Live comedy, for many, is an art form that is still confined to two major centers: New York and Los Angeles. Other cities — Chicago, Boston, Toronto, San Francisco, Austin, Montreal, Seattle, and Denver — are often unfairly relegated to the periphery. They represent thriving scenes that matter because they exist, but aside from that are generally ignored and rarely scouted.
If the latter cities make up the periphery of the comedy scene, then it would be fair to say that Vancouver, British Columbia — tucked far away in the Pacific Northwest, three hours from Seattle, six hours from Portland, and too many hours from anywhere else — lies in [...]
Four hours North of New York City, Boston proper exists in the perpetual shadow of one of the largest comedy scenes in the country. Boston Proper is a smallish city but its comedy scene is spread out amongst two interconnected cities: Cambridge (The People’s Republic Of) and Somerville. There's not much of an entertainment industry in Boston, but with over fifty colleges in the greater Boston area that provide ample audiences, and a large and growing number of shows and venues, Boston is a great scene for comics to develop. It's a scene that responds to innovation, but also respects the past. Boston's audiences vary from Harvard students to [...]
Though I was not born in Texas, and did not get here as fast as I could, and while much of what lies outside Austin City Limits is a mystery to me, there’s one local fact I know for sure: Austin’s got an insanely great comedy scene, and it’s growing fast.
It took awhile to get the timing right. In 1997 Austin Stories premiered, an effort to introduce an emerging stand-up scene to MTV’s hip audience with the help of Howard Kremer, Chip Pope, Laura House and Matt Bearden (also Patton Oswalt, who briefly served as head writer). Decidedly Slacker-inspired, its washed-out world [...]