2015 Funniest Person in Austin Week 3 Roundup

Rob Gagnon smiles for the camera
Rob Gagnon advanced to the semifinals in FPIA (photo credit: The New Movement Theater).

You 2015 Funniest Person in Austin Week 3 update is here! Cap City Comedy Club snuck in another week of Funniest Person in Austin in the face of the up coming 4th Annual Moontower Comedy Fest. The competition is getting tougher and the judges jobs are getting harder.

Sunday 4/18/15: Round 6

Ali Safar, Kath Barbadoro and Martin Urbano moved to the next round in the competition while Dean Kirkpatrick grabbed the alternate spot for the night.

I have not heard Ali Safar’s comedy before this show and his set hit a bullseye for my sense of humor. He’s a joke teller so its set-up and punchline. Mechanically he’s similar to Stephen Wright, or Cody Hustak but his jokes aren’t as non-sequitur. I dug his set and look forward to seeing more of him.

Kath Barbadoro was rock solid. I’ve seen her multiple times around Austin, notably at Punch! Comedy, The Velv and other Cap City events. She’s insightful and her jokes reach out to a broad audience. Martin Urbano had a very creative set leading him to lip sync and act out his jokes while an audience member read  them verbatim.

Dean Kirkpatrick won the alternate spot among stiff competition from the likes of Chris Tellez, and Jared Hawley (who had such an epic set that folks are still talking about it a week later).

Monday 4/19/15: Round 7

I was extremely happy to find out that Rob Gagnon, Brian Garr, and Ryan Cownie made it through the prelims. I have had many opportunities to see these dudes do their thing and I can confidently recommend all three of them.  Rob has a show called Drunk vs. Stoned vs. Sober. Brian Gaar is a father, a comedian a gamer over the age of 35 and is pretty Twitter famous. Ryan Cownie is one of those dudes you want at your party. Always funny and can freestyle rap in a pinch.

Promotional picture of Brian Gaar
Brian Gaar (photo credit: www.atxsketchfest.com)

Vanessa Gonzalez captured the alternate spot. I am happy to see this sketch comedy vet crossover into the stand up scene. She can usually be found on Saturday nights performing with Bad Example at the New Movement Theater, and she’s just wrapped up a successful tour of her one person show, I Don’t Know Dating.

Tuesday 4/20/15: Round 8

The week wrapped up with Duncan Carson, Robert Segovia and Abby Rosenquist grasping those much sought after envelopes that moves them on up in the competition.  Michael Priest grabbed the alternate spot.

Duncan Carson co-hosts Sure Thing at that particular Austin Java with Brendon K. O’Grady (who’s already moved on the semifinals this year).  I take my stepson to the show since it’s legally all ages. I remind him that, despite Carson’s bit about education and life, that he should pay attention in school because if he doesn’t, his mommy becomes  and that isn’t fun. But I digress, the boy is pretty rational and knows the difference between a bit and reality,

Rob Segovia can be seen doing his thing at the New Movement Theater with Taken Seriously. He also has a show at Cheer Up Charlie’s called LaLa HaHa.  Segovia has the Half Empty podcast in which he and Terence McDavid interview local improv, sketch and stand up comedians.

I am not sure if I’ve seen Abby Rosenquist perfrom around town, but I am looking forward catching a set. Michael Priest is a solid comic, and I have also been lucky to see him at Punch! and Sure Thing.

Deets

Week 4 of the 2015 Funniest Person in Austin contest starts this Sunday, 4/26/15. Tickets are available online and by calling Cap City Comedy Club at 467-2333.

 

Be sure to follow Comedy Wham on Twitter: @ComedyWham

 

 

2015 Funniest Person in Austin Week 2 Roundup

Ella Gale has advanced in the 30th Annual FPIA Contest (photo credit: www.ellagalecomedy.com).
Ella Gale has advanced in the 30th Annual FPIA Contest (photo credit: www.ellagalecomedy.com).

This year is seriously shaping up to be the most competitive Funniest Person in Austin that I can remember.

Sunday, 4/12/15: Round 3

Raul Sanchez, Jay Whitecotton and Yusef Roach all moved on to the next round in May. Doug Lewis grabbed the alternate spot.

