matt was born on January 22, 1971, in Denver, Colorado, to his dad, Mike Iseman, and Joan Iseman (nee Christensen). He grew up with his brother, Thomas Iseman, with whom he shares an amazing bond.
Matt’s dad was a renowned pulmonologist and tuberculosis expert who had gone to Princeton University. He also served two years in US Navy in Hawaii and eventually settled in Denver to practice medicine and raise his family.
Matt’s parents were married for almost six decades. He often wished them on the occasion of their anniversary.
Unfortunately, his dad passed away on November 20, 2022, after a short battle with cancer. It was a tough time for the Iseman family.
Matt Iseman Went To Medical School
Born to a world-renowned pulmonologist, the comedian initially decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps. He went to Princeton University from 1989 to 1993. He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History.
Side by side, the Denver native also participated in baseball. While his dad had started as running back for three years on the Tigers football team, Matt earned Ivy League baseball immortality on March 31, 1993.
It happened when he combined with two other pitchers to throw a no-hitter in a 4-0 win against Manhattan College. After graduating from Princeton, the time came for him to attend medical school.
Matt took the decision not because he had a passion for helping people but “because I looked around, and I saw my dad loved medicine. He’s probably the person I respect the most. I thought it’d be a good career, and I thought it was what I was meant to do.”
Thus, Matt went to Columbia Univesity vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He graduated with honors earning MD in Internal Medicine.
Changed His Career Path
Initially, Matt enjoyed med school and its intellectual challenge. However, when he started residency, he realized people’s lives were in his hands.
That’s when he started questioning himself, “Am I giving these people the kind of care that I would want to receive?’ More so than a lot of careers, medicine’s a calling where you really have to give a lot of yourself to it. I felt I wasn’t doing that.”
At the same time, he also felt he had a greater passion for comedy. So, Matt disclosed his feeling to his parents at a Chinese restaurant. To the opposite of what he believed would happen, his dad’s first words were, “Life is short. Do what makes you happy.”
After that, Matt decided to take some time off. At that time, he connected with his high school friend, Brad Nieder.
Brad and Matt once played the Saturday Night Live sketch characters “Hans and Franz” roles to entertain the audience and classmates during their high school graduation ceremony.
His Career In Comedy Brought Him Much-Required Fame
Matt Iseman used to go to a few open mic nights to support Brad Nieder, who was giving stand-up comedy a try while living in New York. Soon, Matt felt the urge to go on stage himself.
With no idea of what to do with their futures, the duo returned to Denver. While Nieder decided to start medical school, Matt went to LA. Prior to moving there, he had only performed at random open mics around town.
So, he chose to do stand-up for a year. After that, he rapidly worked his way up from the ranks of a newcomer accepting a few minutes of stage time to a national headliner at comedy clubs across the nation.
The comedian also worked with the improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings, and in 2002, he became a full-time professional comedian.
Hey DENVER, wrap up 2022 with me telling jokes @ComedyWorks at the Landmark location less than a mile from where I grew up. Thursday, Friday and New Year’s Eve!— Matt Iseman (@mattiseman) December 28, 2022
Tix here: https://t.co/SomUWvO3yw pic.twitter.com/vBJS7Uv0Fk
As a comedian, Matt went on to achieve immense fame and success. As of now, he has been actively working on television shows.
Matt Iseman’s Net Worth From Comedy and TV Career
The comedian has hosted several game shows like E! Network’s Sports Soup and Style Network’s Clean House. For his work in the latter, he won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class.
Furthermore, Matt starred as Go To Guy in the TV series Clean House Comes Clean and Messiest Home from 2007 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011, respectively. In 2011, he narrated the TV series Dumbest Stuff on Wheels for a year.
Matt has hosted American Ninja Warrior since 2010 and Live Rescue since September 2019.
He has also made appearances in episodes of the TV series General Hospital, NCIS, The League, Hot in Cleveland, Act-Anon, etc.
All these TV works might have paid him well, which is why Matt’s net worth is $2 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Matt now enjoys quality time with his family. He is also actively involved in his professional ventures.