Hear ye, hear ye! Bob Khosravi is recording his first live comedy album for “Stand Up! Records” tonight, November 11th, at Cap City Comedy Club! The Austin based comic will be on the small stage at Cap, so seating is limited but a few tickets remain for this intimate affair.
Bob is a favorite of comedy fests including Moontower and Bridgetown, and he’s been a finalist in the Funniest Person in Austin contest multiple times. He’s a great storyteller with a wicked sense of humor and a knack for the absurd. I spoke with Bob about his early days performing in a motel bar, his joke writing process, and why you should attend his show.
Tell me about the first time you tried stand up
The first time I “tried” to tell a joke was to a friend on a car trip. I told him I had a funny idea and wrote a joke, and asked if I could run it past him because he was as big a fan of stand-up. He asked me why I bothered because stand up was dead. Then he humored me, listened to the joke, and told me it was terrible.
The first time I got on stage was 11 years ago in the back corner of a seedy dive bar attached to a run down motel in Lewisville. Some friends heard there was an open mic there, and it was such low stakes I figured, “might as well.”
There were a handful of these older jaded truckers, and their wives scattered across the bar. The guys were playing pool, and the ladies were chatting and smoking around a table. When the mic started the ladies got excited, grabbed their drinks and gathered around the stage. Their husbands turned from their pool game long enough to give the small group of us “comics” a raised eyebrow expression that, after years of disrupting people drinking in bars I would learn, asked “why are you going to ruin our evening with your opinions?”
I only remember getting those women to laugh at one joke, but they were incredibly gracious, and were so happy just watching us attempt to be funny that it was the perfect first experience. I left thinking I can make people laugh. At least once in five minutes of talking.
How do you know when a bit is done?
When people stop laughing.
Honestly, I don’t ever feel like a bit is complete. Most of the comics I’ve talked to about it feel the same way. There are jokes I’ve told so many times I got bored with them, then a year later realized what I was actually trying to say and rewrote it. Then later found a different way to say it, or an angle I wanted to explore more. Nothing ever feels “done.” That’s why I put off recording for years.
How has the Austin comedy scene informed your act over the years?
I became more of a storyteller after I moved here, because the audiences are patient. They’ll let you take a while to get somewhere with an idea as long as you deliver in the end. I know it’s an attribute of Austin audiences, cause I’ve taken those stories elsewhere and been politely asked to get to the point.
I also always got the impression that the audiences here are more savvy. There are so many things to do in Austin that generally the people who show up to see comedy are fans. After moving here I started being way more honest and pushed past saying what I thought people wanted to hear.
What can people expect Wednesday night?
I’m not sure if I should set the bar high or low, so here’s an attempt at both.
For those who need a hard sell: Expect a brilliant night of comedy from a first generation American irreverently exploring the experience of growing up in his adopted country.
For those who want to be pleasantly surprised: Expect a two item minimum.