Who's OOB 2013

Without the monetary muscle of a Moontower or a Fun Fun Fun Fest, the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival hasn't been able to book the big names among national laughmakers, but the festival has always hosted quality talent, whether familiar (Kids in the Hall's Kevin McDonald, 30 Rock's Scott Adsit and John Lutz) or not so much (Razowsky and Clifford, Dasariski, Beer Shark Mice). While OOB mastermind Jeremy Sweetlamb says the festival's longevity and positive rep may finally be attracting star acts – "Some of them are starting to come to us, which has been glorious" – drawing the performers on his wish list still isn't easy. "Mostly, we aim high for big acts, get heartbroken when we hear their cost or availability, and then move on to the next people on the wish list," he says. "We try to balance things out so that some of our headliners are 'improv famous' – in other words, people the improv nerds coming to perform would be excited about – and other headliners have a little more commercial appeal while still being viable as live entertainers. The perfect balance of marketability and show quality is something we strive to obtain, and most of the time we get it right. The whole process starts around November and is a series of dead ends and heartwrenching disappointments, a lot like working in L.A. or New York. But every year we find some diamonds in the rough."

A few cases in point for this year's OOB:

All Girl Revue Before she got the best of Principal Ed Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, before she was Pee Wee Herman's Hermit Hattie, before she was a regular on David Letterman's morning show, Edie McClurg was an improviser with the Groundlings. Now, she returns to her roots in this all-star troupe of women players from the Groundlings, Second City, and the Annoyance Theatre. Friday, Aug. 30, 8:30pm; Saturday, Aug. 31, 8pm, Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside.

Blowfly If you missed the documentary The Weird World of Blowfly at SXSW three years ago, suffice to say this alter ego of songwriter and music producer Clarence Reid is to Weird Al Yankovic as Redd Foxx is to Rodney Dangerfield: just as funny but triple the 'X'es. The song parodies of the "original dirty rapper" range from "Too Fat to Fuck" to "Shittin' on the Dock of the Bay." Friday, Aug. 30, 10pm, Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress.

The Doubtful Guests Los Angeles improvisers Todd Stashwick, Sabrina Hill, Jason Ades, and Ezra Weisz portray a quartet of vapid Victorians who, after dying in a brothel fire, are doomed for eternity to perform a cabaret of the damned. Their songs and sagas of retribution and revenge are salted with their own post-mortal disgruntlement and sweetened by the musical stylings of accordion/mandolin/banjo/ukelele/bass/drum combo the Penny Dreadful. Saturday, Aug. 31, 9pm; Sunday, Sept. 1, 9pm, Stateside at the Paramount, 719 Congress.

  • More of the Story

  • Improv-Educated

    Out of Bounds Comedy Festival makes more room for Austin's increasingly savvy audiences

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