Ring in 2016 with laughter

Dana Gould

Is there a better way to bid farewell to one year and welcome the next than laughing ’til your sides ache?

Much of Austin’s comedy scene goes slack on New Year’s Eve, and I don’t get it. When I was in a sketch comedy group, it was always our biggest night of the year.

In any event, there are still a few places you can kick 2015’s butt out the door in hilarious style. Check out these options:

The Hideout Theatre rings in the New Year with an enchanted evening of improv games, scenes and a champagne toast at midnight. Improvisers reflect on the year that’s passed, speculate about the year to come and celebrate that magical moment of transition between the two. The early show at 8 p.m. features five of Austin’s finest professional improvisers. The 10:30 performance careens full speed into the new year with a special champagne toast as the ball drops at midnight. $30, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; 617 Congress Ave. hideouttheatre.com

Tickets are going fast for Esther’s Follies’ annual New Year’s Eve Bash. In addition to the usual mix of musical and sketch comedy magic (and magic magic, too, courtesy of prestidigitator Ray Anderson) tickets for the pair of New Year’s Eve shows include a Tex-Mex buffet, a glass of champagne and a NYE hat and goody bag. $55-$65, 8 and 10:30 pm.; 525 E 6th St. esthersfollies.com

Local comics including Martin Urbano, Kelsey Caine, Sam Harter and others plan to tickle funny bones at Speakeasy’s Rumrunners Comedy Showcase. The band Suede plays, too. $49-$200, 8:15 p.m. 412 Congress Ave. Get tickets here

Want to laugh in 2016 but don’t want to bother with the downtown crowds? New Year’s Eve will be hopping at Cap City Comedy Club, where comic’s comic, writer for “The Simpsons” star of the late, lamented Fred Savage sitcom “Working” and Moontower Festival stalwart Dana Gould cracks wise. As if that’s not enough, Austin celeb and host of The CW’s “ATX Uncensored-ish,” Brian Gaar, performs, too. The early show includes a general admission pass for two that can be used in 2016 (not valid for special events); the late show includes that same pass as well as party favors, a midnight champagne toast and a dessert treat. $20-$25, 8 p.m.; $40-$45, 10:30 p.m.; 8120 Research Blvd. capcitycomedy.com.