Stoned Vs, Drunk Vs. Sober Is a Nice Show

Rob Gagnon smiles for the camera
Rob Gagnon hosts Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober (photo credit: The New Movement Theater).

Rob Gagnon is a nice guy.  He probably will deny this statement but there’s really no avoiding it.  After all, how else can a grown man teach preschool if he isn’t patient and nice?

A Moment of Clarity Leads to Austin

Why is he teaching preschool?  Well, it’s because he’s playing the long-game with his comedy career and has been carefully honing his craft since college.  He’s always been a fan of comedy.  As a very young child, his dad would watch comedy movies like Ferris Beuller’s Day Off with him during lunch breaks.  This moments had a profound effect on young Rob Gagnon.   As you would expect, he became something of the class clown in high school.  Afterwards he went on to college. Shortly after he graduated with a degree in history, Rob Gagnon, won a comedy contest.

He soon realized that if he wanted to grow as a comedian, he needed to get to greener pastures.  Gagnon sat across from me at Mr. Tramps and reflected on his decision making process, “I knew that if I wanted to hone my skills, I’d have to leave Connecticut.  The scene just wasn’t strong there.  I wasn’t ready for New York or L.A., and needed time to improve my writing and timing. I heard that Austin had a lot of mic time and I decided to make the move.”

Entrance to The New Movement Theater.
The New Movement Theater is located at the corner of 7th and Lavaca.

As with several of my previous articles, when Gagnon came to Austin, he linked up with the folks at The New Movement Theater.  There he learned The New Movement’s unique brand of long form improv comedy.  The ad hoc style of comedy has helped Gagnon out tremendously on stage while performing stand-up.  It’s allowed him to develop a certain level of situational awareness which allows him to adjust to the mood of the room on the fly.


So what about all that vaunted Austin comedy mic time?  Rob Gagnon has taken full advantage of it.  He’s known to do multiple open mics in one night, is frequently on stage at showcases around town and has never forgotten his roots at The New Movement Theater.  In fact, one of Gagnon’s signature shows, Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober (SVDVS), is a bi-monthly event that’s usually at the theater when he’s not taking it on tour.

Stoned Vs. Drunk Vs. Sober

Gagnon enjoys putting on SVDVS. “It’s pretty easy for people going because it’s all in the title,” He tells me, “People know the archetype of the stoned, drunk or sober comic.”  What they don’t know is that while Gagnon does include the archetypical comic to each team, he adds a teammate that may break the mold.  Using two people on each team like this keeps the audience on their toes.

A full crowd in The New Movement Theater
The New Movement Theater can fill up fast. Order tickets early (photo credit: Austin Culture Map).

New audience members may also be surprised to know that Gagnon also likes to incorporate social media in Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober.  He reads a tweet, and the comedians take turns building on the tweet in a stream of consciousness exercise that can get pretty twisted.   In a nutshell, it’s a variation of a short-form improve game called I Can’t Beat That, in which the cast takes a gesture from the crowd and try to top each other in their explanation of what they’re doing without repeating it.

Remember how I stated that Rob Gagnon is a nice guy?  He’s also a caring and safety conscious guy.  He always makes sure comedians who are in a state of mind that prevents them from driving home on their own have rides.  In the past he’s personally made sure a performer or two have made it safely home.

Fortunately for you folks reading this, Rob Gagnon is hosting a Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober on July 26th, which is this Saturday.  The show starts at The New Movement Theater at 11pm.

Additional Information

If you would like more information regarding Rob Gagnon, his shows and appearance; or if you want to find out more about The New Movement Theater, their shows or classes click the links below.


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Chris Trew Redefines Improv at The New Movement Theater

Sign outside the New Movement Theater
Chris Trew holds the Air Sex Championship Belt
Chris Trew co-founded The New Movement Theater with Tami Nelson. He’ holds the Air Sex Championship Belt.

Despite its devastation, Hurricane Katrina has had positive effects on America.  In the greater Austin area, we’ve been given Let’s Big Chipper (a subject of one of my articles on The Austinot) and more pertinent to this website, Chris Trew.

From New Orleans to Austin and Back

The New Orleans native has always had an interest in comedy and dabbled in stand-up.  Eventually he joined a sketch comedy group while enrolled at LSU and was featured on the university’s television channel back in 2000.  This was when he got serious about comedy.

After the hurricane, he came to Austin and helped found Coldtowne Theater with Tami Nelson and other partners.  In 2009, due to creative differences, Trew and Nelson founded The New Movement Theater and

Entrance to The New Movement Theater.
The New Movement Theater is located at the corner of 7th and Lavaca.

they haven’t looked back.  Trew’s frequent trips to and from New Orleans has lead him to help found Dallas Comedy House with New Movement alumni Clay Barton and his partner Amanda Austin.  He also founded the Dallas Comedy Festival in 2010 (this is where he met Chris Tellez).  Barton and Austin have since taken the reigns of the annual festival.  Still not satisfied, Trew founded The New Movement Theater in New Orleans in 2012.

A New Movement in Austin Comedy

The New Movement Theater sits nonchalantly on the corner of 7th and Lavaca in scenic downtown Austin.  The BYOB club showcases stand-up, improv and sketch comedy through a variety of shows.  Their longest running showcase, and Austin’s longest running long-form improv show,  is the Megaphone Show.  This event has a local celebrity telling a real life story while The New Movement Theater’s main cast act it out through improv.   Like I stated earlier, it’s not all about improv though.  Chris Tellez’s showcase, Shit’s Golden, got its start at The New Movement Theater.  Rob Gagnon and Lane Krarup both host stand-up showcases there as well.

Aside from their regular shows and events, The New Movement Theater puts on special events like the annual Megaphone Marathon.  Starting today, 7/14 and running all the way to the 20th is the Austin leg of the Megaphone Marathon.  This marquee event features a variety of interpretations of The New Movement Theater’s long-form improv performed by every group between the Austin and New Orleans theaters.   Once they’re done in Austin, the groups join up again in New Orleans to entertain the denizens of one of the America’s oldest cities.

New Movement Theater Mural
The New Movement hosts a variety of sketch, stand-up and improv comedy shows.

But wait, there’s more!  While Trew and the New Movement crew are entertainers, they are also teachers.  Improv and comedy classes are available to aspiring yucksters wanting to learn long form improv.  As always, events, classes and all other details are available on The New Movement Theater’s website.  You can follow Chris Trew’s comedy, Air Sex shenanigans, and work as professional wrestling manager on his website