This week’s comedy: Nov. 28 – Dec. 4

Austin Java Parkway. “Sure Thing,” a weekly comedy show. 8 p.m. Saturdays. Free. 1206 Parkway. 512-476-1829, http://www.facebook.com/SureThingATX.

Cap City Comedy Club. “Punch!” with Matt Bearden. 8 p.m. Tuesdays. $5-$9. Greg Warren. 8 and 10: 30 p.m. Friday. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $15-$19. Dan Soder. 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $10-$16. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100, 512-467-2333, http://www.capcitycomedy.com.

The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. “Comedy Dance Camp,” 8 p.m. Fridays. “Improv Anonymous,” 10 p.m. Friday. “All the Time Travels All the Time,” 8 p.m. Saturdays.“The Rubber Room,” 8 p.m. Sundays. Free-$12. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, http://www.theinstitutiontheater.com.

The New Movement. “Pass the Mic,” 8 p.m. Sunday. Plus more improv and stand-up shows throughout the week. $5-$10. the New Movement, 616 Lavaca St. 512-696-2590, http://www.newmovementtheater.com.

This week’s comedy: Nov. 21-27

Amy Schumer's coming to Bass Concert Hall with her blend of wholesome, girl-next-door looks and edgy comedy.
Amy Schumer’s coming to Bass Concert Hall with her blend of wholesome, girl-next-door looks and edgy comedy.

Amy Schumer. The popular comedian can keep up with the best of the bad boys. She proved it on “Inside Amy Schumer,” her Comedy Central series, her highly rated special, “Mostly Sex Stuff,” and those raunchy celebrity roasts. The humor can be a little brutal, but there’s a lot of smart and clever mixed in there, too. 8 p.m. Friday. $37.50-$45.00. Bass Concert Hall, 2350 E. Campus Drive. 512-471-2787, texasperformingarts.org.

Austin Java Parkway. “Sure Thing,” a weekly comedy show. 8 p.m. Saturdays. Free. 1206 Parkway. 512-476-1829, http://www.facebook.com/SureThingATX.

Cap City Comedy Club. “Punch!” with Matt Bearden. 8 p.m. Tuesdays. $5-$9. Beth Stelling. 8 and 10: 30 p.m. Friday. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $15-$19. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100, 512-467-2333, http://www.capcitycomedy.com.

Chris D’Elia. This scruffy star has been standing in front of brick walls and telling jokes since 2006. Well, telling jokes probably isn’t entirely accurate — D’Elia basically tells stories, brilliantly inhabiting the roles of his anecdotes’ characters. Whatever it is, it’s a hoot. 7:30 p.m. Friday. $36-$41. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. 512-474-1221, www.austintheatre.org.

Esther’s Follies. “Happy Folliesgiving!” What holiday would be complete without dysfunctional families, political arguments and football? The Follies folks take on all those topics in their patented sketch ‘n’ song fashion. 8 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Esther’s Follies Theater, 525 E. Sixth St. $24-$29. 512-320-0553, www.esthersfollies.com.

The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. “Comedy Dance Camp,” 8 p.m. Fridays. “All the Time Travels All the Time,” 8 p.m. Saturdays. “(expletive), It’s Christmas,” 10 p.m. Saturday. “The Rubber Room,” 8 p.m. Sundays. Free-$12. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, http://www.theinstitutiontheater.com.

The New Movement. “Pass the Mic,” 8 p.m. Sunday. Plus more improv and stand-up shows throughout the week. $5-$10. the New Movement, 616 Lavaca St. 512-696-2590, http://www.newmovementtheater.com.

The Velveeta Room. Stand-up comedy hosted by Avery Moore. $5. 11 p.m. Friday. Giulia Rozzi with Danny Palumbo. $10. 9 and 11 p.m. Saturday. Speed Mic. $5. 9 p.m. Thursday. 521 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9116, http://www.thevelveetaroom.com.

This week’s comedy: Nov. 14-20

Anthony Jeselnik
Anthony Jeselnik

Austin Java Parkway. “Sure Thing,” a weekly comedy show. 8 p.m. Saturdays. Free. 1206 Parkway. 512-476-1829, http://www.facebook.com/SureThingATX.

Anthony Jeselnik. You know him from those Comedy Central Roasts, love him from his television show, “The Jeselnik Offensive” and frequently tolerate him on the late night talk shows. Since he’s taping here, you know, maybe you’ll get on camera. So behave. 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. Friday. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. $32. 512-474-1221, www.austintheatre.org.

Cap City Comedy Club. “Punch!” with Matt Bearden. 8 p.m. Tuesdays. $5-$9. Mary Lynn Rajskub. When you think of the comic, you might conjure up words like quirky, nerdy and off-color. But don’t forget funny, ‘cuz she brings it. 8 and 10: 30 p.m. Friday. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $17-$21. Beth Stelling. 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $10-$16. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100, 512-467-2333, http://www.capcitycomedy.com.