I’ve seen Raul Sanchez at a couple of places around town. He’s got a style that tickles the nostalgic part in my brain. I grew up in S. Texas and Sanchez reminds of that kid in high school who was the class clown everyone liked, including teachers. I can’t explain it better than that but it translates well into his comedy set.

Whitecotton aggressively takes on controversial topics like religion and sexuality while Roach pokes fun at pop-culture and turns it on its head.  It looks to me like the judges are pretty eclectic this year, which is good. These three comedians are an exceptional cross section of Austin’s comedy scene.

Monday, 4/13/15: Round 4

Monday’s results are indicative of my opening statement. Ella Gale, Brendon K. O’Grady and Joe Halfkey all moved forward in the competition while Aaron Brooks earned the alternate spot.

Each of the winners host, or co-host shows around town. Ella Gale has a cool show the first Sunday of every month at The New Movement Theater called Naughty Bits. Brendon K. O’Grady is co-host of the wildly popular Sure Thing! showcase at the Austin Java on Lamar and Parkway. Joe Halfkey and his partner (former FPIA winner) Mac Blake host Jazz Cigarette at the Spiderhouse Ballroom and All’s Well at Cap City.

Tuesday, 4/14/15: Round 5

Week two wrapped up with Avery Moore, Daniel Webb, and Mary Bourke moving on up in the 2015 FPIA. Christina Parrish earned the alternate spot.

I am a big fan of Avery Moore. I’ve seen her many times at many venues and she never fails to entertain me. Whether she’s singing at Kat Ramzinski’s benefit event or expounding on the awkward side of dating. She’s clever and charming and if you’ve not seen one of her sets, you’re missing out.

Daniel Webb is a dude who made waves last year thanks to an interaction with President Obama at Franlkin’s BBQ. This most definitely shouldn’t be his only claim to fame as his comedy reflects the complicated situation that being gay in Texas presents. It’s scathing, brutally honest, and sincere. Oh and don’t let Mary Bourke’s sweet Irish accent fool you. Her comedy is sharp commentary of the senility of humanity.

Deets

Cap City Comedy Club’s Funniest Person in Austin Week 3 kicks off tonight with round 6. The show starts at 8pm. Call the box office at 467-2333  or visit their website for ticket information and details.

2015 Funniest Person in Austin Week 1 Roundup

Cody Hustak will make mom's blush.
Cody Hustak will make mom's blush.
Cody Hustak is the 2014 FPIA winner (photo credit: www.thevelveetroom.com).

The 30th annual Funniest Person in Austin Contest kicked off last Monday with a bang. This year, I’ll be providing you with weekly updates of who moves on to the next round, joke of the night winners and so on.

Monday Night

Monday night had three ladies advance to the next round. Kat Ramzinski, Maggie Criss and Sara June all advanced to the next round of the Funniest Person in Austin Contest. I don’t recall seeing Maggie Criss or Sara June live but I’ve seen Kat Ramzinski on many occasions and she’s rock solid. There’s an edge to comedy that makes you think she’d be a good person to have your back in a bar fight.

The winner of the alternative spot was Bob Khosravi.

Tuesday Night

Tuesday saw John Buseman, Zac Brooks and Casey Crawford advance to the next round. Besides stand up comedy, John Buseman is a sketch comedy vet, and can frequently be found at The New Movement Theater (seriously, this theater keeps working its way into my articles). I’ve seen Zac Brooks at Punch!, Sure Thing, and at other shows across town. He’s participating in the Moontower Comedy Fest along with Buseman this year as well.

The winner of the alternative spot was Arielle Norman.

Details

Comedy is subjective and the best way to help your favorite comedian advance is to get to the club on the night they’re competing and support them.

Cap City Comedy Club’s box office opens at 10 AM and tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 512-467-2333. The Funniest Person in Austin contest will being going on until Monday, May 18th when the Funniest Person in Austin will be crowned. Please remember that the club has a two item minimum policy and NO HECKLING!

Feel free to follow this site on twitter: @ComedyWham

Disposable Income Freak Show Is Emotion

Promo picture of Donny Rodriguez as a ringleader.
Donny Rodriguez is the ringleader of DIFS (Credit: Eliaz Rodriguez).

