The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is cannonballing into Austin's comedy pool this coming Tuesday. You don't want to be caught without your suit on when the big 10th anniversary cabana party gets started.
With over 500 performers vying for your attention in 80 different shows at four venues throughout the week, it's exhausting thinking about getting out to see all of them. What's a people-pleasing, schedule-obsessed comedy lover to do?
First, go to therapy. You can't ever please everyone. We'll recommend a good one if you need.
Second, talk to the comedy experts who know the ins and outs of the Festival. And since it'd be a pain having to first hunt them all down to ask them, we did the work for you. (You're welcome.)
Assembled are some recommendations from some of the minds behind Out of Bounds as well as from some of the performers themselves.
Courtney Hopkin - Girl Embassy World Team (Wed 8pm), Snackers (Wed 9:30pm), Your Terrific Neighbors (Fri 7pm), All-Star Stool Pigeon (Sat 12am) :
Improv For Evil
is performing the "Time Hobo" format they've been talking about for a long time. Just like it sounds, it's a show based on a hobo traveling through time. It's been a running joke forever, so we'll see how it finally plays out on stage. (Wed 8pm)
I'm also excited for Audience of Two
. They're a great sketch troupe from NYC and they're very funny, very off the wall and super lovable. (Fri 9pm)
is two adult women and a 9-year-old girl doing improv.
The lottery on Monday is always interesting, too. This year Uncle's Brother
will be the ones to pick audience members who entered a drawing to play with them during their show.
Oh, and FUCT
. FUCT is insane. You don't know if you'll get nudity, crudity or if you'll see the performers abused onstage. If you're lucky, you'll get all three.
Shannon McCormick - Get Up (Fri 7:30), All-Star Maestro (Fri 12am), OoB Board of Directors:
is at the top of the list for me. I saw his troupe The Doubtful Guests a few years ago in LA, and it was one of the most eye opening improv sets I've ever seen. He'll be guesting with a ton of local and national stalwarts late Sunday night and will be the hip "you have to be there" show among the improvisers from here and out of town. (Sat 10pm)
on Friday night. Bob Dassie is an awesome improviser. Stephanie Weir was on MadTV and a lot of people will recognize her. They are married. I've never seen them play together before, but I'm really looking forward to it. (Fri 10:45pm)
Everybody in Austin loves Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting
from New York. This is because Leah and Katie are a couple of seriously funny ladies. They've been coming to the Ladies Are Funny Festival for several years now, and I'm stoked that they'll be here for their first Out of Bounds. (Thu 9:30pm)
Actually, I'm stoked, like every year, that I get to see friends who only make it to Austin once or twice a year, who are either ex- or honorary members of the Ausitn improv scene. People in troupes like TuskeegeeXperiment
(Fri 7:30pm), Nerdvana
(Fri 9pm), K.C. Redheart
(Thu 9pm), etc.
Erica Lies - The Asides (Tue 9:30pm):
My recommendations for the Fest start with the Switchboard
show on Saturday night. Switchboard is comprised of improv veterans from Chicago and L.A., and they're an amazing singing character-based trio. All three have such virtuosity as performers, and combined with their comedic abilities, it makes for a show that you won't want to end. (Sat 10:30pm)
Audience of Two
is doing a sketch show on Friday at 11pm. They're a New York duo that runs the gamut from realistic to absurd with strong writing and committed characters. (Fri 11pm)
Friday night, there's a great two-for one show, too. Drum Machine
is an astounding one-woman improvised musical show done by Jill Bernard. And afterward, Hunicutt and Grace
are veteran performers from some of the best improv ensembles performing today. (Fri 8pm)
The Sunday night show at the State Theatre with Boom Chicago and Uncle's Brother
will be huge as well. Boom Chicago is a Second City-style sketch revue that performs in Amsterdam, and Uncle's Brother is... well, it's Tim Meadows
. Duh. (Sun 9pm)
Jeremy Lamb - Available Cupholders (Fri 9pm), OoB Executive Producer:
On top of the fact that seeing Tim Meadows live is totally awesome - I mean the guy is an SNL legend - the group he plays with, Uncle's Brother,
has two other extremely hilarious dudes in it, too. This show consistently sells out in Chicago and LA, for good reason.
Greg Proops in Gorilla Improv
. It'll be cool to see Greg Proops showing off his shortform improv chops which were, of course, previously showcased over the past couple decades on the English and American versions of Whose Line is it Anyway?
I'm just curious to see what kind of vest he wears. (Sun 7pm)
OoB Roast of Tom Booker
. This is the first year we're roasting someone in the festival, and Tom is the perfect guy to take all our abuse. We have a lot of fun stuff planned. This is my most anticipated show. (Thu 12am)
Confidence Men w/ FUCT.
This may be the oddest pairing in the festival. One group does an improvised David Mamet play, the other is big spectacle sketch comedy from New York done by the smartest, dirtiest fools you'll ever see. This pairing is also guaranteed to contain the most f-bombs in the history of Out of Bounds. (Sat 10pm)
Kerri Lendo - Opening for Greg Proops (Sat 8pm), OoB Standup Producer
All of the standup shows at the Velveeta Room
are $5.00 on Wednesday night. It's an all-local lineup, but you'll see some faces that don't always get a chance to perform here in Austin. Plus, Mary Jo Pehl is performing, and she used to be on Mystery Science Theater 3000
. (Wed 9pm and 10:30pm)
There is not a ton of sketch groups at OoB this year, but we do have the hugely talented Your Terrific Neighbors
. They'll be performing with two groups from Chicago that I have heard good things about as well. (Fri 7pm)
Later in the week, we also have a collection of comics who just broke big or are just about to break big in standup. The Friday show
is a good one to catch a combination of both. It has Ramin Nazer who is local and just went to the Just For Laughs festival. You've also got Matt Koff who writes for the Onion. One of the acts a lot of people have been talking about is Victor Vanado, who's done just about every late night show you can name. (Fri 9:30pm)
Literally, there is something for everyone at OoB. Except for maybe people offended by occassional nudity, foul language, misogyny, monkey torture, and child labor. [Editor's note: Out of Bounds Comedy Festival does not endorse monkey torture.]