Happy Valentine’s month! Excited? Terrified? Love is tough. So is comedy.
Speaking of tough, it was just three years ago that “The Daily Show” and its warrior-king Jon Stewart passed on the baton to the largely unknown South African comic Trevor Noah. Those were big shoes to fill, and Noah has made the show his own. It’s wonderful to see a comedian in his prime continue to sharpen his bite every night on TV. Better still, see the comedian and best-selling author free from the box and live on stage, Feb. 2-3 at Bass Concert Hall.
Here are some other fun ways to let loose with a loved one and do your part to keep Austin the Live Comedy Capital of the World.
Hot Pot Comedy Presents: “This Asian-American Life” at ColdTowne Theater. Austin’s only all-Asian-American sketch comedy troupe debuts its first sketch show, “This Asian-American Life.” The troupe explores themes of racism and sociopolitical invisibility and gives a snapshot into the day-to-day living of “life as an Asian in modern times.”
“Mortified” at Spider House Ballroom. This show is a living cringe and a must-see. “Ripped from the pages of real life,” it features a mix of Austin writers and performers reading from their personal childhood journals, embarrassing and wonderful at the same time. The ongoing show has been featured on “This American Life” and described as a “cultural phenomenon” by Newsweek. “Mortified” often sells out, so get your tix and suck it up!
“Love is A Funny Thing” at the Hideout. Ready to avoid/pre-empt/smooth over that Valentine’s Day fight? Celebrate the holiday with your significant other (or treat yourself!) with some fancy improv that includes gourmet chocolate and flowers in the ticket price.
Avery Moore with Mac Blake at Velveeta Room. Described as a “comedian, thespian, and part-time witch,” Moore is a wonderful example of an Austin comedian who cannot be boxed in. She has been featured as a regular at the Moontower Comedy Festival, PBS’s “Stand Up Empire” and was featured in the documentary film “Funniest.” Moore has been touring regularly with Louis Anderson, so her star is rising. This should give you greater urgency to see this wonderful writer and performer whom we will be hearing about for years to come.
Brian Posehn at Cap City Comedy Club. Posehn embodies that comedy cocktail of approachability and aloofness that defines the ’90s alternative comedy scene. I remember first seeing him on the now legendary “Mr. Show with Bob and David” on HBO, on tours like “Comedians of Comedy” and in movies like Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects.” Posehn is his own force to be reckoned with, like a giant orange Muppet, and brings a metalhead’s rage and nerdcore aesthetic.
Feb. 23 and recurring Fridays
“In the Treehouse” at Austin Java. Chris Castles is a mover and shaker in the Austin scene. He runs two shows across town, and “In the Treehouse” at Austin Java is always an intimate and well-booked showcase. You never know who you’ll see there, and for the price of free, this show fits any date-night budget.
Brently Heilbron is a writer, emo puppet and host of the PBS series “Stand Up Empire.” Got a show to recommend? Reach out @Brently on Twitter.