Donny Rodriguez is the quintessential do-it-yourself type. The bootstrappy attitude has lead him to create an entertaining show that shouldn’t be missed. Fortunately for you, the Disposable Income Freak Show is live this Friday at The New Movement Theater.

Windy City Roots

Rodriguez is originally from Chicago. He honed his sketch comedy skills in the Windy City for six years before moving to Austin. He started the sketch group Wood Sugars with his brother, filmmaker Eliaz Rodriguez, and their buddy, stand-up comedian Jon McCarthy, after goofing off during a poker game. McCarthy was replaced by author/actor Jeff Phillips after he left to L.A.

The Disposable Income Freak Show Flyer with characters on it.
The Disposable Income Freak Show is only $5.00 online (Credit: Eliaz Rodriguez).

Since Chicago is basically the capitol of improv, you’d think Donny Rodriguez would have gone that route, but everyone I’ve written about has their own story regarding their first experiences with comedy and their influences. The Rodriguez brothers aren’t any different. Here’s Donny’s version, “My brother and I were left to our own devices a lot of the time some we would watch Benny Hill, All In the Family, Roseanne and In Living Color. That’s how I found comedy.” That explains why he was attracted to the sketch scene and his blue collar approach to getting things done.

The Disposable Income Freak Show Takes Form

By the time, Donny Rodriguez left Chicago for Austin, Wood Sugars shot over 120 videos, performed on a variety of TV spots, produced 10 web series, and had two podcasts ( listed as 2 of the 5 best podcasts in Chicago in 2011 by Time Out Magazine). During this time a primitive version of the Freak Show took form. Their ad hoc approach to comedy and

Chris Trew holds the Air Sex Championship Belt
Chris Trew saw potential in Rodriguez’s show concept.

lack of theater training, kept Donny Rodriguez and the Wood Sugars crew from performing at established theaters like Second City. So they took to bars and music fests where they learned to engage the audiences. After all they had to keep people’s attention.

After moving to Austin, the Disposable Income Freak Show marinated in Rodriguez’s head. He moved within walking distance of The New Movement Theater. He quickly became involved in writing for a variety of shows like the Block Party and the now defunct NEWS Movement. Chris Trew was impressed by Donny Rodriguez and let him pitch the Disposable Income Freak Show. Trew was on board with Rodriguez’s gritty approach to comedy and green lit the show.

According to Donny Rodriguez the show is “hacky” on the surface but contains a lot of emotion beneath the surface. The characters are composites of modern day character types who deal with modern day issues like coming out to your homophobic friends, compartmentalization, dealing with failure and the run-of-the-mill trash talking we all enjoy with our friends.

Change is Coming

Donny Rodriguez writes the majority of the show and draws his cast mostly from The New Movement Theater’s pool of students. Over the last month, TNM Tonight host, Chris Sebilia, Alex Kone, Stephen Childress have started helping Donny Rodriguez write the show. Along with them, Amy Jordan has been brought into the mix and the Disposable Income Freak Show will be going through some renovations.

Chris Sebilia on stage
Chris Sebilia has been working with Rodriguez in the writing department.

What does this mean?  It means that this Friday, will be the last chance you get to see the show in it’s original form. If you want to see Donny Rodriguez smash down the fourth wall as he wrangles an eclectic cast of misfit characters like The Human Sunday Funday and The Dub-Step Father, then get to The New Movement Theater this Friday. The doors open at 7:30pm. You should know where it is by now, but if not, it’s on 7th and Lavaca. Tickets are $5.00 online and $7.00 at the door.

Details

The New Movement Theater

Donny Rodriguez

 

Follow this site on Twitter: @ComedyWham

 

Sauced! Comedy Returns to Kebabaliscious

A picture of the Sauced promo poster.
Sauced! Comedy is every Wednesday at 8pm (Credit: Katie Stone).

Sauced! Comedy is back at Kebabalicious this week and guess what? You don’t need one of those fancy SXSW wristbands to get in!

 Warm Weather Means Getting Sauced!

Katie Stone is reanimating her warm weather comedy showcase this Wednesday at the brick and mortar Kebabalicious site at 1311 East 7th St. Sure it’s downtown, but it’s not downtown and to make things better, not only is it wristband free, there’s no cover.

Katie Stone gets the crowd ready for a Sauced! Comedy show.
Katie Stone on stage warming up the crowd (Credit: Kebabalicious).

