I’ve been a fan of stand-up and improv comedy for many years, but never had many opportunities to actually attend a show. I saw ASSSCAT 3000 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in NYC back in 2003, and have been dying to see another show ever since. Austin is a great spot for both forms of comedy and has been a rising attraction in the past few years at SXSW, no more so than at this year’s shows held exclusively at Esther’s Follies.
This year Esther’s Follies hosted two weeks of events featuring many of today’s best and most popular comedians. I was able to attend two of the comedy shows: Talk Nerdy To Me (which featured Doug Benson, Chris Hardwick, Eugene Mirman, Tom Lennon, and a special appearance by Aziz Ansari) and The Benson Interruption.
I knew going downtown would be insane, so I mapped ahead using the City of Austin’s website to note road closures and plot out additional routes. Rather than drive around and look for an open parking lot that isn’t charging $15, I opted for the Convention Center Garage. I had to park on the roof, but it only cost me $8 and I was one block away from the venue. The admission was $10 and I walked right in 30 minutes before the show started.
The Benson Interruption, for those not familiar, is a stand-up comedy showcase featuring Doug Benson and his comedian friends. Doug does an opening set and then introduces the other comedians. Instead of leaving, he stays on stage in his chair (in this occasion: giant, plastic, and lime green) and “interrupts” the other comedian’s sets with is own jokes.
Among the comedians that were interrupted by Doug: Eugene Mirman, Chelsea Peretti (shown in the picture above), Doug Mellard, Brody Stevens and more. I enjoyed Chelsea the most. Her and Doug had a great rapport and were riffing off each other constantly. I was especially glad to learn that the “V” in her twitter name stands for “Vagina.” It was a great show, and I look forward to Doug returning in June at Capitol City Comedy Club.