There’s lots to laugh at in Austin this summer

Comedy acts from Don Rickles to Joe Rogan land on Austin stages this summer.

Don Rickles and Regis Philbin.
Don Rickles and Regis Philbin perform at Austin’s Bass Concert Hall in June.

It seems as if the hotter it gets outside, the more difficult it becomes to laugh. Maybe that explains the relatively sparse list of big comedy names stopping in Austin over the summer (especially in July).

Or perhaps it’s just that comedy bookers — like comedy fans — are notorious procrastinators. For example, we still don’t know if Funny or Die, which has brought acts including Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords to the Austin360 Amphitheater over the past two summers, is mounting a tour this year and whether or not it will stop in Austin (the tour usually begins in August).

Still, there are plenty of national headliners worth checking out, in addition to the locals, who never, ever stop.

Iliza Shlesinger
Iliza Shlesinger

Cap City Comedy Club (8120 Research Blvd.) brings in Tommy Davidson, Iliza Shlesinger and Tom Green in June; Michael Ian Black in July; and Mary Lynn Rajskub in August. For times, tickets and other information, call 512-467-2333 or visit www.capcitycomedy.com.

Aussie comic Jim Jefferies, star of the FX television series, “Legit,” brings his raunchy comedy to the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Ave.) at 8 p.m. on June 4. For tickets, $39.50-$44.50, call 512-474-1221 or browse to www.austintheatre.org.

On June 24 at 7 p.m., the Paramount presents comic legend Don Rickles with TV legend Regis Philbin at Bass Concert Hall (2350 E. Campus Dr.). With an admirable lack of Cosby-like scandals, insult comic and “Mr. Warmth” Rickles remains the comedic elder statesman to see. Tickets range from $55-$130 and can be obtained by calling 512-471-2787 or surfing to texasperformingarts.org.

Puddles Pity Party brings the tears of a clown to the Stateside at the Paramount (713 Congress Ave.) at 7 p.m. on June 27. The imposing clown with the most beautiful and unexpected voice has been a standout at previous Moontower Comedy Festivals. $30 tickets can be purchased by calling 512-474-1221 or visiting www.austintheatre.org.

Perennial Austin visitor and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” panelist Paula Poundstone returns to One World Theatre (7701 Bee Cave Rd.) for a pair of shows — 7 and 9:30 p.m. — on Aug. 22. For tickets, $25-$65, and information, call 512-330-9500 or visit www.oneworldtheatre.org.

Joe Rogan PHOTO: JOSHUA HEGES
Joe Rogan
PHOTO: JOSHUA HEGES

Stand-up comic, conspiracy theorist and former “Fear Factor” host Joe Rogan performs at ACL-Live (310 Willie Nelson Blvd.) at 8 p.m. on Aug. 29. $38 tickets can be purchased by calling 877-435-9849 or heading to www.acl-live.com online. (Weird Al Yankovic plays the venue on Aug. 20, but his gig is sold out.)

If Summer ends Labor Day weekend, then we are contractually obligated to include the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, running Sept. 1-7 at various venues in Austin. And why wouldn’t we? The festival — now in its 14th year — brings improv, sketch comedy and stand-up performers from all over to play with the locals. Find more information at www.outofboundscomedy.com.

Danny Palumbo named Funniest Person in Austin

Austin comic Danny Palumbo bested more than 200 challengers to take the Funniest Person in Austin title Monday at Cap City Comedy Club.

Palumbo inherits the crown from Cody Hustak, who won the contest in 2014. Ryan Cownie took second place while Elle Gale came in third.

We’re still waiting to hear from Palumbo about his plans for the 30th anniversary prize of $3,000.

Congratulations,  Danny!

Austin Sketch Fest comes to ColdTowne

Girls with Brown Hair, a sketch comedy group from New York City's legendary Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, will appear at the 2015 Austin Sketch Fest. CREDIT: STEVE ROGERS PHOTOGRAPHY
Girls with Brown Hair will appear at the 2015 Austin Sketch Fest. CREDIT: STEVE ROGERS PHOTOGRAPHY

For six years, ColdTowne Theatre has produced, booked, and organized Austin Sketch Fest. The seven-night event celebrates and showcases scripted comedy from the Austin and the surrounding areas.

