A student of the game due in large part to the knowledge of his grandfather, this is one comedian who can revolve his entire life around a very good laugh. As part of We Own The Laughs.com’s Comedian of the Day, have a few laughs and get to know comedian Austin Carr. The Burlingame, CA native shares with us some of his favorite moments in stand-up comedy and lets us know how he owns the laughs.
Name: Austin Carr
Hometown: Burlingame, CA
Years in Comedy: 4 years
Haven’t we seen you somewhere before: YouTube & People of Earth Podcast
Comedic Influences: Robin Williams, George Carlin, Louis CK & Bill Hicks
Favorite Comedy Album: Dane Cook “Harmful If Swallowed”
Favorite Comedy Special(s): Dave Chappelle “Killin’ Them Softly” & Zach Galifianakis “Live From The Purple Onion”
Favorite Comedy Movie(s): Tropic Thunder, Superbad, & Funny People
Favorite Comedy TV Show: High Maintenance
Favorite Comedic Character: Larry David
Favorite City to Perform In: Austin, TX
Favorite Topics to Joke About: My life & turning a negative thing into something positive and funny.
Favorite Type of Audience for a Comedy Show: People that bring fun energy & appreciate stand up.
Favorite Comedy Club: Cobb’s Comedy Club
How did you discover your passion for comedy:
I watched my grandfather hold court & make people laugh all of my life, and truly admired his ability to be a conduit for joy and positive energy for everyone around him – I thought that was just about the greatest Superpower in the world… So I decided I wanted to be that way with people and do whatever I could do to have that kind of effect on the people in my life.
What do you remember most about your first time performing stand-up comedy:
I was so nervous! I remember crossing the street, and then quickly turning back around to go home… And then turning back around to cross the street, but pivoting again to go back home… And just ending up in the middle of the street punishing myself for being so ready to give up before I even gave MYSELF a chance! But I finally made it in, and I remember how supportive the host Travis Thielen was, how loud the bar was & a feeling like as I was introducing myself to this room of people I was also somehow meeting myself for the first time.
How would you describe your comedic style:
A healthy mix of self-deprecation, observational humor and storytelling! I like to be goofy and can get a little dirty – life is hard & serious enough, comedy should be fun!
Describe your process for comedic writing:
Brett Erickson once told me “You can write for the stage, but your stage time informs your writing – so get as much stage time as you can & try new things on stage, then go back to your notebook with what worked and what didn’t.” That’s probably some of the best, most succinctly true advice anyone could get about comedy. So I usually take an idea, throw it against the wall of an audience & see what sticks!
Describe the comedy scene in your area:
We have some hilarious comics out in San Francisco, 2 fantastic clubs plus others in neighboring cities so there’s lots of stage time & very supportive people in the comedy community!
How do you judge success in the world of comedy:
People leaving your show happier than when they came in.
Who are some of your comedic peers that you enjoy watching perform or inspire you personally and professionally:
I love watching my friends Emily Van Dyke & Mikey McKernan, they always make my face hurt from laughing! It was a true honor to watch so many of my idols come through the clubs I worked at and watch them like a little ball boy from the sidelines… Burr, Chappelle, Stanhope, Rock, Attell – so many greats!
What’s been your most memorable moment in comedy:
Performing in The Belly Room at The Comedy Store in front of my best friend from childhood.
What have you learned most from your failures in comedy:
Every failure is an opportunity for growth – I learned to not be afraid of bombing – Andrew Santino told me “one of the greatest things about this is every set ends… If you bomb it’s gonna be over soon, and then as soon as it’s over you can start growing from that experience and learn from it & have every opportunity to go out and be better the next time.”
How do people react towards you when they realize that you can make people laugh:
I LOVE making my friends laugh and random, unsuspecting people laugh! It is a fun kind of power to just fire off a zinger and make some random person smile for a moment of their dog day. But when people hit you with the “Oh! You’re a comedian? Well, tell me a joke! Go on, make me laugh!” it feels a lot like one of those farmhouse games for kids learning how to associate pictures and sounds and words – hit a button and “the cow says ‘moo’!” – and I’ve got a button on my forehead that goes “the comedian says ‘something stupid, panics and defaults to dick jokes’!”