Lewis Black. What’s bugging Lewis Black this time? Find out when he brings his ridiculously smart and kind of angry (or at least quite frustrated) brand of humor to Austin as part of his current tour, “The Rant Is Due.” Nothing like a little Black humor to brighten your day. 7 p.m. Sunday. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. $32-$81.50. 512-474-1221, www.austintheatre.org.

“Octoberfest of Funny!” Esther’s Follies presents political comedy, magic and musical satires of Rick Perry, the Texas National Guard, Ted Cruz, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and more. 8 and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 8 p.m. Thursdays. $24. Esther’s Pool, 525 E. Sixth St. 512-320-0553, http://www.esthersfollies.com.

The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. “Comedy Dance Camp,” 8 p.m. Fridays. “All the Time Travels All the Time,” 8 p.m. Saturdays. “(expletive), It’s Christmas,” 10 p.m. Saturday. “The Rubber Room,” 8 p.m. Sundays. Free-$12. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, http://www.theinstitutiontheater.com.

The New Movement. “Pass the Mic,” 8 p.m. Sunday. Plus more improv and stand-up shows throughout the week. $5-$10. the New Movement, 616 Lavaca St. 512-696-2590, http://www.newmovementtheater.com.

The Velveeta Room. Stand-up comedy hosted by Avery Moore. $5. 11 p.m. Friday. Chris Fairbanks with Ryan Cownie. $10. 9 and 11 p.m. Saturday. Speed Mic. $5. 9 p.m. Thursday. 521 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9116, http://www.thevelveetaroom.com.

Fun Fun Fun from Fred Armisen, others on weekend festival stages

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Comedian Fred Armisen performs as his punk rocker character Ian Rubbish Saturday at Fun Fun Fun Fest.

It would be fun to say that comedy took center stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest Saturday and Sunday, but it wouldn’t be true. Instead, comedians were relegated to the Yellow stage at the far south end of the outdoor, Auditorium Shores venue as well as the New Movement Theater, 616 Lavaca St.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The distance of the Yellow stage from the other stages meant that beating drums, thumping basses and crunching guitars were only occasionally a minor nuisance — there were just a few times when comics were compelled to pause and mention the seeping sound creep.

And the mishmash of comedians and schedules between the outdoor and indoor venues gave comedy fans a rare chance to see headliners on both the sardine-packed festival grounds and the intimate, sit-down-and-enjoy comfort of the New Movement. It was doubly interesting because comics had a tendency to repeat identical sets (or truncated versions of them) on both stages.

For instance, Thomas Middleditch, Kumail Nanjiani and Jimmy O. Yang (of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) performed sets at New Movement on Saturday night and then hit the Yellow stage on Sunday. Joe Mande and W. Kamau Bell played Auditorium Shores Saturday afternoon and then repeated truncated sets that night at the New Movement.

It was kind of a blur.

Of the three “Silicon Valley” stars, Nanjiani fared best, talking about cultural differences (Yang did the same closing out the Saturday night show, to a more rambling and less-entertaining effect) and playing a game with an audience member, who had to guess whether a quote was from a piece of famous literature or a Twitter post. Middleditch was the most physical of the three, enacting an imagined, suggestive scenario taking place in a dorm room.

The scheduling of the New Movement show was interesting. Most venues would have front-loaded the lineup with locals and built to the big names. The theater, instead, interspersed them and not always to great effect — it’s difficult for less-experienced comics to follow Mande or Nanjiani.

The highlight (and, for many fans, possible low-light) of the Yellow stage Saturday performances was the extremely short set by former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Fred Armisen.

As expected, he opened his stint in front of a sardine-tight crowd that spilled out of the stage’s tent and onto the grounds in the guise of his punk rock alter-ego, Ian Rubbish. He and his band performed a trio of songs (“Hey Policeman,” “Living in the Gutter” and “Sweet Iron Lady”) before stripping off his wig and costume.

Then, strangely, he spent the rest of his time performing songs in earnest, beginning with a cover of Dinosaur Jr.’s “Feel the Pain.”

As the band kicked into a cover of “Sound on Sound” featuring guest Tim Kerr (from Austin’s Big Boys), many fans realized that there would be no comedy from Armisen and began to filter out of the tent. It made standing in there more comfortable, but it was weird.

He closed the set just 30 minutes after it began with a cover of The Damned’s “Life Goes On,” saying the lyrics had “gotten me through all kinds of good times and bad times.”

Not super funny but, okay. Thanks for sharing.