Some of Austin’s most well known comedians, like former Jazz Cigarette hosts Joe Hafkey and Mac Blake, will lend their talents to the productions, as well as local groups like Master Pancake Theater, Bad Example, and STAG Comedy. Other acts from New York, Chicago, and other comedy hubs have traveled to Austin for the event.

The curtain opens on the fest at 8:30 p.m. on Monday and at the same time on each weekday. The weekend’s shows begin at 7 p.m. ColdTowne will host all shows through Wednesday night until Spider House Ballroom takes over on Thursday.

All-Fest Passes for all 14 shows at both venues cost $60, while tickets for individual events range from $5-$15. One free event will take place on Friday night at Spider House Ballroom.

Nick Offerman is not Ron Swanson, okay?

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman played Austin's Paramount Theatre in April.
Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman played Austin’s Paramount Theatre in April.

Here’s an interesting Austin mention from an interview former “Parks and Recreation” star Nick Offerman conducted with the Detroit Free Press in the midst of his current tour with wife Megan Mullally. The pair performed here in April:

“People are kind of scared of me, or intimidated by Ron’s authoritative nature. Especially in a restaurant, they’ll bring me a pound of cooked bacon, and then they’ll be just crushed when I say: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t eat this much bacon. That would kill me.’ I love the restaurants of Austin (Texas). We were just there on this tour. An employee of a favorite restaurant there said: ‘There’s a rumor going around that you don’t eat meat. Is that true?’ I said: ‘No, that’s ridiculous. Where did that come from?’ She said: ‘Well, apparently the chef sent you out a bunch of bacon and you didn’t eat it.’ I said: ‘I’m a human being. I’m not Ron Swanson. Especially if I’m trying to keep trim for a role, I sadly don’t have the superpower where I can just eat a plateful of bacon.’

See scripted comedy performances during Austin Sketch Fest this week

Girls with Brown Hair, a sketch comedy group from New York City's legendary Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, will appear at the 2015 Austin Sketch Fest. CREDIT: STEVE ROGERS PHOTOGRAPHY
Girls with Brown Hair, a sketch comedy group from New York City’s legendary Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, will appear at the 2015 Austin Sketch Fest. CREDIT: STEVE ROGERS PHOTOGRAPHY

Austin Sketch Festival. See scripted comedy performances, featuring Aaron Brooks, AFL, Alejandro Garcia, Amy Wright, Avery Moore, Girls with Brown Hair, Juliet Prather and Nick Ramirez. Monday- May 24. $60. Spider House Ballroom, 2908 Fruth St.; ColdTowne Theater. 4803 Airport Blvd. atxsketchfest.com.

Cap City Comedy Club. Steve Rannazzisi, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $18-$22. Andrew Schulz, 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $10-$16. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100. 512-467-2333, capcitycomedy.com.

Esther’s Follies. The weather’s getting warmer, but that warming might be man-made. Consider the crew down at Esther’s, who are never hotter than during a national election cycle. “Hil and Bill,” for example, pays tribute to the First Grandmother, while conservative candidates get theirs competing in “GOP Superstar.” All that, the dependable, friendly jabs at Austin, and a new illusion from magician Ray Anderson, “The Claw” (that’s the name of the magic trick, not a nickname for Ray). 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Esther’s Follies Theater, 525 E. Sixth St. $25-$35. 512-320-0553, http://www.esthersfollies.com.

Funniest Person in Austin. Watch your favorite Austin stand-ups fight to the death, comedically (and, OK, metaphorically) on the Cap City stage in the 30th annual hilar-a-thon. This year’s 30th anniversary prize is a whopping $3,000, plus all the potential fame and fortune you can eat. Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd. Final night, 8 p.m. Monday. $15. 512-467-2333, capcitycomedy.com.

The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. “You Can’t Stay Here,” 10 p.m. Friday. “Buzz Band,” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. “Tarantula,” 10 p.m. Saturday. “The Rubber Room,” 8 p.m. Sunday. Free- $10. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, 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, newmovementtheater.com.

The Velveeta Room. Stand-up comedy hosted by Avery Moore, $5, 11 p.m. Friday. Matt Baetz with Rob Gagnon, $10, 9 p.m. Friday and 9 and 11 p.m. Saturday. Speed Mic, $5, 9 p.m. Thursday. 521 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9116, thevelveetaroom.com.

