He has steadily spiraled down over the years thanks to the actions of the Gang: leaving the priesthood, becoming homeless, various drug addictions (namely cocaine, crack and PCP), having his legs broken, having his throat slashed, being left blind in one eye, covered in scars from a dog, and having the left side of his face covered in burns. He has been in love with Dee Reynolds his entire life and is often lured into schemes and traps by the Gang under the deception of getting a date with her.
Cricket now spends his days as a drug-addicted homeless man on the streets, often turning tricks in the scrap metal yard (in exchange for a six pack of beer or equivalent), where he is frequently raped by feral dogs.
Matthew Mara is the son of Jack Mara, owner of a construction supply company. He has a brother named Davey. ("A Cricket's Tale")
Cricket wore humiliating giant leg braces while he was in high school with the Gang, hence his nickname. He had an enormous crush on Dee from their time in physical therapy together; she promised to kiss him if he ate a horse turd. After he ate the turd, she refused to kiss him since, as she says, "his breath smelled like shit." ("The Gang Exploits A Miracle")
Cricket has a Master's in Theology. ("The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)")
Mac and Dennis have been teabagging Cricket at every opportunity since high school. Dennis claims that he has a shoebox full of pictures of him and Mac doing this, and that pictures are surfacing on the Internet. ("Mac and Dennis: Manhunters")
Rickety Cricket is able to run very quickly, and jump high distances in a very athletic manner. He was able to easily evade Dennis and Mac when they were attempting to manhunt him, even after his legs were broken by the mob and had healed. ("Mac and Dennis: Manhunters")
Rickety was a priest and still harbored his high-school crush on Sweet Dee. They tried to get him to bless an image of the Virgin Mary that had appeared in the bar. Rickety agreed to quit the priesthood for Dee, but she was only flirting with him because Frank insinuated that she couldn't will him into blessing the water stain. Despite having his life potentially ruined by this, he agrees to teabag an unconscious Dennis to cheer himself up. ("The Gang Exploits A Miracle")
Dee and Charlie find Cricket on the street, and initially believe him to have rejoined the priesthood before they see people giving him change, revealing he's now homeless. Charlie tells Cricket that he can move into Dee's apartment in exchange for his help with dealing cocaine on the streets, but they get him hooked on cocaine, which causes him to spend all the money he gets on a pair of trash cans that he uses to write a musical. The Gang uses Cricket as a scapegoat when the mob boss hears one of them came onto his wife, so Cricket is dragged away to have his legs broken. He's later seen singing with his legs taped up, before Peter Nincompoop runs past him. ("The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2)")
When Charlie accidentally puts Paddy's up as the prize for a dance marathon contest, Cricket enters, hoping to win for revenge, and willing to team up with The Waitress to do so. He has bionic legs (as a result of the beating he took from the mob mentioned above) but they fail him and he loses the contest. He continues to help Frank scheme to win, as he wants to see "the streets run red" with the Gang's blood, and ends up breaking Dee's kneecaps by accident. ("The Gang Dances Their Asses Off")
He was hunted for sport by Mac and Dennis during their attempts at being manhunters. They lured him in to Paddy's by telling him Dee wanted to date him and gave him a head start. He parkoured away when they ran into him again. Frank convinced Cricket to help teach Mac and Dennis a lesson, but was abandoned and left in a room with Mac and Dennis, who promptly tea-bagged him. ("Mac and Dennis: Manhunters")
In Artemis' theory of who pooped Charlie and Frank's bed, she alleges that Frank had Cricket commit "fecal forgery" by imitating one of Charlie's "small, malnourished turds" so he could frame Charlie for pooping the bed. ("Who Pooped the Bed?")
A version of the character called Colonel Cricket was present in Mac, Charlie and Dennis' creative re-telling of the birth of Paddy's Pub. ("The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell") Here he is still well-groomed, and winds up getting his head blown off by a musket.
