Out of Bounds Comedy Festival

Getting the last laugh on summer

Kacey Samiee
Kacey Samiee
Okay, so the summer of 2011 hasn't exactly given you a hell of lot to laugh about – though it has given you hell whenever you stepped outside. Still, the days of triple digits are numbered, a Monday holiday is on the horizon, and, most liberating of all where your jocularitorial release valve is concerned, OOB is back. God bless the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which arrives at the ass-end of August every year to flip the bird at the dog days and give our broiled city a week's worth of improv, stand-up, and sketch at which we can laugh ourselves silly.

Jonathan Pace
Jonathan Pace

This summer marks the 10th time that the festival has provided Austin this late-summer comic relief, and, not to be outdone by the thermometer, it's offering more than 120 improv and sketch acts between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5, plus five dozen stand-up comics and a trio of films, including documentaries about Lenny Bruce, legendary improviser Del Close, and the Compass Players, out of which came Second City. Of course, a good chunk of these funny folk hail from the ATX, but OOB is increasingly drawing more of its participants from beyond the city limits: Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, and the Second City itself, Chicago. Most of the groups that perform will have names just as unfamiliar and obscure as those of bands playing South by Southwest – Never Pickles, Stripper's Picnic, Margot's Pie – but just as one of that other festival's real pleasures is discovering great music from a band you'd never heard of, a great joy of OOB is having your sides split by some unknown jokester.

That's not to discount the impressive headliners that OOB manages to snag each year. This time around, you can enjoy MADtv alum Stephnie Weir with her husband, master improviser Bob Dassie, as the improv duo WeirDass (Friday, Sept. 2, 10:45pm, State Theatre); improv and stand-up star Greg Proops (Saturday, Sept. 3, 4:30pm, Hideout Theatre; Saturday, Sept. 3, 8pm, State; Sunday, Sept. 4, 7pm, State); and Saturday Night Live vet Tim Meadows in the improv trio Uncle's Brother (Sunday, Sept. 4, 9pm, State; Monday, Sept. 5, 8pm, State). To further whet your appetite for this comedy smorgasbord, Chronicle Arts Listings Editor Wayne Alan Brenner has asked several fest participants what they're looking forward to at OOB X. (For more, see Arts Listings.) For a complete schedule, visit www.outofboundscomedy.com.

Lashonda Lester
Lashonda Lester

Kacey Samiee (improviser with Girls Girls Girls, J/K, and Girl Embassy World Team): "I can't believe it's starting already – it seems so soon. I'm very excited to see the Todd Stashwick show, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting is always so good, Montreal improv, FUCT, anything from N.Y. or L.A., and the Tom Booker roast – and I'll be helping to roast him!"

Jonathan Pace (stand-up comedian): "Boom Chicago out of Amsterdam is probably the standout. I'll probably go to the Greg Proops podcast thing, too. I'm actually featuring at Cap City Comedy Club that same week, so between dashing from there to OOB venues for my shows there, I may be running around too much to actually get to see many of the acts."

Lashonda Lester (stand-up comedian): "I'm looking forward to seeing Greg Proops, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, and the new Lenny Bruce movie."

Steve Donovan
Steve Donovan

Steve Donovan (of improv troupe Achatina Achatina!): "[Jill Bernard's] Drum Machine was pretty great last year, and she's playing with Hunnicutt & Grace, which I haven't seen, but Eric Hunicutt was a member of the Reckoning before he moved to L.A. And I hear good things about Switchboard up here in Chicago, and Rebecca Sohn is pretty legendary up here, and they're playing with the Frank Mills – who are some of the most experienced improvisers in Austin – on Saturday night."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Out of Bounds Comedy Festival
Last Minute Out of Bounds Comedy Festival Recommendations
Last Minute Out of Bounds Comedy Festival Recommendations
Here are some recos for OOB shows to catch Thursday-Sunday

Aug. 31, 2018

Out of Bounds Comedy Festival 2016: The Frank Mills, Loverboy, People of Earth
Out of Bounds Comedy Festival 2016: The Frank Mills, Loverboy, People of Earth
These three improv troupes gave us an earful at this year's OoB

Robert Faires, Sept. 9, 2016

More by Robert Faires
Trust the Process in Gesel Mason's <i>burst!</i>
Trust the Process in Gesel Mason's burst!
In this Texas Theatre & Dance project, students learn to undo

Feb. 25, 2021

"Deborah Roberts: I'm" at the Contemporary Austin
In the exhibition at the Contemporary Austin, we learn what it is to be seen and not seen

Feb. 19, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, OOB, Kacey Samiee, Jonathan Pace, Steve Donovan, Lashonda Lester, Tom Booker, Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting, Girls Girls Girls, The Frank Mills

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle