Luke McClory: Instant Classic

(Credit: Erin Holsonback)
(Credit: Erin Holsonback)

Audio by Valerie, Words by Dave

If you’ve ever seen Luke McClory, you’ve probably noticed his distinct style on stage.  Clean cut and sharply dressed, I found it hard to compare him to anyone. Even his style of stand up is distinct in that he keeps it clean but not chintzy or pandering to younger audiences. There’s no Gaffigan-ish tropes, weird voices or puppets. His delivery is streamlined and efficient, and I like the flavor of his Kool-Aid.

Unlike probably 60% of current Austin denizens, McClory came to our fair city via the birth canal. This form of entrance to the city only allows 1-3 people to enter at a time so it’s pretty exclusive.  As a kid, he wasn’t privy to cable TV so his exposure to stand up was very limited. He did manage to catch episodes of SNL and Three Stooges reruns. College lead him to study dance and theater. Click the link to find out what lead him to L.A. and back to Austin; and how he got his feet wet in stand up:

Luke McClory: The Past

In part two of his interview, Luke McClory opens up to Valerie about his current projects. One in particular, is called Weird! True Hollywood Tales where he pulls MC duties for host, Lashonda Lester. The show has been covered by Comedy Wham in the past. It is a meticulously curated show about weird/dark lives of dead Hollywood celebrities. He’s also working with Derek Phelps on a new game show called Lip Sync, Dammit! at the Highball. Of course McClory tried to get it changed to “darn it.”

Luke McClory: Current

McClory, clean cut, Austin bred and raised, is a rare breed. Luckily for us, he has no plans to leave the Live Music Capitol of the World any time soon. With that being said, you can find him all over town at shows, and open mics. As for Weird! True Hollywood Tales, a new home is being sought out for the show. Their original location, the beloved Salvage Vanguard Theater, has fallen victim to gentrification.

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Luke McClory

Valerie Lopez

Comedy Wham

 

 

John Tole Comes Clean

(source: John Tole)
(source: John Tole)

Words by Dave

Some folks are good at thinking outside the box. John Tole excels at it. The walking epitome of the fused brains of Bill Hicks and Ken Kesey is establishing a clean comedy showcase named Come Clean in town between his busy touring schedule and other projects.

 

A Family Friendly Show

 

Here it is in a nutshell, Come Clean is, well, a clean comedy showcase – one of the few, if not the only one in Austin. There’s plenty of comedy in town. There are several clean comics but I don’t think I can recall a purely clean comedy show… unless you count that youth minister who travels around to guitar churches but even that doesn’t exactly apply here.

Tole is always looking for a challenge and the positive potential for a clean, family friendly show was too much for him to turn down. He explains it like this:

“Working clean is a whole different energy, and working with ideas that cross generation leads to an opportunity where a kid can have their first comedy experience with their parents. I saw Eddie Murphy with my dad in the 80’s and it’ll be something that’ll be with me forever.”

Tole has decided to kick off the show with a bang. He said it wasn’t hard getting a few comics willing to do a clean show. Maggie Maye, Pat Dean and Carina Magyar have stepped up to the plate and will be performing on the inaugural show.

John Tole is back with family friendly comedy (source: John Tole)
John Tole is back with family friendly comedy
(source: John Tole)

Phil’s Icehouse in the Austinville shopping center is the location. If you’re unsure of where this is, it’s next door to iFly at 13265 US Hwy 183 N. Why Phil’s Icehouse? Here’s why:

“We wanted to work with Phil’s because I’m a huge fan of their culture and having a buddy who works for the company made it real easy to lock in. It’s a different experience: No stage, all ages, and the background (weather permitting), will be the activity on a jungle gym.”

 

Paying It Forward

 

I’m excited about a show like Come Clean, it’s the type of show I can take nieces and nephews to without their parents losing their collective minds. The best part is that John Tole wants to grow it into a form of mentorship –paying it forward to future generations of young comedians by pairing teenagers with comedians. Even if the comedy angle never pans out, it’s a good way to learn public speaking, which is still a top fear of Americans.

