By Al Bahmani
From “The Buttoned Down Mind of Bob Newhart” to Mitch Hedberg’s “Strategic Grill Locations” to Louis CK’s “Live in Houston” to Doug Stanhope’s “Something to Take The Edge Off” and “Die Laughing”, many great comics chose Houston, Texas to recorded albums. On December 27th 2014 at Rudyard’s Pub Andy Huggins joins their ranks.
A skilled journey man artisan at the art of joke telling Andy Huggins has written for virtually everyone from Bill Hicks to Jay Leno to Billy Crystal on The Academy Awards. He’s performed and toured for many like Ray Charles, The Mamas and the Papas, Eric Burdon of “The Animals”, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks and Billy Gardell. When he began at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles he also shared the stage with Jay Leno, David Letterman, Robin Williams and Steve Martin. Outside of stand up comedy, Andy has also acted in multiple theater productions and local films. Andy was featured heavily in the critically acclaimed documentary “American: The Bill Hicks Story”. Ask any Houston comic and they will testify that Andy Huggins is the heart and soul of Houston Comedy.
“I consider Andy Huggins one of Houston’s great comics, and certainly one of the hardest workers in this business. He is proof that you never give up on the talent that you have, he continues to write and is always ready to help anyone getting started, or already in the business of comedy. I am happy to call him friend and fellow comic.”
“He’s a Houston treasure, if he hasn’t received the honor yet, he deserves it. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him. He’s a friend, a mentor and one of the finest comics this city’s produced.”
“He’s the one person who aspires to be an honorable member of the scene, he’s the person who should have an he ego, but he doesn’t have that. He’s so humble and kind. He’s the only person at the beginning and the end of every night helps me move tables.”
“He’s generally open hearted with anyone that would ask him for advice. He’s one of the few people that offered me advice on my comedy career that’s helped. I owe a lot to him to getting me where I am now. He’s incredible, he’s a destroyer and I try to put him on as much things as I can.”
“Andy is to this generation of Houston comics what William S. Burroughs is to the Beat Generation, he’s a window in time to a part of Houston Comedy history that this city has forgotten.”
So you’re recording your first album?
I’m recording a live cd. This will recording will be about thirty five minutes. About more than a feature yet less than a headliner. It’s the first ever album I’ve done. I’m looking forward to it. This is a mix of new material and old material. I’ve been constantly writing and constantly adding stuff. The core of it is stuff I’ve been working on for a while. One reason to do it is to have a permanent record.
Rudyard’s is just such a great comfortable room. There is something about a smaller room, an intimacy to it as opposed to an arena. You can hear the ice glasses clinking. That’s the sound I want. I don’t know how to describe it. I just want to be able to hear that intimacy.
So where did you start Houston or Los Angeles?
The first time I went on stage was in Virginia, 1977/1978 I wasn’t a comic back then, I was the only person there who wanted to do comedy. I moved to Los Angeles in 78. I got really lucky and caught on as a regular at the Comedy Store. Then in 1981, I met a couple of Houston guys, Jimmy Pineapple, Riley Barber and Bill Hicks and they said there was more stage time in Houston than there was in LA. One by one they came back to Houston and persuaded me to join them. And there was and I came and that’s that.
What makes Houston a unique spawning ground for comedians?
That’s a good question. I don’t know. Initially the Comedy Workshop back in the mid 80’s it drew a lot of talent because it was the only place like it in probably four or five different states. Jimmy Pineapple came over from Louisiana. Sam Kinison came down from Oklahoma. And then there was a lucky happenstance. I don’t know if there was anything specific. You know the economy was good. There was a certain enthusiasm about Houston itself and anything Houston. Other than that, I don’t know if there was anything in the water that is conducive to good comedy.
What comics should Houstonians be on the look out for?
Opening for me at Rudyards is Victor Tran. He’s good.
Zach Dickson and Jaffer Khan and Matt Han and John Nguyen and Dale Cheeseman. There’s just so many terrific comics in this town. The scene is catching on. I was just talking to one of the guys, we need a club in the loop. We all miss the Laff Stop a lot. Other than that, the talent is here and the enthusiasm is here. The economy is pretty good for Houston at the moment.
Any parting advice for that young comic just starting out?
Assuming you are funny, trust your instincts and listen to the audience. Revere the audience. It’s all about the audience. Otherwise what’s the point?
Once again “Inspired by True Events” is recording live at Rudyards, December 27th, 2014!
2 Shows No Cover No Minimum! Show -up and be a part of Houston comedy history.
Houston, Tx 77006
Also Andy will be featured at the Come & Take It Comedy Take Over at Warehouse Live January 24th-25th!