Rickety Cricket is asked by The Gang to wrestle for them in a wrestling event put on by The Gang celebrating America and the troops. He appears under the name, "The Talibum", during which he hits Dee in the face with a chair and blows sand into both Dennis and Charlie's eyes. Frank then hits him with a trashcan and, by doing so, slashes his throat, the effects of which later being audibly evident in his later appearances. ("The Gang Wrestles for the Troops")
Frank asked Rickety to appear as a guest on Dennis and Dee's podcast, being promised a rotisserie chicken but accepts a bag of lemons instead. He tells about his life as a homeless person, and how stray dogs are trying to have sex with the hole in his neck (as a result of the injury he received in "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops") He states that he doesn't believe in God anymore, "not since that Chinaman stole my kidney." He also states that he is "over" Dee, "since I found out you are a whore", and he further insults her with Frank's encouragement. He also dumps a bucket of dish water on the Waitress's head. ("Mac's Big Break")
He later appears as one of the potential dads for Dee's baby. He can be seen smoking crack in the hospital waiting room. ("Dee Gives Birth")
When a hurricane was reportedly going to hit Philadelphia, Cricket sought shelter in the Y2K bunker in Paddy's basement. Because Frank and Dee were on edge, they shot him in the hand, thinking he was a looter. He refused to go to the hospital because "they euthanize the homeless" but as he lost blood they decided to drive him there. Dee and Frank left him in the car as they went inside a store to pick up Charlie, Dennis, Mac, and the storm supplies but Cricket, after being "treated like a dog" and left in the hot car, climbed into the drivers seat and drove the Cadillac into the store. ("The Storm of the Century")
Cricket attends his high school reunion, where he is clean shaven and claims to have reentered the priesthood. He forgives Dee for what she did to him, and forgives the "cool kids" for being rude to him in high school. Later in the night, people start to notice that their jewelry is missing. Tim Murphy notices a necklace in Cricket's shirt, and then Adriano Calvanese rips his shirt off, revealing the stolen jewelry and that Cricket also has severe ringworm. The "cool kids" drag him out to the parking lot. ("The High School Reunion")
Cricket is working (and apparently living) in a dog pound. He has a very nasty looking scar over his left eye, which he says he got in a "skirmish" with a stray chocolate lab, adding, "I won't get into details, but suffice it to say that dog is very paralyzed now." He says he's doing "community service" (presumably for paralyzing the dog) at the pound now. He calls himself a "dog executioner", but it turns out that he's more of a dog janitor, cleaning shit out of the dogs' cages. He tells Charlie and Mac that he sold the German Shepherd painting that they are seeking to a dentist who was mourning the death of his own dog. Later, he allows Dennis and Dee watch one of the dogs be put down so that they can see what it is like to watch something die, to help them decide what to do with Pop-Pop. Cricket lets them pick the dog that will get put down, and then puts himself in one of the cages and begs them to put HIM down ("I deserve it"). Dee and Dennis load all the dogs, and Cricket, into Dennis' Range Rover and release them all out into the street, where Dee says that they can all die "as nature intended, slowly and painfully." ("Pop-Pop: The Final Solution")
Rickety Cricket shows up uninvited to The Gang's Thanksgiving dinner, because he heard that they would be "squashing beefs" at the dinner (though The Gang can't imagine what sort of "beef" he would have with them.) He is the only one to sign Dennis's creepy document, in exchange for eating the scraps of the dinner. They try to get Cricket to give them his remaining eye to make up for Liam getting his eye eaten at his wedding, which Liam blames The Gang for. Later, when a food fight breaks out, Liam throws a hatchet at Frank which hits Cricket in the arm. Later, after The Gang has sealed the rest of their dinner guests in the burning apartment, we hear a window break and everyone escaping through a window -- except for Cricket, who we still hear yelling for help. ("The Gang Squashes Their Beefs")
Season Ten Edit
When Mac & Charlie's old high school friend Psycho Pete shows up at the bar showing remorse for his past, they enlist Cricket to hear his confession to absolve him of his guilt. Cricket's face is very badly burned as a result of the Thanksgiving incident, which the gang has no memory of him being at. He offers to have oral or anal sex in exchange for a 6-pack of beer or crack. ("Psycho Pete Returns")
Cricket appears in a video played for the Reynolds during the show "Family Fight". The host and the audience is horrified by his burned appearance. ("The Gang Goes on Family Fight")
Season Eleven Edit
