PHOTO: MINDY TUCKER
Maggie Maye has one of the all time great laughs. It’s loud, joyful, and easy to pick out of a crowd. I once heard it echo off the walls at a Sarah Silverman show at the Paramount Theatre, turned to my date and said, “Maggie’s here!” It’s spontaneous and unaffected and it speaks to her love of comedy. Want to laugh like that? You’re in luck! Because on top of being a great laugher, Maggie’s a fantastic performer and she’s bringing her comedy to the Velveeta Room! I spoke with her about her career beginnings, the evolving comedy scene in Austin, and what to expect this weekend.
Tell me about your career beginnings. When did you know you wanted to be a comic and when did you realize it was something you were going to try and pursue full time?
I love making people laugh. I always wanted to be a comic and hoped it would become a career. After I started doing it I just wanted to do it all the time, no matter what.
Tell me about your history in Austin. How has the scene has evolved?
I’ve lived in Austin for 10 years and started comedy here, at the Velv. The scene was fairly large when I started and it has just gotten bigger. I’ve noticed a lot more people moving to Austin specifically to do comedy, which is awesome, since Austin is a great place to cut your teeth.
How has the growth of the scene helped (or hindered) your growth as a performer?
The crowds are smart and reward creativity, which encourages me to keep my standards high. The comics here are also smart, really funny and hardworking, which is inspiring.
What’s the best thing about living in Austin?
It’s got a lot of fun stuff going on. It’s changed a lot, but it’s still a cool city. I mean, we’ve all changed.
What’s the worst thing about living here?
Not enough people just handing out money and snacks.
Who are some of your comedy influences, large and small?
Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes, Chris Rock, Bill Burr, amongst many others. I’m also influenced by my background, as it created the lens through which I see everything.
What’s the first joke you wrote?
I can’t remember what was the first joke I wrote for stand up, but I can assure you it was probably stupid. I think it was about drinking?
What can people expect to see at the weekend’s shows?
They can expect anything they want, it’s a free country and I’m not the boss of them. But they’re expecting a great show they won’t be disappointed. Kerri and Aaron are hilarious and always make me laugh really hard, so it’ll be fun times.
Maggie Maye headlines the Velveeta Room Friday (6/26) at 9pm and Saturday (6/27) at 9pm and 11pm. She is joined by Aaron Brooks and Kerri Lendo. Tickets are available here.