The show is unofficial but with the line up Stone has organized, it should be official. Local comedians Duncan Carson (Cohost of the successful Sure Thing Showcase), Avery Moore (who sings like an angel and hosts The Late Slot at The Velv Comedy Lounge) along with Andrew Dismukes and special guests will be taking the mic at 8pm.  Katie Stone didn’t tell me who the special guests are but with past headliners like Kath Barbadoro, Danny Palumbo, Aaron Brooks, and Ramin Nazer are any indication, they are going to be a treat.

I shouldn’t be surprised that Katie Stone is able to assemble such a crack team of talented performers. Not only does she host and produce Sauced! Comedy but on the first Sunday of the month she’s co-producing and hosting Naughty Bits with Ella Gale at the New Movement Theater (seriously, this theater is mentioned a lot on here).

Fans sit and enjoy a Sauced! Comedy show.
Sauced! Comedy is a warm weather, outdoor showcase (Credit: Kebabalicious).

Don’t forget the sketch comedy. Stone can be seen performing regularly with the Taken Seriously sketch group along with Caitlin McNally, Nathan Ehrmann, and Robert Segovia at The New Movement Theater. All this along with being a stand up comedian has allowed her to see the best and worst of shows. Plus she has a very strong talent pool to pull from, despite SXSW going at full speed.

A No-Brainer Location

Kebabalicious is well known food trailer in Austin. It’s so popular they decided to open a store front on the corner of

A picture of the Kebabalicious menu
Kebabaliscious has a full menu (Credit: Kebabalicious)

East 7th and Navasota. This is good for a couple of reasons:

1. It provides patrons a steady location to consume beer and their awesome menu items like their cheese plate.

2. It’s on the east side! Parking tends to be easier east of I35 and it’s only a few blocks from the downtown train station. For those of you close to a metro rail station, like myself, take advantage of the extended rail hours and enjoy the show.

I’ll will absolutely be at the Sauced! Comedy kickoff show. It’s rare for me to see Duncan Carson do a full set, since I mostly see him hosting at Sure Thing, and Avery Moore is worth her weight in comedy gold. I hope you all take some time tomorrow, step away from that really rad art-deco new wave synth band or whoever is performing in front of the McDonald’s food trailer and get a heaping helping the Austin comedy scene at the Sauced! Comedy kickoff show.

 

Details

Katie Stone

Sauced! Comedy

Kebabaliscious

 

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TNM Tonight Kicks Late Night Talk in the Kiester

TNM Tonight poster
TNM Tonight is an edgier version of a late night talk show.

We’ve all seen the clips. Jimmy Fallon pretending to be Neil Young, Jimmy Kimmel playing mean tweets and so on and so forth. The Tonight Show has historically made comedian’s careers. The late night talk show has an exorbitant amount of power over pop culture. So naturally Austin shatters that ivory tower with TNM Tonight.

TNM Tonight is Two Years Old

TNM Tonight began in January 2013 when UT film and TV student, Devon Powell, wanted to do his version of a late night talk show.  In December, 2013 he passed the reigns to Odin Armador who then hosted the show until October, 2014 when Chris Sebilia took over hosting duty.

Chris Sebilia has been active in the Austin Comedy scene since he stepped on stage at the No Shame open mic at the Salvage Vanguard Theater four years ago. The engineer needed a creative outlet and found stand-up as a good way to express himself.

A Show With No Limits

Hosting TNM Tonight has been a long time goal of Chris Sebilia. The uniqueness of the show (there isn’t another one like it in town) and lack of censorship fosters a creative environment that has an anything goes vibe.  Where Kimmel, or Fallon has to kowtow to the FCC, investors, advertisers, and network censors, Chris Sebilia and TNM Tonight’s writers have nothing like that to worry about allowing them to go hard on pop culture, current events, and news topics.

Creating new content weekly is no small task but TNM Tonight has plenty of writers up to the task. Martin Urbano heads a team of writers comprised of Adam Wolf, Jesse Mundy, Austen Silver, Chris Levi, Donny Rodriguez, Cene Hale, Trace Holt, and Chance Garcia. Together with Chris Sebilia, they create a show featuring all the bells and whistles (guests, monologues, comedians, sketches, etc.) of a show, that according to Sebilia, is a, “A Jimmy Fallon show if he had a soul.”

