If you want to get to know more about Austin’s comedy scene but have an aversion to being around other humans, you’ll want to check out the new KLRU series “Stand Up Empire.” The premiere episode aired on June 5 and features a wide variety of comics from the Austin area.
From their website:
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Stand Up Empire is a new episodic series shot in Austin, Texas chronicling the white-hot stand up comedy scene currently exploding in the “live music capital of the world.” Co-Creators Brently Heilbron & Mike Wilson bring you a mix of intimate interviews and tight stand up comedy sets by Austin’s brightest rising stars.
“Right here in Austin, Texas where the queso flows there’s no better embodiment of where the scene is going,” host Brently Heilbron tells the audience as the show opens. “And that’s what we aim to do with our little show — Let’s document the scene as it is right now and paint the full picture of the artist.”
The premiere episode is 25 minutes long and features Chris Cubas and Saffron Herndon, as well as a snapshot of the Moontower Comedy Festival. Here’s a nice little teaser they uploaded to YouTube…
If you haven’t heard of Cubas before, you’ve probably never been to a comedy show in Austin. He’s one of the most recognizable names and faces in the local comedy scene. He’s also enjoyed some successes on a national level, including performing for Comedy Central. Cubas’ set for the show includes lots of Austin references, including some jokes about the Austin Police Department and everyone’s favorite grocery store to lampoon, Whole Foods.
Herndon kills her stand up sets by taking adult situations and applying them to her life. The 5th grader started her standup career at the ripe old age of eight. She calls herself a feminist, has a very low tolerance for bigots, and counts Phyllis Diller and Aubrey Plaza as some of her comedic influences. She’s one of those kids who is wise beyond her years and you just can’t wait until she turns 21 so you can go have a beer together.
The format of the show does a great job at keeping audiences both entertained and informed, jumping between stand up routines and interviews with the artists. The low budget nature of the show is really only evident when it’s clear that someone forgot to provide the camera person with a tripod during the interviews. Otherwise, the show is really well executed and well worth investing your viewing time in.
The series currently has a total of six episodes that will air on Sundays through July. For those who are inspired by the show to give stand up a try, Empire hosts a weekly open mic night every Tuesday.
Featured photo screen shot from “Stand Up Empire”