When Mac tries to demonstrate that modern art is a scam by selling Charlie's art he enlists Cricket to act as the tormented artist. All of Charlie's drawings feature depictions of the time Cricket was in a foursome with three stray dogs. When Dee reveals that Dennis was raped by their old librarian, Cricket quips that she was ugly enough where he wouldn't even bang her. ("Dee Made a Smut Film")
Season Twelve Edit
Cricket shows up at the bar asking if he can shower in their leaky urinal (just as Dee claims that she's good for the men in her life.) Later, Cricket acts as MC at a male strip show Dennis and Charlie are putting on, though his appareance horrifies the audience, not helped by his telling them the story of how his kidney was stolen by "a Chinaman." ("PTSDee")
Cricket shows up on Valentine's Day to smoke some PCP in the bar's bathroom, where he receives a warm welcome of chanting and dancing from everyone but Dennis, who angrily reminds them that they shouldn't be encouraging homeless men to do drugs in their bathroom, nor can they trick Cricket into doing free labor for them. Later, he calls Mac a chump for being gay "for free", rather than "for pay" like himself. ("The Gang Tends Bar")
After stealing a loaf of bread from a man and evading him with his parkour skills, Cricket runs into his father, Mr. Mara, who has come to get his son off the streets, clean him up, and pass his company down to him and his brother Davy. Arriving at the bar to shower in their leaky urinal (his appearance in PTSDee), Cricket takes a PCP joint he hid under the sink, but after seeing his reflection in the mirror, decides to go clean and throws it out. After a confrontation with his brother, Cricket meets Belle, a woman who takes a liking to him and wears a bell necklace, whom Cricket asks out on a date. The next day, Cricket gets a phone call from Charlie and Dennis (who have tracked him down via a GPS chip), who have a job offer for him. Cricket reluctantly accepts, as he needs cash for his date with Belle. After MCing the strip show put on at the bar, Cricket asks the Gang for his $5 but Frank throws him a bag of lemons instead. After angrily defending himself and reminding the Gang that he is actually Matthew Mara, he takes the lemons and leaves. Belle finds him on the street, and despite his grotesque manner of eating the lemons, urges him to go on their date, consisting of dancing in a park, eating spaghetti, and cuddling in a box in an alleyway. The following day, Cricket discovers that he's missed the meeting that will ensure the future of the Mara family business, and parkours out the window to change the mind of the client (accomplished by threatening to cut the man's heart out). After saving the business, Belle shows up and tells Cricket that she's running away, and gives him her bell necklace to remind her by. Cricket, saddened that he cannot come along as he's slated to run his father's business, passionately kisses Belle goodbye, only to be interrupted by his father and brother, causing him to realize that Belle is actually his father's dog. A flashback reveals that, when Cricket was throwing out the PCP joint, it landed on the ground instead, so Cricket smoked it anyway; he's been hallucinating Belle as a human woman for the past few days. Mr. Mara gives Cricket an ultimatum- either accept a final chance at straightening out, or return to the streets. The scene cuts to Cricket's arrival in The Gang Tends Bar, where he arrives at the bar to smoke PCP, being greeted happily by the Gang- showing that he has decided to give up his identity as Matthew Mara, and remain Rickety Cricket. ("A Cricket's Tale")
- One recurring theme in the series is Cricket's downward spiral: in his first appearance, he is a priest; after quitting this, he is reduced to begging on the streets. He is used by The Gang to sell cocaine for the Mob and he has his legs broken after Dennis scapegoats him - after this, he carries a vendetta against The Gang. After Frank hits him with a trashcan, he has a wound in his neck which gets infected and prevents him from speaking normally (but is quite attractive to dogs). He is later shot in the hand by Frank, and has contracted severe ringworm when he attends his high school reunion. He also seems to have become a kleptomaniac even after "returning" to being a priest, having stolen everyone's jewelry at the reunion and screaming "I have sinned!" when his thefts were discovered. He got into a skirmish with a dog which left him witha scar across his left eye leaving him blind in it. He attended The Gang's "squashing of their beefs" and got a hatchet thrown at him by Liam McPoyle. He is trapped inside Dennis and Mac's apartment when it catches fire, and while he survives the fire, it's revealed that his face is horribly scarred. He now turns tricks on the street in exchange for booze, and has been caught in dog orgies and had a toe bit off by a cat. Events such as his kidney being stolen have caused him to ponder the fact that he might die alone and unremembered, but he keeps his spirits up by smoking PCP in the bar's bathroom. His attempts at going clean and becoming Matthew Mara once again are foiled even when outside of the Gang's influence, due to smoking PCP and mistaking his father's dog for a beautiful woman who he falls in love with.