Maintaining Forward Motion

Chris Sebilia on stage
Chris Sebilia has been hosting since October, 2014

TNM Tonight is something special and Austin comedy fans know it. The shows has steadily grown a loyal audience over it’s 1 1/2 year run and continues to foster an audience thirsty for creative humor.  TNM Tonight is currently rocking a solid schedule through the month of February and on into March. SXSW won’t slow them down either as they are going to be a part of a “secret” SXSW comedy show called...

The next TNM Tonight is this Saturday February 21st at the The New Movement Theater, conveniently located at the corner of 7th and Lavaca. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are $7.00.  If I were you, I’d buy them in advance. These shows fill up pretty fast.

Details:

TNM Tonight

The New Movement Theater

Chris Sebilia

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ElDavidThomas

 

 

Pretty Awful is Premiering at the Highball

Amber Bixby and Katie Pengra outside
Amber Bixby and Katie Pengra outside
Pretty Awful stars Amber Bixby and Katie Pengra (credit: Erin Holsonback)

What do you get when you mix to friends who happen to be comedians with a video director with an eye for comedy? You get a web series called Pretty Awful, and it’s pretty amazing.

From a Skit to a Show

You may not know Dustin Svehlak, but I can almost promise you that if you’ve been to any comedy showcase, you’ve seen him. He’s the tall dude with a goatee and camera. Svehlak owns and operates Voltaic Video. It started in 2005 when Svehlak began shooting weddings and corporate events. In 2012, it became all about comedy as he began recording local comedy sets, and creating unique short videos and clips featuring local comedians.

The characters have a few vices (credit: Erin Holsonback).
The characters have a few vices (credit: Erin Holsonback).

A while back he was chatting with local comedian Amber Bixby about a small scene between two friends who were fighting. Svehlak and Bixby felt they had something more than just a couple of  minutes of video. After talking things over, they decided to turn it into a web series and Pretty Awful was born. Without thinking twice about it, Bixby brought in her friend and fellow comedian Katie Pengra.

Beavis and Butthead Meets Mean Girls

For Amber Bixby, picking Katie Pengra was a no-brainer. While the two are real life friends, their characters aren’t representative of that relationship. Bixby explains, “Yeah, she’s a very good friend of mine – but the series is very much a work of fiction. It’s a bit absurd. We’ve been comparing it to Mean Girls meets Beavis and Butthead. It’s not based on our real friendship – the friendship in the series is pretty unhealthy.”

From what I’ve seen, the two star characters are going to be a glorious train wreck; and Bixby’s allusion to Beavis and Butthead meeting Mean Girls is a bullseye. Anyone who’s seen either of those shows knows what a perfect storm of misadventure is brewing for Amber Bixby’s and Katie Pengra’s characters.

The collaborative effort between Dustin Svehlak, Amber Bixby, and Katie Pengra is on the ball. As of right now, Season 1 is ready to go with 3 episodes and Season 2 is in the works. While Svehlak handled the direction and camera work, Bixby took the role of head writer while Pengra helped and punched up the writing a bit. But they weren’t alone, Dustin Svehlak recruited his wife, Jen, for set design / producing, Terance McDavid as production assistant, and Chelsea Robinson for audio recording and post mixing.

Highball Premier

Pretty Aweful will premier at the Highball (credit: Erin Holsonback).
Pretty Aweful will premier at the Highball (credit: Erin Holsonback).

Svehlak, Bixby and Pengra are excited about their new project and they want Austin to celebrate it’s premier with them. Sunday, February 15th, they will be throwing a Pretty Awful premier party (get it?) at the Highball. The Highball is located at 1120 South Lamar Blvd, and they will have swag for sale in the form of t-shirts designed by David McQuary who also did the website art.  This will be a good post-Valentine’s Day palate cleanser and I am personally looking forward to it.

If you want more information click the links:

Pretty Awful

Voltaic Video

Amber Bixby

Katie Pengra

 

As usual, follow me on Twitter, @ElDavidThomas

Vanessa Gonzalez Turns Dating On Its Head

Vanessa Gonzales does a sketch on stage.
Headshot of Vanessa Gonzales
Vanessa Gonzalez has a new show called I Don’t Know Dating (Credit: Katie Pengra).

