Audio By Valerie, Words By Richard
(Quick housekeeping note: While Valerie normally does two part interviews, we’ve decided to make some changes in the interview format, moving from two segments per episode to one. It’s the same great content, just now in a single juicy interview. We hope you enjoy it and be back for many more to come.)
As you know, Comedy Wham focuses on Austin comedy. While many have traveled the road to be here, it’s rare to have someone land in our midst from as far away as Tai Nguyen.
Born in Vietnam, Nguyen had a brief stint in sunny California before making Austin his home. Unlike many comedians who had a steady diet of US or British humor in their early years, he came from a much more isolated environment, with nary a TV or radio (or toilet) to be found at home.
Of all things, an interest in rap videos happened to give Nguyen his first glimpse into stand-up comedy. he took an immediate liking to it, but it would still be over 5 years before he took in his first experience with live comedy. Like many other comedians in Austin, Tai Nguyen found himself being called Velveeta Room thanks to its doorman, Michael David Park. He spent many a night in the darkness of the crowd in that club. It wasn’t until June 2015 that encouragement from coworkers led him to take the next step into stepping behind the mic himself.
Besides relentlessly practicing his sets, Tai Nguyen has quickly expanded into more projects, including video sketches and perfecting his onstage “mad rap skills”(with Austin local Sam Harter) as The Ying Yang Broz. Check out their very first performance on YouTube, and find more videos weekly at their home at YingYangBroz.com. He has also appeared on Punch, and the 2016 Funniest Person in Austin Contest, barely a year after his first open mic. Nguyen is in love with the rush of performing, and it shows in everything he does.
To see more of Tai Nguyen, you can catch him co-hosting Live at Coldtowne every Friday at 10pm with Sam Harter, and find more upcoming appearances on his Last Gas Comedy page. During the interview, he even reveals an exciting project in the pipeline.