Maybe you’ve heard about Austin’s excellent stand-up scene. Maybe you are a fan of standup comedy and maybe you’re interested in checking out your city’s staggeringly rich scene of amateur, professional and semi-profesh comedians.
You’ve heard of the Funniest Person in Austin contest at Cap City and you know that the finals are a great show. You’ve seen or heard about past winners performing around town. You’re interested. There is now a problem: There are more than 12 good comedians, in town and the FPIA finals only happen annually. Where do you go?
Stand-up open mics are all over the city and new ones keep popping up everyday. They are always cheap or free and they’re great if, in order to get to the geniuses trying out new stuff, you don’t mind seeing some lunatics with diarrhea stories. So, where do you go to see the good, local stuff?
They are always cheap or free and they’re great if, in order to get to the geniuses trying out new stuff, you don’t mind seeing some lunatics with diarrhea stories.
Last Gas Comedy is a great start. They keep calendars of comedy events and post news items so everything you should know about the local comedy scene is in one place. So once you know what you’re looking for, you can certainly find it there, but what are your best bets in Austin? Luckily, Matt Bearden and Brian Gaar have sifted through the open mics so you don’t have to.
PUNCH! is Cap City’s weekly standup showcase, hosted and curated by Bearden. Featuring local or once-local, now-touring comedians, PUNCH! is one show in Austin where you’ll never have to worry about . You will still see some comedy novices, but they are more like prodigies than cringeworthy first attempts at comedy.
It’s Always Funny with Brian Gaar is a promise. Every Friday, the Velveeta Room boasts an impressive lineup of local comedians hosted by one of the best comedians and hosts in the city. It’s Always Funny often books a touring headliner with some former connection to Austin comedy.
There is no shortage of live comedy in Austin, but it can be a challenge to find a show that you want to come back to. These showcases are consistently good and cheaper than just about anything else you might find to do on a Friday or Tuesday night. I encourage fans of standup to check out other showcases like Live at Coldtowne and the Velv & Cap City open mics, but when you want to see polished sets from brilliant local talent, this is where to start.