Hold on to your butts, because you might be laughing them off when Austin's newest television spectacle hits the scene. ATX Uncensored(ish) is our city's first — and only — late-night comedy show, coming to The CW Austin network this fall.
Host Brian Gaar promises only one thing: "We're going to be making fun of anything and everything that happens in Austin."
The semi-official term for the format is "news satire," although the show will be a free-flowing mixture of monologues from Gaar (think late-night television), man-on-the-street bits with correspondents (reminiscent of The Daily Show), round-table segments with guests, and recorded chunks from a monthly live show at Spider House Ballroom.
From the get-go, ATX Uncensored(ish) and its parent station will be catering to the online audience by posting the best bits on the show's website. "I want it to be the kind of thing where we're going to chop up the segments and put it online," Gaar tells CultureMap. "The kind of thing where people share on Facebook with their friends when they get to work."
Gaar is the journalist-turned-comedian-turned-host of ATX Uncensored(ish). The local comic has received a lot of recognition for the hilarity he regularly spews on his Twitter account and has been deemed a must-follow by the likes of Playboy and Paste magazines. Although he has been performing stand up in Austin for seven years, this is his first foray into television — before this, he was a business reporter with the Austin American-Statesman for nearly a decade.
So how does he feel about the transition to television? "Scared," Gaar jokes. "It's scary and it's intense, and I know the first month we'll probably be living at the station."
In all seriousness, Gaar is excited about CW Austin giving him and the rest of the show's team full creative license to explore the bevy of topics in Austin that are just asking to be made fun of.
"I think this is the perfect town to launch something like this. Everyone has funny stuff going on. Austin, No. 1, has a great sense of humor. And it has a ton of talent," says Gaar.
Gaar is joined by his crew of correspondents: local comedian Kath Barbadoro of Master Pancake fame and Illinois comic Joe Barlow. The show will also tap the seemingly endless wealth of stand-up comedians, improv artists, and genuinely funny people around town.
And that's what Gaar really wants (more than "hosting a comedy show for a fifth-place network") — to create a springboard of Austin comedy from which top local talent can launch.
"I want this to become an Austin institution, so one day — when we're all gone — another comic will come and take over. It will be one more outlet for comics in Austin. It's a sign of how far Austin has come as a comedy town," says Gaar. "That's our secret weapon. We have the Austin comedy scene."
ATX Uncensored(ish) will hit home screens Monday, September 28, running nightly during the week on The CW Austin. For the weekend, a "best of" show will air after Saturday Night Live. ATX Uncensored(ish)'s live comedy show at Spider House Ballroom will take place monthly, with the next one scheduled for Thursday, October 1.