Dating can be weird. Going out with strangers, never knowing what the other person is thinking. Sitting there wondering if you good enough, smart enough or if you smell weird. It can all be very daunting. Vanessa Gonzalez is willing to talk about it in her one person show, I Don’t Know Dating, at the Spider House Ballroom in February, and it will leave you with a new perspective on things.

A Class Clown Moves to Austin

Vanessa Gonzalez, grew up in Laredo and after high school, the class clown made her way to San Marcos and Texas State University. Here she grew her love of acting and comedy. She got her first sketch gig in 2009 with the Latino Comedy Project.  After that wrapped up, she met Chris Trew. If I may digress for a moment, I am considering changing the name of this site to People Who Know Chris Trew Dot Com. Anyway, it was around this time he was getting The New Movement Theater on its feet and Gonzalez hopped on the improv train.

In 2013, when Jeff Whitaker wanted to revolutionize sketch comedy in Austin and formed Bad Example. Vanessa Gonzalez was on board has been a member since its inception. When I saw their Christmas show in December, I very much enjoyed Gonzalez’ timing and the awareness she had of her characters.

Bad Example sitting on a stoop.
Bad Example is the only Sketch group doing new shows weekly (Credit: Katey Pengra w/Skippy Leland Photography).

Going Solo With a One Person Show

When we chatted after the show, she told me of her one person show called I Don’t Know Dating. In my writing classes, I was always told to write about what I know. The same goes for comedy. Vanessa Gonzalez knows about the idiosyncrasies of being single in the modern age. She knows about being self conscious and unsure, and she knows how to laugh at it.

The show is a series of sketches with Gonzalez playing the main character and the audience is sometimes a passive character. The sketches center on the awkward world of dating.  They poke fun at her insecurity, and interactions with the opposite sex. One particular sketch has her playing a male character literally lives out typical excuses men use to not call a girl back: Dead grandma’s, lost phones, etc.

Vanessa Gonzales does a sketch on stage.
Vanessa Gonzalez has been performing sketch and improv since 2009 (credit: Daniel Solano).

If we can’t laugh at ourselves, then what do we have? Dating is rife with awkward moments and I am glad Vanessa Gonzalez is willing to pull out a magnifying glass and explore those uncomfortable moments. I am looking forward to seeing I Don’t Know Dating, because even at my age, I still don’t know women. Sometimes I look at my wife and wonder what’s going on in her head. Maybe this will provide some insight.  If anything, it will provide some laughs.

Time and Location

I Don’t Know Dating will be featured the first three Mondays in February at the Spider House Ballroom.  Tickets and $5.00 general admission and $2.00 with a student I.D. But before Gonzalez does this, she’s taking on the road to the San Francisco Sketch Fest.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ElDavidThomas

 

Naughty Bits Gives Comedians Sex Advice

Ella Gale is the mastermind behind Naughty Bits (photo credit: www.ellagalecomedy.com).
Ella Gale is the mastermind behind Naughty Bits (photo credit: www.ellagalecomedy.com).

Ella Gale is a rather interesting person. She’s been around the Austin comedy scene for quite some time, performing at Coldtowne Theater, and The New Movement Theater. She’s lived in Yemen and Montana among other places, but Austin has won out since she now calls our fair city home.

Gale has her hands full with a variety of comedy projects. In the past she’s performed on Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober, she hosts an open mic called Bomb Shelter at Nasty’s, and performs with Comedy Bazaar at Coldtowne Theater. Currently they are performing a show called A Brief History of Murder.

A New Twist On An Old Topic

One of Gale’s more interesting projects is one she co-produces with her friend and fellow comedian Katie Stone at the New Movement Theater called Naughty Bits.

Katie Stone is pretty busy as well. She hosts Sauced!, a weekly showcase at Kebabalicious on 7th and Narvasota and produces a Sunday show called  The Weekender at The New Movement Theater.

