Currently it’s a two day comedy festival. It will grow next year, ideally it will be four days. It’s a two day comedy festival from 4pm in the afternoon to one in the morning. in all three rooms in Warehouse Live! Each room is a different venue.
All Stand Up?
It’s not strictly all stand ups. There are going to be podcasts, potential movie interruptions, improvisation, and even some burlesque.
So who’s going to be on it?
Maria Bamford, Todd Barry, Kevin McDonald & many many more.
Wow! Those are some really big names. When can you announce them?
I can’t announce it until October 7th.
And what Houston Comics are on it?
As soon as I’m locking in larger talent first. I’ll start announcing the locals.
Open mics are like slaughterhouses. We all want the meat, but few of us have the guts to get down on that killing floor to witness the carnage and appreciate the process. Beautiful jokes are prime cuts of expertly carved funny meat. What ends up on your plate is the end result of a long gruesome undertaking, which is the practice required to hone the skill to make it look so easy. When people see Louis CK, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman or Russell Peters perform they buy the ticket, enjoy the show and go home with those memories. They don’t see the failure that went into reaching that polished level. There is a lot of effort involved in making it look effortless, many levels to get there, and open mics are one of the most important.
To many people open mics are not seen as important. They can be excruciatingly awkward at times. Other times open mics downright offensive and even frightening. During our mic people have asked me questions;
“Is it always this misogynistic?”
“Is this mic supposed to be this offensive?”
“Do people make jokes about race a lot?”
“Do comics do a lot of homophobic material like that?”
It’s late Friday night and a comic hears a knock at his hotel room door. A half dressed cutie stands there and says, “I saw your show tonight and got so turned on that I want you to make love to me tonight!“. The comic asks, “Was it the early or the late show?“.
There is nothing a comic takes more personally than bombing. Most would rather be accused of a crime than to be exposed to the uncomfortable stares of entertainment inadequacy. You never see it coming. The Bomb assumes its position when you least expect it. There is no clue as to its arrival, no prep for its ire and certainly no remedy for its results. Pre-bomb symptoms often take on flu like qualities. They include a sudden hot flash, a tightening in your vocal area, watery eyes, confusion and that one bead of sweat that develops somewhere in the middle of your back and rolls precisely through ass crack center. No matter how physically comedic or rhetorically gifted you are nobody is outside of its realm of influence. Many years ago I performed at the HBO comedy festival in Aspen and watched George Carlin stop in the middle of a taping and opt to close a showcase show later that night because the audience just wasn’t there for him.
Somewhere over the Rainbow…. If George Carlin can bomb, why oh why can’t I.
There are many ways to handle the Bomb, but as a comic who has experienced it few times and witnessed it many, I wanted to offer a few options as to how to address the humiliation with your head held high.
“Dick Williams is one of the best people on Earth, no matter how evil he wants you to believe he is. He has been a dear friend to me and my family for as long as I’ve known him, both in Houston and in Los Angeles. Dick was great at putting together paid gigs here in Houston and always played a starring role in every fucked up story that ever happened. He’s my friend, my rabbi, my accomplice and at times my worst nightmare. Dick is one of the great unsung, underappreciated heroes of the Houston comedy scene.”
In the multiple interviews with Houston comics who were around in the 1990’s Dick
Williams’ name pops up a lot. From John Wessling; Ralphie May; Rob Mungle; Caroline Picard & Billy D. Washington; many give him credit for giving them their first paid gig. The saying goes among comics, “If anyone knows how to create a gig, it’s Dick Williams”.
“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.”
Throughout my interviews with Houston Comics who’ve been around for more than ten years, one comic’s name pops up a lot, Matt Kirsch. With a list of jokes and industry credits as big as the state of Texas, to say Matt is a Houston comic’s comic barely scratches the surface. From his Humble beginnings in the late 1990’s to present day, Matt has crossed paths with all levels of the entertainment industry. Currently Matt is in charge of Comic Relief 2.0. Matt took a moment from his busy schedule to catch up with us.
1986 after a friend had entered him into a comedy competition at Froggy Bottoms Comedy Club in Lubbock Texas Scott Kennedy started his comedy career at an open mic. Shortly after that he made Houston, Texas his comedy home. And then he moved on to Los Angeles and then to Austin.
Scott Kennedy had an impact on many lives. Look at his Facebook page and you will see how loved he was. He recently passed away. A great article by Dave Holmes was written in the Huffington Post recently highlighting his life and some of his accomplishments. There should be one more honor bestowed upon this American hero. The Presidential Citizens Medal. We can all nominate him by going to the official website. The deadline to nominate him is March 31. You need to fill out some information on the page about him.
Name: Scott Kennedy
Explanation of why he should be considered…
If you knew him, that should be easy. If not, just read the Huffington Post article. Official Website
Get the word out about this nomination. Together we can make it happen!