Cap City Comedy Club is my favorite place in town. That’s saying a lot, considering the number of businesses and establishments I’ve written about during my time with The Austinot. But I said it and I stand by it.
It Began in the 80’s
I don’t know exactly where to begin because there’s so much to say about Cap City Comedy Club. I guess I’ll take a cue from Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…”
Cap City Comedy Club was founded in the mid-1980’s by Houston natives Howard and Sandy Marcus. The Marcuses originally named the club The Laff Stop and settled on a location at the eastern edge of an L-shaped shopping center at 8120 Research Boulevard.
In the mid 1990’s, the club changed its name to Cap City Comedy Club and is now under the watchful eye of general manager Margie Coyle.
Over the years, the club has brought the best in comedy to Austin. Texas based acts like the late Bill Hicks, the late Sam Kinison and Ron “Tater Salad” White made Cap City Comedy Club their home. Other national headliners like D. L. Hughley, Joe Rogan, Gabriel Iglesias and Kevin Nealon have not only visited the club, but continue to return.
Loving the Local Scene
Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, but its comedy scene is top notch and Cap City has been instrumental in making it so. The club has given local comics a stage to perform on. Many of them have emceed or featured for headlining acts. The Sunday open mic show features a wide range of comics who are either just getting started in stand up comedy or working on new material.
Cap City is divided into two rooms. The small room features…well, a small stage, in the front of the club with the bar. This is where the open mic show and other smaller showcases like All’s Well (a showcase hosted by Mac Blake and Joe Halfkey) take place. The big room is in the back of the club and seats about 300 people. Headliners and events like The Funniest Person in Austin contest are held here.
Both rooms feature a full menu and bar. The menu features a few speciality items like the Mac and Cheese bites (named after Funniest Person in Austin winner Mac Blake), the Dudley and Bob nachos (named after Austin’s longest running radio morning show) and Punch! Punch, a specialty cocktail of Jameson and ginger beer named after the long running Punch! Comedy Showcase. It should be noted there is a two-item minimum at the club.
Take Some Tips from Me!
I’d like to take a moment to offer some tips for your visit to Cap City Comedy Club:
- Show up early. The parking lot is smaller than the club requires sometimes, and it’s best to show up early to your show to make parking easier. In a pinch, overflow parking is available in front of the Hobby Lobby in the shopping center next to Cap City. But only park in front of Hobby Lobby. Towing is hawkishly enforced.
- No heckling. The people are paying to see the comedians, not you. Please be respectful.
- Research the comedian. Comedy is subjective. One comedian’s act may not resonate with you as it would me. If you’re offended by adult or graphic material, don’t see a comedian specializing in it. To put it in music genre terms, if you only like country music, don’t go see Metallica.
- Have fun. I have seen many different headliners and showcases. Not every comedian won me over, but when I was with a good group of friends with good attitudes, I had a great time.
- Open mic. You’ll rarely see polished material at an open mic. Think of it as a rehearsal or a scrimmage game. So cut the comedians a bit of slack.
I cannot recommend Cap City Comedy Club enough. I hope you take time to check out a show or two. All information can be found where? On their website, of course.
@ElDavidThomas wants to know:
Have you seen live comedy in Austin? Where?