Austin's comedy scene has become a big conversation. Unconventional venues have sprung up across the city, improv classes are a standard activity for young adults and events like Moontower Comedy Festival pair big names (Maria Bamford, Anthony Jeselnik, Reggie Watts, and Amy Schumer) with the best in upcoming stand-up, sketch and improv talent.
With soil that rich getting noticed isn't as easy as it was a handful of years back, so when Mac Blake outcompeted 200 comics for the title Funniest Person in Austin, well, it was kind of a big deal.
I've followed Blake since his less-visible days, when he and co-collaborator David Jara blocked off an unassuming hour of airtime on KOOP, Austin's community radio station, and called it 'Mascot Wedding'. A twisty blend of riffy, pranky dialog, the weekly program developed a cult audience. We tuned in each Saturday to hear Blake, Jara and their revolving cast of pals call-in using false voices or just pick-apart comic books, city-centric living, fast food atrocities and all the stuff in between.
That show's since morphed into a podcast, both fellas now perform with John Erler's popular Master Pancake empire and collaborate with a core posse of improv and sketch comics in a group called STAG!, which serves live and video bits to sell-out crowds.
A few years back Blake started messing around with stand-up; now he's one of the most recognizable figures in Austin's comedy scene. Part of that is because he's, like, super tall. The rest is because he's really fucking funny.
Thanks to a newish monthly stand-up series at Texas Theatre, Behind the Screen Comedy, organized and booked by rogue local promoter Elizabeth Howard, Dallas gets to see Mac Blake tonight. More »