Written by Warren Wright
Edited by Al Bahmani
“Nothing is better than a live stand up show. At a stand up show you’ll get more laughs in 15 minutes than you would for an entire movie. And if you play your cards right, you can come home with a comic.”
“I love comedy, but I’ve never been to a show”. is something that I’ve seen so many fellow Houstonians say. “Get on it!” is my advice to them.
Good comedy does two things to people. For one, a good bit can leave a lasting and pleasant impression. But the most importantly it makes you forget your problems for about 15 minutes or so.
When someone is on stage rattling off jokes, it’s hard to worry about jobs or bills; disappointed bosses or crummier disappointed family members. Good comedy isn’t forgotten. It’s an almost narcotic-like escape. Not bad for five, six bucks a hit.
I don’t remember much about being 18, I don’t want to. What do I remember?
I remember marking my calendar for Sundays when my favorite comics would drop a new special. I remember buying improv tickets 9 months in advance to see Bill Burr. I remember waiting 5 months to see Brian Regan. I remember when i was 15, I had recorded a comic on Tivo talking about getting high and watching porn. I remember my family laughing in unison.
Five years later, I remember seeing a guy who would go on to become my favorite local act talking in detail about pornography at a Tea House, with an audience laughing, helpless to stop him. I remember going 3 days without sleep, riding 4 hours into Austin to do 4 minutes of stand up at Cap City.
“We do it because we loved it and couldn’t live without it”.
Ask a comic “Why we do what we do?”. We don’t want your money. (A few bucks thrown our way would be appreciated.) We don’t want your feedback for our new premises. (Constructive feedback is appreciated too.) We just want to try our damnedest to make you forget your crappy boss, ex, in laws, kids or situation.
A good stand up comic loves what they do. We wait hours on end for that stage time. We go over our jokes in our heads while we wash dishes at chain restaurants. We play open mic shows like they’re Saturday night at the Improv because the opportunity to make you laugh is our Saturday night.
“The Houston scene is a young and hungry scene, a dope scene.”
According to most comics, since there is no industry in Houston, the city is just a training ground for comics to “get good and leave”, and making money off of comedy here is out of the question. To me, a lack of industry attention in Houston is the best thing that could’ve happened to the scene. Houston comedy is the 1980’s LA Punk Scene.
We have been left on our own: a cult of hungry comedians eager to get better and ultimately make you laugh; even if it’s in an abandoned house-turned alt venue at 4 am in the morning. We might not make much money; some nights we don’t even break even. The lack of compensation for our jokes does not deter us. In the past six months alone we’ve witnessed a boom in DIY: comics spending their own money booking rooms (or abandoned houses) just to give their good friends the stage time they deserve. We make fliers on our iPads and thumbtack them to our walls. Sure we’d like to be rich and famous, but our hearts our filled with joy when a random group of people straggle into the room out of curiosity. We do it all for them.
Like the LA Punk Scene in the 1980’s, we got some pretty cool shows to check out for 6 bucks, as well.
You should come out one night. Its only 6 bucks. Fuck that pack of cigarettes. Make some memories instead.
Please go into further detail about how the Houston comedy scene is anything at all like the 80s LA punk scene.