Fun Fun Fun Fest comedy — Friday

FullSizeRender2John Waters, the biggest name on Friday’s  Fun Fun Fun Fest comedy roster, also drew the biggest crowd. Nattily dressed in a white shirt, black tie and black jacket with a grey flower pattern (I think he probably had pants on, too, but it was impossible to tell over the heads of the fans) Waters held court, tackling taboo topics including drugs, sex, sexual orientation and his films.

On the topic of sex, the director and author spent a lot of time addressing fetishes, some of which he made up.

“I try to be open minded, but I have my limits,” he said, urging audience members that it would be a bad idea to Google them.

“I promise you, the next time you have your computer fixed, you’ll be arrested.”

He moved on to commentary about his long and storied film career. Of “Hairspray,” Waters said, “I accidentally made a hit!” He noted that the musical is now being performed in high schools all over the country, but the practice of “blind casting,” in which character roles are filled regardless of race, sex, etc., has taken some of the edge off of these productions.

Calling “Crybaby” his juvenile delinquent movie, Waters lamented that there are no real juvenile delinquents anymore. The closest we have, he suggested, are computer hackers.

“I like hackers,” he said. “I wish I had a hacker boyfriend. They stay home.”

His thoughts on serial mom segued into a short bit about food allergies. “If you really have one,” he said, “Don’t tell me. Because then I could kill you.”

He spent some time pimping his new book, “Carsick,” which detailed his cross-country hitchhiking journey (after the set, he signed copies and took photos with fans).

The performance wound up with Waters imagining a run-in with Festival security.

“They’d take me to the Huntsville jail,” he said. “Or, worse yet, the Williamson County jail.”

Tasteless comic Neil Hamburger led into Waters’ set with a series of tasteless one-liners and knock-knock jokes, none of which can be repeated here. The crowd was slightly smaller than the crowd Waters’ generated, but was no less raucous.

“Robot Chicken” writer Rachel Bloom killed with an amazing voice and super sharp lyrics to parody songs and original tunes. Her OCDance — featuring movements such as touching the wall a certain number of times in succession — was hilariously funny and visual.

Performances by local comics earlier in the day were well-received, but played in front of much smaller turnouts — some of the comics played before groups numbering in the teens.

A special shout out is due to local sketch comedy group Bad Example. Sketch comedy is hard to pull off outdoors and troupe members were up to the challenge. One outstanding bit featured a poor, Dickensian orphan begging for a caretaker. He turned each possible guardian down for reasons of race and sexual orientation. A recorded bit, barely visible on the large screen at the back of the stage, was also hilarious. It featured a salad and a cupcake vying for the attentions of a young lady.

We’ll be checking out this group’s regular performances at 9 p.m. Saturdays at The New Movement.

This week’s comedy: Nov. 7-13

David Sedaris
David Sedaris will perform Monday at the Long Center.

Austin Java Parkway. “Sure Thing,” a weekly comedy show. 8 p.m. Saturdays. Free. 1206 Parkway. 512-476-1829, http://www.facebook.com/SureThingATX.

Cap City Comedy Club. “Punch!” with Matt Bearden. 8 p.m. Tuesdays. $5-$9. Jimmy Shubert. 8 and 10: 30 p.m. Friday. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. $17-$21. Mary Lynn Rajskub. 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $17-$21. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100, 512-467-2333, http://www.capcitycomedy.com.

David Sedaris. America’s pre-eminent humorist is back with his latest New York Times bestseller, “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.” His quiet, quirky delivery never fails to pull belly laughs from an audience. 8 p.m. Monday. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. $25-$59. 512-474-5664, www.thelongcenter.org.

“Octoberfest of Funny!” Esther’s Follies presents political comedy, magic and musical satires of Rick Perry, the Texas National Guard, Ted Cruz, President Obama, Hillary Clinton and more. 8 and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 8 p.m. Thursdays. $24. Esther’s Pool, 525 E. Sixth St. 512-320-0553, http://www.esthersfollies.com.

The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. “Comedy Dance Camp,” 8 p.m. Fridays. “All the Time Travels All the Time,” 8 p.m. Saturdays. “(expletive), It’s Christmas,” 10 p.m. Saturday. “The Rubber Room,” 8 p.m. Sundays. “Scrimmage: Clash of the Talents,” 8 p.m. Thursday. Free-$12. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, http://www.theinstitutiontheater.com.

The New Movement. “Pass the Mic,” 8 p.m. Sunday. Plus more improv and stand-up shows throughout the week. $5-$10. the New Movement, 616 Lavaca St. 512-696-2590, http://www.newmovementtheater.com.

The Velveeta Room. Stand-up comedy hosted by Avery Moore. $5. 11 p.m. Friday. Jake Flores. $10. 9 and 11 p.m. Saturday. Speed Mic. $5. 9 p.m. Thursday. 521 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9116, http://www.thevelveetaroom.com.