Austin Java Parkway. “Sure Thing,” a weekly comedy show. 8 p.m. Saturdays. Free. 1206 Parkway. 512-476-1829, http://www.facebook.com/SureThingATX.
Bill Bryson. The best-selling author and essayist shares his quirky observations, eye-opening tales and self-effacing humor in this one-night-only stop in Austin. His books include “The Lost Continent,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Notes from a Small Island” and his childhood memoir, “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid,” among others. 8 p.m. Friday. Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. $39-$79. 512-474-5664, http://www.thelongcenter.org.
Cap City Comedy Club. Kurt Braunohler. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $17-$21. Mike Winfield. 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $10-$16. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100, 512-467-2333, http://www.capcitycomedy.com.
Christopher Titus. Get the new year started right by spending a night with the dark and edgy comic you remember from his self-named sitcom (no, it wasn’t “Seinfeld”). His newest standup show, “The Angry Pursuit of Happiness,” comes to Austin in January with special guest Rachel Bradley. 8 p.m. Friday. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. $32-$45. 512-474-1221, http://www.austintheatre.org.
Doug Benson. Do you love movies? Benson does. In fact, “Doug Loves Movies” is the title of his wildly popular podcast, and he’s taping a new episode at (when else?) 4:20 in the afternoon in Austin. The stoner comic and author has too many credits to list, but I’m sure you’ve heard of “Last Comic Standing,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” 4:20 p.m. Friday. Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd. Technically sold out. 512-467-2333, http://www.capcitycomedy.com.
Esther’s Follies. It’s a brand new year full of new political shenanigans, and that stuff is just fuel for the folks at Esther’s. “Resolution Revolution” is this month’s title, and the show includes musical numbers such as “Obamian Rhapsody” and “Hillary’s Rap.” 8 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Esther’s Follies Theater, 525 E. Sixth St. $25-$35. 512-320-0553, http://www.esthersfollies.com.
The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. Girls, Girls, Girls presents “Jam-a-rama,” 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $10. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, http://www.theinstitutiontheater.com.
Jen Kirkman. Well, lookee here … the fabulously funny Ms. Kirkman — she of “Chelsea Lately,” “Drunk History,” “The Tonight Show,” a New York Times bestseller and on and on — is taping a one-hour stand-up special, and she chose to do so in our midst. Lucky us! Kirkman will record two all-ages shows and, if she’s smart (and she is wicked smart), choose the best bits from each one. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. the North Door, 502 Brushy St. $10. email@example.com, http://www.ndvenue.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. Chuck Watkins with Dean Kirkpatrick. $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.
“Wanderlust.” The Hideout Theatre’s cast of veteran improvisational actors will tell the story of a pair of characters as they travel and explore both the world and themselves. 8 p.m. Saturdays. Through Feb. 28. $12. 617 Congress Ave. http://www.hideouttheatre.com/shows/Wanderlust.