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02/07/2014 - Comedy In Austin, and Where to Find It

Comedy In Austin, and Where to Find It Austin is well known for it’s eclectic and top notch nightlife and culture; whether it’s music, art, bars, or pretty much any other form of entertainment, you can always find something exciting happening around the city. Austin is famous across the world for a number of reasons - the SXSW music festival drawing huge crowds from across the globe for example, and for being the birthplace and haunt of pioneering alternative comic Bill Hicks. The culture of stand up is still very present here too - making it the perfect place for comedy fans to explore. Comedy Venues in Austin Live improv has become one of the most popular forms of comedy in the city, and with festivals like ‘Out of Bounds’ going from strength to strength, you can even indulge in a few days worth of laughter filled performances from comedians that hail from all over the US, and the world at large. There are a number of great comedy venues to discover any night of the week too, ranging from specialist comedy clubs to theaters that host regular comedy events. Capitol City Comedy Club, Esther’s Follies, and The Velveeta Rooms are all clubs that offer a wide variety of stand up shows sure to tickle your funny bone. The Capitol Comedy Club also has some history. Formerly known as the Laff Stop, it was at this venue that the infamous Bill Hicks performed regularly, and as a result is just the place to visit if you’re a fan. Some comedy companies that operate in Austin, such as Coldtowne Theater, also offer a number of classes ranging from improvisation to sketch classes - just the thing for trying out your own jokes and getting some professional guidance. Visiting from Overseas Austin is a pretty easy going city, and it’s this laid back, artist friendly atmosphere that attracts tourists, musicians and artists from all over the world. Whether you‘re here just for the comedy, or as part of a wider holiday, taking in some of the stunning venues will be high on the list of things to do, and knowing what venues interest you most, as well as finding out what’s on during your stay will make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Of course, comedy fans, particularly those of Bill Hicks, will also be drawn to the city, to walk the streets of the stand up’s home town, and visit the places he performed. One of Hick’s great regrets was that the US as a whole never really embraced his work, yet he found lasting popularity over ‘the pond’ in the UK. As a result, his work is very well known there, and die hard Brit fans won’t be disappointed by all that Austin has to offer, in addition to comedy history. Of course, whatever you’re planning on doing during your visit, make sure to come prepared in order to make the most out of the buzzing nightlife here. International visitors will want to make sure they’re getting the best value for money when it comes to making every penny of a travel budget count. There’s a few ways to do this. Regardless of where you’re traveling from, the easiest way to reach Austin is via air travel to Austin International Airport. Booking well in advance could also save you money on flights, which means more to spend once you reach the city. There’s also a wide range of budget accommodation available in the city thanks to it’s vibrant student population, so booking yourself in at a hostel or budget hotel can also make your money go further. Visitors may also want to keep an eye on exchange rates. You can generally find decent rates if you shop around, and try and plan travel when the rates are expected to be good. It’s also worth checking what kind of discount offers are available on tickets for any venues you plan on visiting beforehand, especially if you’re traveling as a group. All these little tricks will add up and should mean you can enjoy that little bit more of Austin as a result. Bill Hicks Heritage Being an alternative comedian, you won’t of course, find any placards or museums dedicated to the life and times of Goat Boy. In fact, the very thought of this would probably make Bill turn in his grave! That said, the man and his work have become a part of the fabric of Austin culture, and you’re bound to see him pop up in various references and forms, such as a few years ago when he appeared (posthumously) at the SXSW festival. Make sure to ask around at comedy venues, and you’re bound to hear some stories or tales of Bill’s heyday in Austin. Even though the Laff Stop has evolved, many current and former comedians in the city still hold a special place for where Bill took comedy, and that attitude has infused itself in Austin ever since - what better way to experience it that with a night out at some of Austin’s best comedy venue. ~ Susie Mulligan.

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