Chicago Comic Finds Humor in His Impotency

Chicagoan pens play inspired by medical problem

Comedians are known for using real-life situations for their material, but when Chicago's Matt Young discovered he had erectile dysfunction, it wasn't a laughing matter -- at first.

The 35-year-old actor turned this often embarrassing situation into art, in the form of the comedy stage play "Matt Young: Impotent."

When Young began going to a doctor to get help, the material started flowing.

"I was talking to a buddy in New York and telling him all about it and had him cracking up on the phone. That's when I first felt that I needed to write this," Young said.

The sketches in the play cover a number of embarrassing situations, like when a group of good-looking student doctors sat in on one of his appointments. Then there's the joy of first discovering Viagra. Or the trajectory of his sex life, and some of his uncomfortable couplings with women. After all, who hasn't heard, "geez, that's never happened before."

"You go along thinking things are working right, but then you realize you're like that guy in "Saving Private Ryan" who's walking around holding his arm, and you come to the realization that something's not right and you need to do something about it," Young said.

But aside from the inherent humor he found in his situation, Young decided to tell his story, because many men -- especially those as young as him -- often suffer in silence.

"I know it sounds cheesy, but I needed to write it because people need to know this stuff. If I'm having this problem at my age, then there's plenty of other guys going through it," Young said.

In case you're wondering, doctors were able to diagnose Young's problem as low testosterone, and he and his very supportive girlfriend are doing very well, thank you.

"Matt Young: Impotent" runs Jan. 22 through Feb. 5. at Stage Left Theatre. Tickets are $10 and can be reserved by calling (773) 263-3657 or emailing

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