“Wits.” If you enjoy any of the following — improv, sketch comedy, conversation, or music — then you owe it to yourself to check out this live, public radio program in a rare, Austin appearance. Host John Moe welcomes comic Fred Willard along with musicians Shinyribs and Carrie Rodriguez as he presents what could be called an edgier, much more hip version of “A Prairie Home Companion.” 8 p.m. Thursday. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. $37-$42. 512-474-1221, http://www.austintheatre.org.

Funniest Person in Austin finals will be held this week

This wall at Cap City Comedy Club has photos of most of the winners of the Funniest Person in Austin contest.
This wall at Cap City Comedy Club has photos of most of the winners of the Funniest Person in Austin contest.

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

Cap City Comedy Club. Kevin Nealon, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $25. Steve Rannizzisi, 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $18. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100. 512-467-2333, capcitycomedy.com.

Esther’s Follies. The weather’s getting warmer, but that warming might be man-made. Consider the crew down at Esther’s, who are never hotter than during a national election cycle. “Hil and Bill,” for example, pays tribute to the First Grandmother, while conservative candidates get theirs competing in “GOP Superstar.” All that, the dependable, friendly jabs at Austin, and a new illusion from magician Ray Anderson, “The Claw” (that’s the name of the magic trick, not a nickname for Ray). 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Esther’s Follies Theater, 525 E. Sixth St. $25-$35. 512-320-0553, http://www.esthersfollies.com.

Funniest Person in Austin. Watch your favorite Austin stand-ups fight to the death, comedically (and, OK, metaphorically) on the Cap City stage in the 30th annual hilar-a-thon. This year’s 30th anniversary prize is a whopping $3,000, plus all the potential fame and fortune you can eat. Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd. Semifinals, $8, Sunday-Tuesday; final night, $15 (May 18). 512-467-2333, capcitycomedy.com.

The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. “Late Night Time Machine,” 10 p.m. Friday. “Buzz Band,” 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $10. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, 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, newmovementtheater.com.

The Velveeta Room. Stand-up comedy hosted by Avery Moore, $5, 11 p.m. Friday. Duncan Carson with Bob Khosravi, $10, 9 p.m. Friday and 9 and 11 p.m. Saturday. Speed Mic, $5, 9 p.m. Thursday. 521 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9116, thevelveetaroom.com.

Quest for funniest person in Austin continues this week

This wall at Cap City Comedy Club has photos of most of the winners of the Funniest Person in Austin contest.
This wall at Cap City Comedy Club has photos of most of the winners of the Funniest Person in Austin contest.

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

Cap City Comedy Club. Cameron Esposito, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$21. 8120 Research Blvd., No. 100. 512-467-2333, capcitycomedy.com.

Esther’s Follies. Spring hits Sixth Street as the Esther’s crew grows clever songs and sketches from today’s headlines. Michelle Obama’s Garden celebrates legalized marijuana, while the Supremes (I’m talkin’ ’bout the judges, yo) get down with Notorious RBG — as in Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Esther’s Follies Theater, 525 E. Sixth St. $25-$35. 512-320-0553, http://www.esthersfollies.com.

Funniest Person in Austin. Watch your favorite Austin stand-ups fight to the death, comedically (and, OK, metaphorically) on the Cap City stage in the 30th annual hilar-a-thon. This year’s 30th anniversary prize is a whopping $3,000, plus all the potential fame and fortune you can eat. Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd. Preliminary rounds, $6 (Sunday-Tuesday); semifinals, $8 (May 10-12); final night, $15 (May 18). 512-467-2333, capcitycomedy.com.

The Institution Theater. Improv and off-beat theater. “The Secret Lives of Soccer Moms,” 8 p.m. Friday. “Late Night Time Machine,” 10 p.m. Friday. “Tarantula,” 10 p.m. Saturday. “Monologue Jam.” 10 p.m. Saturday. “Impromp-Two,” 7 p.m. Sunday. Free-$10. 3708 Woodbury Drive. 512-895-9580, 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, newmovementtheater.com.

The Velveeta Room. Stand-up comedy hosted by Avery Moore, $5, 11 p.m. Friday. Matt Davis with John Buseman, $10, 9 p.m. Friday and 9 and 11 p.m. Saturday. Speed Mic, $5, 9 p.m. Thursday. 521 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9116, thevelveetaroom.com.