Five minutes of fame: OV’s take on Austin’s thriving comedy scene

maggie maye comedy

Silence your cell phones, please.

When you think of cities for comedy, the big ones that pop up are New York, L.A., Chicago. These are the biggest cities in America, and yet the Austin comedy scene has launched some of the greatest comedians of the last thirty years, including Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks.

And the opportunities here are endless. Sketch comedy, open mics, booked shows, shows in bars, shows in people’s houses. It’s everywhere here, and it’s growing. Open mics and comedy clubs are popping up everywhere, and as venues increase, the performers increase along with it. This influx has brought some of the funniest people in the state out into the spotlight.

maggie mayeMaggie Maye, an Austin comedy veteran and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, runs Schtick, a comedy open mic on Mondays. She was recently featured on Conan.

rob gagnonRob Gagnon, sketch comedy wizard and all-around hilarious guy, has been bringing his genius to the Yellow Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest and the equally funny New Movement improv crew.

I’ve been bouncing around and doing shows on and off for three years now, and there seems to this unique, living environment here. Each open mic offers its own sort of special experience — something inherently its own. Some bar venues get rowdy, patrons wanting to be a part of the show by laughing with you or laughing at you, and both are not always good, but almost always entertaining to someone. Some coffee shop venues are a great place to gauge new material and perfect your crowd work if that’s your thing.

Overall, the Austin comedy scene is a reflection of its growing population and the birth of new businesses and venues. I guess the only thing left for you to do is find out if you are really as funny as your coworkers say you are.