Read on esquire.com
The most famous ankle on the Internet, at least this week, belongs to Matty Clark, a 36-year-old male from Denver, Colorado. Less than 24 hours after Katy Perry’s backup-dancing shark stole the Super Bowl halftime show, Clark had the shark’s likeness tattooed on his leg. We caught up with Clark over GChat this afternoon while he was in the basement of the Hi-Dive, a small bar and music venue that he co-owns in Denver. He also plays guitar in Zebroids, a garage-rock band that typically performs with at least one member wearing a zebra head on stage.
But we’re here to talk sharks.
Have people been calling/hounding you these past couple days?
A little bit, not too bad, though. My Facebook feed is a nightmare.
What sort of things are people posting?
Just links to the different websites carrying the story, because there are so many of them. Also people giving me shit and wanting to know when the next nip slip is gonna occur so my leg gets off their feeds.
What did you make of the halftime show? Are you a Katy Perry fan?
I’m not sure I’m a fan, but I like a few of her songs. The halftime show made me wish I did drugs.
How long did it take you to decide to go get the tat? And whose idea was it in the first place?
Well, I earned the nickname Matty Shark a few years ago at a music festival when I had had a few too many and started biting my friends and yelling, “I’m Matty Shark, bitch!” I don’t really remember that happening but the nickname stuck. So when the sharks came out during the halftime show, almost immediately after people were texting me and Facebooking me the initial memes. One person who put up a meme on my Facebook is Rene Cordero, a tattoo artist here in town that has tattooed me before, and I just commented, “Tattoo it on me.” The next morning (Monday) he sent me the sketch and I came in later that afternoon. Honestly, not much thought there. I already have a few shark tattoos, so it was just another to add to the collection.
How many other tattoos do you have?
I have more tattoos than I can count, really.
Did you fall for “left shark” like the rest of the country? Or was he just another shark to you? Really hard-hitting questions, I know.
Hahaha. Well when I first saw it, I had the opposite reaction. I was like, Yo, the one on the right is nailing it! In 20 years he’ll probably be just another shark, and that’s fine. People are like, “Why get a tattoo of this stupid meme?” And I just think, at the end of the day, it’s still pretty sweet. I have a tattoo of Tim Tebow Tebow-ing on my other ankle, so left shark is completely in my wheelhouse. I do have nice artwork on me, but a couple of party tattoos never hurt anyone.
That’s a good perspective. What did your friends and family say when they saw the story floating around?
I think that no one is surprised that I got the tattoo. It’s just a bonus that it was all over the Internet. It’s pretty funny walking into my usual bars around town and having people give me a hard time and want to see it. I’ll let my ankle have its time in the sun.
Would you consider this your 15 minutes of fame? Do you feel like the story, itself, has jumped the shark?
I guess so? Of all the things in my life I’ve accomplished, there’s probably some weird irony that it’s a silly tattoo that has gained me any sort of notoriety. I do feel like in a month it’ll be like, What was that thing from the Super Bowl?
What is that red stuff behind the shark?
Mostly a coverup of a bad stick and poke that was right where the shark was to fit. It’s just kind of supposed to be an accent. It’s actually more of an orange.
As a resident of landlocked Colorado, what is your prior relationship with sharks?
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I grew up wanting to be a marine biologist. Sixteen-year-old me would be baffled by 36-year-old me. We live where?! Where the fuck is Denver?!
Do you watch Shark Tank?
I don’t. It was recently explained to me, though. I don’t watch much television outside of the big marquee stuff everyone watches.
Do you plan to make any media appearances during Shark Week this year?
If they need me, I will be there! I love Shark Week!