Describe what it’s been like building a career in stand-up comedy:
Battling all the demons in my head that tell me I don’t deserve to chase my dreams – so much of pursuing any passion is just getting out of your own way and giving yourself permission to live the life you want to live! Beyond that it takes being a kind and supportive member of the comedy community, but more than anything being a self-starter and keeping motivated! But honestly I have had more fun than any one person should ever be allowed to have, I’ve met so many amazing people and have made memories no one can take from me! So I guess, what it’s like is what you make it! Smell them roses! Buy the ticket, take the ride! And don’t forget to have fun!
If you could change one thing in the world of comedy, what would it be:
I’d do away with this braindead march towards the digital world that seeks to package and productize our experiences, the policing of language that comes with an artform being broadcast to members of the public who have no appreciation for our art which informs our worldview & the toxic nature of the comparison metric spawned by social media breeding envy and protectionism rather than celebration and collaboration!
Best advice you’ve ever received from a comedian:
“You can keep telling yourself ‘one day I want to be a comedian…’ but what happens when you say that enough times and five years go by? Just get on stage.”
If you were releasing a comedy special this week, what would it be called:
“Are You Funny?”
Funniest encounter you’ve ever had with a celebrity:
Bert Kreischer one time filmed a drunken promo video with me for my old show called “Belly Laughs” and when we both showed our bellies he called me out for “sucking it in”.
Weirdest place you’ve ever performed any forms of comedy:
A Rotary Meeting & in a bathtub on Zoom.
An Austin Carr Fun Fact:
I went to Fat Camp as a kid (Shut Up!).
Where would you like your laughs to take you:
I want to travel the world making people laugh and be able to support a family someday spreading laughter & joy.
What would you tell a potential comedian if they ask you how they can own the laughs:
Be unapologetically you, stand behind your jokes, lean in & bring the energy!
What are your thoughts on the future of comedy:
I’m looking forward to my residency on Mars, getting paid in NFTs of classical works of art, and you can buy holograms of my act-outs in the gift shop!
If you could write one episode for one classic TV sitcom which show would it be and give a brief detailed sentence on the episode:
An episode of Seinfeld where they try to save Kramer’s career – it doesn’t pan out and the Curb version of the episode is better. That and/or an entirely unscripted episode of Two And A Half Men with “Tiger Blood Charlie Sheen”.
If you could choose 1 comedy club and 3 comedians to perform with on your perfect comedy show, how would it go:
I’d give anything to bring back Robin Williams, Richard Pryor and Patrice O’Neal in their primes for a show in the Main Room of The Comedy Store – I would want to go first and do it Boston style, so that as soon as I was done I could just sit in the back of the room, laugh, take it all in & all go do god knows what in the Green Room together before we head to a diner, because none of use are ready to stop laughing.
What’s next for you:
The best I could hope for, and all I could ask for would be more of the same & continued opportunities to grow as a comedian and a human being. I am bringing back my show “Talking After Sets” at Cobb’s Comedy Club June 6th, I get to headline my first club weekend at Improvmania in Arizona June 11th and 12th & then I’m coming back for my boat show “Comedy on the Bay” Father’s Day weekend! I hope to record more episodes of my podcast “People of Earth”, maybe make a silly shirt to get some merch started & hit the road more!
Why should a person always laugh at life:
.We all go through so much. Life will challenge you, test you, occasionally beat you down – but the human experience is what we make it. It can be one of sorrow & defeat – or a tale of triumph, redemption and joy. Negativity can be daunting, but I would argue that positivity is a much stronger force & just as, if not more contagious. If someone is being negative in a room, we might all feel a little shitty but it’s not very likely we all break down in tears – but have you ever seen a laugh travel through a room? It’s incredible & I find inspiration in that. My favorite Buddhist quote goes something like “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the flame from the single candle will not be diminished. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” That’s all there is: Peace, Love & Comedy.
Watch Austin Carr Talking About Watching Disaster Movies:
Follow Austin Carr’s comedic journey on these social media websites:
Youtube: Austin Carr
Don’t miss Austin Carr’s “Talking After Sets” Comedy Show inside Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco, CA on Sunday nights.