Austin Comedy Scene Is No Joke: 6 clubs for a good laugh

Cap City hosts one of Austin’s most popular comedy contests.

Ana Flores / Hilltop Views

Cap City hosts one of Austin’s most popular comedy contests.

It’s the start of a new school year, and I can already feel the weight of another tough semester. At times like these, I like to have a laugh. Luckily, Austin is becoming well-known for its growing comedy scene so you don’t have to look too far for that laugh. Here are six of the best comedy clubs Austin has to offer.

Cap City Comedy Club

The Cap City Comedy Club is located at 8120 Research Blvd., and hosts one of Austin’s most popular contests: The Funniest Person in Austin. The club has been open since 1986, originally the Laff Stop, and is the host of well-known comedians every week. Manager Margie Coyle has been a part of Cap City since its inception and has made it into a fixture in the Austin comedy scene. PUNCH! is its most successful show.

Esther’s Follies

Esther’s Follies has been here a while and is one of Austin’s original comedy clubs. It opened up in 1977 and has been going strong ever since. Think “Saturday Night Live” mixed with Austin’s very own talent and you have a rough idea of the kinds of acts that perform on the stage overlooking Sixth Street. There are various shows every Thursday through Saturday as well as comedy workshops for those wanting to join the comedy scene.

The Velveeta Room

As one of Austin’s oldest comedy clubs, The Velveeta Room is another Austin fixture. Nestled in East Sixth Street, The Velv is the place to go for stand-up. Established almost 30 years ago, The Velv has hosted many local and touring comedians, earning the reputation of being a tough room for comics. Despite it being an offshoot of Esther’s Follies, The Velv has become an Austin treasure on its own.

The Hideout Theatre

At 617 Congress Ave. a hidden coffee shop has the appropriately named Hideout Theatre located in the back of its venue. Here, improv takes a real theatrical tone. Located in the heart of downtown, The Hideout is the place to go for improv and theater. There are performances Thursday through Sunday with a mixture of traveling troupes and Austin’s finest. Not every show is free, but all are worth attending.

Fallout Theater

The Fallout Theater, formerly The New Movement, features one of Austin’s more intimate stage set-ups and is the youngest theater in downtown Austin. This old fallout shelter has become one of the most popular underground theaters in town, attracting crowds every night. The Fallout Theater has a pay-what-you-want system, BYOB policy and shows seven days a week.

ColdTowne Theater

The list would not be complete without ColdTowne Theater. ColdTowne began when an improv troupe relocated to Austin after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Now located on Airport Boulevard, ColdTowne is an irreplaceable spot for the stand-up scene in Austin. This venue even offers classes for sketch and improv. Known for its quality acts, BYOB policy and small interior, ColdTowne is a comedy gem in the Capital City.