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Out of Bounds Festival is summer’s first big comedy event

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Comedian Joe Rogan performs at Cap City Comedy Club this month.

I guess most of the big touring acts are on summer vacation; that’s OK. Check out these select heavy hitters and look at the relative dearth of other notable comic names in August as a palate-cleanser leading up to the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. That event brings national and international acts to Austin to perform with local standups as well as improv and sketch comics.

Henry Phillips

Aug. 2

I know what you’re thinking: Why is the Velveeta Room bringing in the post-turn-of-the-century businessman who invented the self-named screwdriver variant to do a standup set? Um, wrong Henry Phillips. We’re talking about the road comic and Doug Stanhope acolyte from “Comedy Central Presents” and his popular festival film, the semi-autobiographical “Punching the Clown.” Mike MacRae and other local comics provide support. 9 and 11 p.m., the Velv Comedy Lounge, 521 E. Sixth St. $10. 512-469-9116,

Joe Rogan

Aug. 15-16

You know stoner comic Joe Rogan, right? No, not the one who just ticked off North Korea with his upcoming movie — that’s Seth Rogen. Your confusion is understandable. Both Rogan and Rogen are award-winning comics. It’s just that the diversely talented Rogan’s accolades come from the World Mixed Martial Arts Awards, Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Teen Choice (where he was nominated for hosting “Fear Factor”). In addition, he’s been doing honest, edgy standup for a couple of decades, and he’s a pro. 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday (Saturday shows are sold out), Cap City Comedy Club, 8120 Research Blvd. $30. 512-467-2333,

Paula Poundstone

Aug. 22

A Comedy Hall of Fame member and frequent panelist on NPR’s quiz show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” Poundstone is regarded as a quick wit with a spontaneous and unique world view. She’s also a trailblazer, as the first female to take home a CableACE award for standup and the first woman to perform standup at the White House Correspondents’ dinner. Speaking of dinner, the most expensive tickets to Poundstone’s August appearance in Austin include it. 7 and 9:30 p.m., One World Theatre, 7701 Bee Cave Road. $36-$115. 512-330-9500,

Out of Bounds Comedy Festival

Aug. 26-Sept. 1

It’s the lucky 13th year for Out of Bounds, the little improv and sketch comedy event that humbly began at the Hideout Theater and has since added standup and expanded to nine downtown venues over the week leading up to (and including) Labor Day. Writers from “Key and Peele”; Lauren Lapkus from “Orange is the New Black”; “Mad TV’s” Mo Collins; and former “Saturday Night Live” featured player Paul Brittain descend upon Austin along with improv groups with great names such as Gentleman’s Falcon (from Chicago); the Parisian Gentlemen of Paris (Paris, France); and Smack Smack Sniff (Oklahoma City). Single tickets, $10; all-festival passes, $109-$119.

Esther’s Follies

Weekends in August

Topical showpieces from Austin’s institutional musical comedy revue include “I Will Socialize,” a disco-dazzling poke at Facebook culture; comic commentary on the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling; and Hillary and Bill Clinton rapping their way back toward the White House. Magician Ray Anderson presents a pair of large-scale illusions. 8 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Esther’s Follies Theater, 525 E. Sixth St. $24-$29. 512-320-0553,