The Austin Chronicle

What’s So Funny About This Thursday Night?

By Wayne Alan Brenner, September 12, 2018, 3:30pm, All Over Creation

Because it’s the Velveeta Room’s 30th birthday on Thursday, Sept. 13, see? Which means that the Downtown gem of stand-up comedy will be throwing a 30th birthday party that night. Which means that if a, whattayacallit, a meteorite? If a meteorite hits the place in the middle of the action …


… it’ll wipe out a quota of comics who are so damned talented, so constantly funny, that the entire country’s level of hilarity will noticeably drop.

Hell, even the world’s level of that precious commodity. The loss would be noted globally, we think, considering the lineup on Sept. 13, for what’s essentially an all-star version of the Velv’s usual Thursday night Speed Mic show.

But, listen closely now, citizen, while we whisper a thing into your shell-like ear:


Which means that we’ll all be safe to enjoy the show, and that the performers – Chris Cubas, Carina Magyar, Martha Kelly, Matt Bearden, Mac Blake, Jasmine Ellis, and many others – will go on to lay glorious waste to the humor-appreciating cortices of human brains for years to come.

That’s good news for everyone, we reckon. Kind of like the good news from Pat Dean when he took over as Velveeta Room manager in January of this year.

And how’s it been going since then, we wonder, for this Dean who’s a comic in his own right, who spends so much of every weekend holding down the mixologist side of the Velv’s bar?

“It's been great!” says Dean, echoing the response of new managers everywhere – but we believe him. “Since we've been open so long,” he elaborates, “there are a steady group of regulars that’ve been coming here since before I took over. I love that the place has been around for as long as it has. It's … it’s nuts that I'm allowed to run it.”

Nuts? Or, noting the crowd of local superstars he’s wrangled for Thursday night’s party, just extremely savvy?

But never mind the rhetorical questions, let’s go all faux-hardline here – like during an interview for some employment grind, where the interviewer asks you what your biggest weakness is. Because, sure, Dean’s got a stage full of Austin’s best and brightest for Thursday night. But he’s not, like, the comedy godfather, is he? There were probably some people he wanted for this historic celebration, but he couldn’t get them – because they were booked elsewhere, because they simply weren’t … available?

Dean considers this.

“I really wish Lashonda Lester and Monty Wayne were around,” he says.


That whole meteorite bit is, after all, just a bunch of goofball nonsense.

And, you know, this is why we can never have enough comedy in our lives. This is why Thursday night’s 30th Anniversary Show at the Velveeta Room, where the familiar walls are gonna shake with well-earned laughter, will be one of the best possible things for this city’s hearts and minds.

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