- His life was already being ruined by the Gang in their youth: He had a crush on Dee from all their time in physical therapy together (The Aluminum Monster and Rickety Cricket), which was used to make him do her math homework and to eat a horse turd to get her to kiss him (which she refused, as his breath smelled like shit). Dennis and Mac would teabag him and take pictures, which were circulated around the school and were resurfacing on the Internet years later.
- A running gag on the show is that most characters (most regularly The Gang) refer to Cricket as "street-rat" even though he seems to take great offense to it. They continued to call him so even after he claimed to have gotten clean and became a priest again.
- In Cricket's first appearances, he harbors an unrequited love for Dee, which she uses to manipulate him (and it's said that she's been doing that since they were all in high school). However, in the episode "Mac's Big Break", Cricket declares that he is "over her", calls her a whore, and since then, he doesn't appear to have any further interest in her.
- The Gang—especially Mac and Charlie—often greet Cricket with a sort of spastic little dance, accompanied by a high-pitched imitation of a cricket's chirping. Cricket does not usually enjoy it; however, by the time of "The Gang Tends Bar", he begins dancing along when the Gang chants and chirps at his arrival.
- The Gang seems to feel no sense of responsibility for what has happened to Cricket. In "The Gang Squashes Their Beefs," everyone in the Gang seems to be mystified as to what sort of "beef" he could possibly have with them. In "Psycho Pete Returns", they don't even remember him being at the Thanksgiving dinner, even though his horrible scars make it clear he was indeed there.
- Humorously enough, Cricket is one of the more amicable enemies the Gang has, despite him having arguably the most justified reason to despise them and deserve justice. He is even willing at times to be an ally in their schemes, though he still has his dignity and requires up to a full sixer to be coaxed into plans.
- As of now, season 11 is the only season where no physical harm happens to Cricket onscreen since his initial appearance in season 2. We do hear that a cat has bitten off one of his toes, however.
- Oddly, in "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops," Cricket appears much more cleaned up than he did in season 4, and is smoking with a group of other homeless people. After this episode, he goes back to his filthy look in season 6.
- All of Cricket's injuries are on the left side of his body.
- Cricket is the second-most recurring character, after the Waitress, appearing in 19 episodes of the show.
- He stole his fathers identity eight times.
- Season Two: The Gang Exploits A Miracle
- Season Three: The Gang Gets Whacked (Part 2), The Gang Dances Their Asses Off
- Season Four: Mac and Dennis: Manhunters, Who Pooped the Bed?, The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell (as "Col. Cricket")
- Season Five: The Gang Wrestles for the Troops
- Season Six: Mac's Big Break, Dee Gives Birth
- Season Seven: The Storm of the Century, The High School Reunion
- Season Eight: Pop-Pop: The Final Solution
- Season Nine: The Gang Squashes Their Beefs
- Season Ten: Psycho Pete Returns, The Gang Goes on Family Fight
- Season Eleven: Dee Made a Smut Film
- Season Twelve: PTSDee, The Gang Tends Bar, A Cricket's Tale