We all know that sex is a frequent topic in stand-up routines. Comedians of all styles and backgrounds have sex jokes. Cody Hustak has a pretty good one regarding a dog. Old school Austin comedian, Matt “Chicken Wing” Sadler has one regarding his preferred method of birth control. It’s just a thing. We all have sex (or want to) and some people have the talent to make fun of it.  What Gale and Stone decided to do is take these jokes and

Naughty Bits analyzes comedians sex jokes (Photo credit: www.newmovementtheater.com).
Naughty Bits analyzes comedians sex jokes (Photo credit: www.newmovementtheater.com).

give the comedian sex advice based on the joke.

It’s an outside-the-box approach to comedy and can probably be pretty insightful. It could be the jokes are a cry for help. Or it could be just a joke. I can’t say whether or not Naughty Bits is meta but it’s definitely something worth seeing.  After all, there are very creative opinions on human sexuality. The added element of seriousness as Ella Gale and Katie Stone analyze a sex joke, and then proceed to offer heartfelt advice and pointers to the comedian, is hilarious to me.

New Movement Is Home

For at least the next four months, Naughty Bits will be calling The New Movement Theater home. Every 1st Sunday Gale and Stone will be at 7th and Lavaca, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to help their fellow comedians work through their issues.

The show starts at 9:30 and runs for just an hour. That isn’t bad and work shouldn’t be an excuse. Ticket prices are only $5.00 and the next show is this Sunday, January 4th. As always, The New Movement Theater is byob (I recommend Lone Star or Coors Banquet) and on Sunday night, parking is pretty easy in The New Movement Theater area of downtown.

If you would like more information on Ella Gale, or The New Movement Theater, click the links below:

Ella Gale

Katie Stone

The New Movement Theater

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ElDavidThomas

 

 

Bad Example: Performing Sketch Comedy With the Big Boys

Head shot of Jeff Whitaker
Jeff Whitaker is the ambitious founder of Bad Example (Credit: Julie Cope Photography).

I recently heard an episode of the Nerdist podcast where Chris Hardwick was interviewing Kevin Smith. In it, Smith told the audience that if they wanted something to happen, to simply do it. I did that with this site, and Jeff Whitaker did it with his sketch comedy group, Bad Example.

Jeff Whitaker Dreamed of Sketch Comedy

In 2013, Whitaker wanted to start a sketch comedy group, so he did. Naming it Bad Example, he began to assemble a group of performers representing a variety of comedy styles and backgrounds. They originally launched the show as a monthly event at The New Movement Theater but has grown it to be a weekly show.

The fully assembled team of Whitaker, Roxy Castillo, Michael Foulk, Vanessa Gonzales, John Buseman (of Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober fame), Stephanie Pace, Cody Cartagena, and Kelsey Rodgers have drawn inspiration from likes of SNL, Mad Tv, Key and Peele, Kids in the Hall, In Living Color and many other nationally recognized sketch comedy shows.

Bad Example sitting on a stoop.
Bad Example is the only Sketch group doing new shows weekly (Credit: Katey Pengra w/Skippy Leland Photography).

By moving Bad Example to a weekly show, Whitaker has taken the group in a direction that no other sketch group in Austin has gone before. Creating a sketch show is hard enough, but doing a new show weekly requires even more time and confidence. Let me reiterate, that’s a one hour show of brand new sketches every week, and Bad Example is doing it with no sponsors, or advertisers. They’re are going all in, all on their own.

Bad Example has Good Intentions

Their next show is this Saturday, December 13th and it has an a special attachment to it. Whitaker and crew are doing this show to benefit the Austin Children’s Shelter. Austin Children’s Shelter  is an important charity in our city. It’s two locations provides a much needed safe place for children who’ve experienced abuse or violent domestic situations and they could use every bit of help.

Having a heart is a something I’ve noticed in the Austin Comedy scene, and I am happy to hear that the notion of kindness and helping others continues to be a underlying theme among local performers. Sure it’s the holiday season, and I know the pressures associated with it. But what better way to support an important charity than by having a few laughs with friends?

50% of ticket sales will go to ACS and there will also be a donation bucket at the box office. Whitaker let me know that gift cards are also encouraged (Target, Walmart, Gap, etc.). It’s a cool way to give the kids a gift and to let them shop a bit for the holidays.

Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. This show is prone to selling out so to be safe, buy them in advance. It will be a good time.

The New Movement Theater

Bad Example

Feel free to follow me on the tweet-mo-sphere, @ElDavidThomas