Come Clean’s first show is tonight, August, 17th, at 7:30pm. It should run roughly an hour which means families can get their young’uns home by a fairly decent hour. Also, Phil’s Icehouse will be fully staffed and as always, it’s right next door to Amy’s Ice Cream. What’s more to ask for on a Wednesday in August?

 

Internet Sources

Tole keeps himself busy with comedy,  music and his podcast,  Cart Path Diem. As usual, we list the best way to follow him. Don’t forget to visit Phil’s Icehouse online and in real life. 

John Tole
Phil’s Icehouse

Comedy Wham

 

Cody Greenlee Tries New Things

(Credit: Donna Kopf)
(Credit: Donna Kopf)

Audio by Valerie, Words by Dave

Dear Houston,

Thanks you. Thank you for having a mediocre comedy scene for such a long time. Also, thank you for only being about 3hrs from Austin (12hrs if its a hurricane). The reason why I am thanking you is because you’ve sent us great gifts – comedians like Matthew Broussard, Lisa Friedrich and Cody Greenlee.

Sincerely,

Austin MF’n Texas

Back to our regularly scheduled write up: Cody Greenlee grew up taking advantage of his parents premium cable subscription. Dennis Miller, and Mr Show with Bob and David were early influences on the young Greenlee, but it wasn’t until he wrapped up his 7th year of junior college, when he started searching out open mics, which was trickier than he expected. Like I mentioned in the thank you note, by the time Greenlee got active, the comedy scene in Houston had dwindled to two open mics. TWO OPEN MICS in that big, big city. It took him 45 minutes to get to Sherlock’s from Baytown. He then waited five hours to do his set.

Greenlee opens up to Valerie Lopez about his style of comedy, his approach to crafting sets and the chain events that lead to him taking the stage for the first time at Sherlock’s. Coincidentally, his second show at Sherlock’s was Matthew Broussard’s first show. There’s always some type of six degrees of separation here at Comedy Wham.

Cody Greenlee: The Past

Things started clicking for Greenlee after he moved to Austin. Since the move he’s continuously looked for ways to improve his sets and joke writing. In part two, he opens to up Valerie about his future goals and plans as a comedian.

Cody Greenlee: Current

Greenlee co-hosts an open mic at Cherrywood Coffeehouse with Elizabeth Spears. They’ve also accepted host duties for the Damn Dirty Filthy Show at Nasty’s Bar since Martin Urbano has packed up and left for the Big Apple (good luck, Martin). Be sure to check out the usual social media outlets to find out where he’s performing next.

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Cody Greenlee

Valerie Lopez

Comedy Wham

Matthew “Math” Broussard

(Source: Monday Punday)
(Source: Monday Punday)

Audio By Valerie, Words By Dave

Matthew Broussard is about to celebrate his 5th year as a stand up comedian.  He got started doing open mics at 23 years old, which means the 28 year old still has plenty of years ahead of him in the comedy scene. If you’re impressed with that math I just did, then read on, loyal readers.

Broussard grew up in the Sparkling City by the Sea until he moved to Atlanta, GA in high school. After graduating he made his way back to Texas for college at Rice University where he began studying mechanical engineering. Later on he changed majors to applied math. He got his start in stand-up comedy after seeing Donald Glover perform a live show. Matthew Broussard was blown away by how Glover had the audience in the palm of his hand. A year later, Broussard found himself winning a Houston comedy contest.

 Matthew Broussard

 

For the record, Valerie is a huge math geek and gets wrapped up in discussing applying algorithms to joke writing and delivery with Broussard. It’s pretty interesting and this is coming from a non-math enthusiast. I know math is everywhere – Fibonacci sequences in sunflower petals, always having to ask people to Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, it’s all over the place. So it should be no surprise it can be found in comedy. That’s the beauty of comedy. It’s malleable. The premise  –  a lump of mental clay – shaped and formed by the performer and given to given to the audience custom crafted and kiln fired. Yes, you got math and ceramics with this one.

Broussard has been on Conan and on Comedy Central Roast Battle. Click the links to get a cut of his jib. He’ll also be featured on three dates of the upcoming Oddball Comedy Festival. He also has a cool website named Monday Punday. It mixes puns with puzzles.

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Matthew Broussard

Valerie Lopez

Comedy Wham