Altercation Comedy Festival 2019 recap

It was an honor to be back at Kick Butt Coffee (Austin, TX) for the 2019 Altercation Comedy Fest. I was there back in 2017 too. Here are some of my favorite things from 2019.

First of all, Jt Habersaat is living proof that there are numerous ways to “make it” in comedy. Rather than wait around for something to happen or pound on (exclusively) comedy club doors until his knuckles bled, hoping he could kiss the right ass and *maybe* get “rewarded” with tiny, leveling-up minutes of unpaid stage time, he honed his craft and took it to the road, playing unconventional venues — coffee shops, punk clubs, dive bars, wherever would have him — making friends, colleagues and fans simply by being very good at what he does and not being an asshole.

So highlight #1 is the festival itself. It’s more than just a string of shows showcasing some of the most hilarious comics and killer bands, it’s FOUR SOLD-OUT NIGHTS’ worth of evidence that the conventional path isn’t the only way. There are all sorts of overgrown trails through the woods, and if you’re willing to put in the work and learn your way around a machete, you can go wherever you want.

Also, super props to Kick Butt Coffee (Austin, TX) and staff. Damn nice people, delicious goddamn cookies.

2. Finally got to meet Mishka Shubaly in real life and see him play. Only bummer was I wanted him to play for like two more hours.

3. Finally got to see Kristen Becker, one of the most engaging comics and storytellers I’ve seen in a long time.

4. Finally got to see Heels play a full set of originals, not just one Limp Bizkit song.

5. Florida was well-represented. I think, not counting me, there were seven comics who either started in or currently live in FL.

6. My buddy Whitney Chitwood flying in to close a showcase and absolutely destroying (debut album drops 10/18 on Stand Up! Records).

7. Getting to see Brett Erickson again and again thinking “This guy should be way famous.”

8. Realizing as I stepped off stage that my phone stopped recording my set 2 seconds in, feeling my heart sink, but then Eddie Pepitone said I was funny and I (mostly) stopped caring.

9. Pepitone and Joe DeRosa slaying.

10. Scott Reynolds‘ (ALL), Kyle Shutt‘s (The Sword), and Mr. Lifto’s (Jim Rose Circus) tour stories. Bonus story from Joe Sib (Wax) the next day.

11. All you can eat breakfast taco bar where I ate 6 tacos.

Texas, this is a yearly event and it is a gem for a ridiculously reasonable price. If you missed it this year, treat yourself next year.