They say that every great cowboy always has one more gunfight left in them, and for the first time, this Texas O.G. is showing the world that he still has a lot of laughs to shoot their way.
Mostly known for his nights blazing saddles with some of the biggest names that stand-up comedy had ever seen, legendary comedian Andy Huggins has developed a “Billy The Kid”-type aurora that comedy fans enjoy every chance he speaks into the mic. With a career spanning over 40 years, Huggins is an original member of the famous Texas Outlaw Comics alongside iconic comedians Bill Hicks, Ron Shock, Jimmy Pineapple, and Sam Kinison.
After early success in the 1980’s, Huggins would become a beloved figure among the Southern comedy areas for many years. Managing always to find ways to connect with his audience through humor, in 2018, the veteran humorist caught the nation’s attention with an amazing performance on NBC’s America Got Talent.
Now in his early 70s, many comedians would look at the career and caliber of Andy Huggins and say to themselves a job well done. Still, the last-standing outlaw may have shown us that we haven’t seen anything yet with the release of his debut comedy special titled Early Bird Special.
The special produced by the highly popular Comedy Dynamics is a collection of wild stories Andy has accumulated over decades. A great comedy question has always been the absence of a comedy special from Huggins, not only does he deliver an answer, but this piece of 40+ mins proves to fans that he was well worth the wait.
Recently, Andy had an opportunity to sit down and chat with We Own The Laughs’ Tyson Paul to discuss his process of creating a special, life on the road with the original outlaws of comedy and the current state of the Lone Star comedy scene.
Hey Andy! Congrats on the release of “Early Bird Special,” now, this may be your debut special, but you’ve been making the audience laugh their a** off for over 40 years.
When did you first realize that you could make people laugh, and why did you finally decide that now it’s time to release your debut comedy special?
I knew I was funny as a kid. Even as a child, I made adults laugh; years later, I realized I needed to be more proactive. I should have done a comedy special or a few so much sooner.
What went into becoming one of the Original Texas Outlaws of stand-up comedy?
Speaking of proactive, in the mid-1980s, Steve Epstein, a Houston comic, decided there needed to be a group of comics doing stand-up and sketches with a theme. It was a group of friends who enjoyed each other’s company. One of the luckier breaks of my career.
Being on the road alongside Bill Hicks, Ron Shock, Jimmy Pineapple, and Sam Kinison, we know that you have many wild stories that you sit back and laugh about over and over again. What’s one wild story that instantly comes to mind when you think about your time around some of the greatest names in stand-up comedy history?
Considering that I was drunk, I can’t think of any wild stories (Blackouts may explain that.) My favorite time on the road was a week at Charlie Goodnight’s in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1985. Lord, we drank and laughed so much. I think we stayed out of trouble (Laughs).
In recent years, Texas, along with its comedy scene, has grown into a significant force, constantly having new stars emerge and comedy clubs open, becoming one of the biggest scenes in the country. You’re a pioneer of the scene; what are your thoughts on the growth?
Growth in Texas is good for the most part. It reflects growth in the country. One day, it will become oversaturated, and we will find out who really wants to be a comedian.
They say that stand-up comedy is a young man’s game, but you like to consider yourself as an “Old Outlaw.” For this comedy special, how did you find ways to connect with a younger demographic but not lose yourself striving to stay relevant?
Quite honestly, I try to write the best jokes I can, and fortunately, that seems to connect with many different demographics, including the younguns.
Tell me about your writing process. Do you have structure or a story flow in mind before you get onstage, or does it take shape in front of the audience? Do you worry that your material will be affected by cancel culture?
The act is structured before I go on stage. No riffing or crowd work.
You’ve been in stand-up comedy for a very long time, and you’ve seen many different sides of it. Is today’s comedy more inclusive than ever before?
The comedy scene in Houston is inclusive. Of course, this is the perspective of an old white straight man.
Comedic Fabrication has been one of the most significant topics among the media and comedy community in 2023. What are your thoughts on the issue?
If a comic wants to fabricate and exaggerate in pursuit of a laugh, that’s not only fine but that’s expected. If a comic fabricates and exaggerates in order to gain sympathy, then I’m going to resent that.
Do your fans have to wait another 40 years for your next comedy special?
The goal is to cut the preparation time for the next special in half (Laughs).
What are some goals throughout your comedy career that you still want to achieve?
My simple career goal is to work steadily in good rooms until I can no longer do it.
Where are some upcoming shows that fans can see you live?
I’m not sure when your readers will see this, but for starters, I’m at The Riot @ Rudyard’s (Houston) every Monday.
I will be at The Wine Revue in Lake Jackson on Nov. 17th. and the Mid Town Center in Houston on Nov. 18th, and back at The Riot on Nov.19. In December, I’m at House of Blues on November 22nd. Thanks so much!
Checkout Andy Huggins’ Early Bird Special Comedy Special on Comedy Dynamics HERE