This Saturday night, 2013 Funniest Person in Austin winner Mac Blake will headline the Velveeta Room for the first time ever. Blake is one of the hardest working men in comedy as part of Mascot Wedding, Stag Comedy, and Master Pancake (to name but a few) but he’s relatively new to standup. Since winning FPIA earlier this year, he has already gone on to perform at the esteemed Just for Laughs festival in Montreal. I spoke with Blake about juggling projects, developing material, and what the Austin comedy scene is missing (hint: it’s racist).
Is Mac your real name?
Mac is short for McClain, which is my real first name.
What’s your favorite thing about the comedy scene here?
I love how diverse it is. I also love the lack of obstacles between you and stage time. You have an idea for a show? All it takes is a little bit of hustle and you can do that show.
What’s one thing you think the scene is missing?
I can think of stuff I wish there was more of, but nothing that’s completely missing. I don’t think Austin has a single racist puppet comedian though. If you’re reading this and you have hate in your heart and a sock on your hand, there’s money just sitting on the table, waiting for you to scoop it up with a foam mouth.
In addition to standup, you perform with Stag Comedy. How do you decide that a certain funny idea you have is better suited for standup or sketch?
Usually the idea itself sort of demands to be either a sketch or a bit. In the past, there’d be stuff that I’d definitely do as a sketch, but as I’ve gone along, I’ve started to diversify my material and do more “acting” on stage. Those quote marks are there for a reason by the way. Oh, and my material is still 90% complaining though, so nobody panic.
What can people expect to see at your Velveeta shows this weekend?
They can see me doing my favorite material, plus some new stuff. Also the very funny Brendan K. O’Grady and some other great Austin acts. This is my first time headlining the Velv and I’m very excited about it.
Anything else coming up that you’re excited about?
STAG Comedy has a halloween sketch show every Saturday in October at ColdTowne Theater. Those shows are just ridiculously weird and funny. I also co-host a show with Joe Hafkey called Jazz Cigarette. It’s the 2nd and 4th Mondays at the SpiderHouse Ballroom. Jazz Cigarette has been so much fun. Primarily stand-up with a videos and miscellaneous weirdness mixed in. In November, I’m doing PUNCH!, a certain fun festival, and also probably a run with Master Pancake Theater, so plenty of opportunity for everyone to get real sick of me.
Was this a dumb interview?
Dumb? No. Why? Did you think so? I’m sorry, John.
With Ryan Cownie in an episode of “Terry and Gary“.
Mac Blake headlines the Velveeta Room Saturday October 12 at 9:30pm and 11:30pm. Brendan K. O’Grady hosts. (info)