6 Year Anniversary with Brendan K O'Grady and Duncan Carson - LIVE!

January 25, 2022

Photo Credit

Brendan K. O'Grady and Duncan Carson


Valerie Lopez


Sara Cline


In case you’ve some­how missed all our hints and pro­mos lead­ing up to this week’s episode, this one’s a pret­ty spe­cial one — so much so that this inter­view was record­ed live in front of a stu­dio audi­ence at Fall­out Theater. 

Indeed, we’ve been count­ing our way up, and we’re final­ly cel­e­brat­ing not only six years of Com­e­dy Wham Presents, but also our very own Valerie Lopez’s 200th inter­view. For this mile­stone, Valerie returned to her roots by sit­ting down with her very first inter­view guests: Dun­can Car­son and Bren­dan K. O’Grady.

Giv­en that Com­e­dy Wham is an Austin-based web­site, it only makes sense that we mark this occa­sion with two local comics, giv­en that their week­ly com­e­dy show­case Sure Thing has become some­thing of an Austin insti­tu­tion over the past ten years. Fun­ni­ly enough, though, the show’s moniker is not, in fact, a ref­er­ence to its con­sis­tent deliv­ery of local tal­ent, but rather a ref­er­ence to a play by David Ives, though the shoe still def­i­nite­ly fits. 

To name our show Sure Thing,” Car­son mus­es, we posi­tion our­selves … like we’re hap­py to be here. We’re enthu­si­as­tic about com­e­dy and shar­ing it with oth­er peo­ple … That’s some­thing we’ve always had in com­mon is like being more pos­i­tive in our stand up and per­sonas; that’s also the per­son­al­i­ty of our show.” Indeed, despite self-iden­ti­fy­ing as some­what woe-is-me, depressed, angry peo­ple,” O’Grady cor­rob­o­rates that the two main­tain a cer­tain silli­ness about them. “… [As] come­di­ans,” he explains, we’re just like dorks because com­e­dy is dorky. And, like, we’re excit­ed to show you comics that we like, and that’s some­thing you can be unabashed­ly dorky about, and so that feeds into the spir­it of the show.”

We’re enthusiastic about comedy and sharing it with other people
Duncan Carson

In catch­ing up with the dynam­ic duo on the goings-on since their last inter­view, we of course had to talk a bit about the impact of Ms. Rona. The two come­di­ans were unfor­tu­nate­ly not immune to the job-loss phe­nom­e­non that struck so many of us mid-pan­dem­ic (sor­ry, bad pun), and they also had to put live shows on hold for a year. It’s been a very sur­re­al year,” Car­son explains. Last June was super crowd­ed and felt like the old days, and then delta hit … And it’s been very, very much a roller­coast­er, but we’re just hap­py to help Fall­out [The­ater], you know, stay in busi­ness and do shows.” Look­ing on the brighter side, albeit a bit face­tious­ly, Car­son admits that not being able to go up every night dur­ing the pan­dem­ic wasn’t the end of the world for their over­all com­e­dy habits.“… [W]e don’t go up every night any­more,” he admits. I’m not 26 anymore.”

With ten years of Sure Thing in their back pock­ets, the two comics cer­tain­ly had some insights to share about the evo­lu­tion of Austin’s com­e­dy scene and its grow­ing pains over the years.

O’Grady admits even he was sur­prised by the great influx of trans­plants from oth­er scenes in the last two years, as well as the recent bifur­ca­tion of the com­e­dy scene into mul­ti­ple small­er sub­set scenes. It is a sign of growth for the city,” he mus­es. Like, we know — all of us know how much big­ger Austin feels, how much taller the build­ings are get­ting, all that, again; every 10 years, it feels like a new city seem­ing­ly.” He adds that, for bud­ding come­di­ans, this grow­ing abun­dance of shows and local tal­ent presents an espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing chal­lenge: “…You have to kind of like, self-select what your cohort is going to be.” His advice, though, is reas­sur­ing­ly sim­ple: “[You] should just kind of find the peo­ple that you think are fun­ni­est, that you think are cool peo­ple, and join them.”

We’ve got nothing better to do but keep fucking doing this forever,
Brendan K. O'Grady

Of course, as we all look toward the future of the ever-grow­ing Austin com­e­dy scene, Cap­i­tal City Comedy’s return is cer­tain­ly a much-talked-about change on the hori­zon. O’Grady posits that this com­ing shift can only serve to ben­e­fit the scene — even in all its cur­rent divi­sions. It just does­n’t feel like there can be any kind of oppo­si­tion­al feel­ing between the big viable club in town, and the big shows that devel­op the tal­ent that can work the club,” he explains. “… [Cap City] would­n’t sur­vive if there was not a com­e­dy scene out­side of Cap City, and Cap City makes doing com­e­dy a thing that a lot of peo­ple want to do. So, it’s real­ly impor­tant to have that back in the ecosys­tem.” In fact, he views that lit­tle feed­back loop as a unique mark­er of the Austin scene. “[Oth­er scenes] don’t all have that inter­me­di­ary step between just DIY local scene and a broad­er enter­tain­ment indus­try,” O’Grady remarks, and Austin is going to be the city out­side of New York and LA that has that.”

O’Grady half-joked dur­ing the inter­view that the pair’s entire strat­e­gy in the com­e­dy world at this point… is just, like, We’ve got noth­ing bet­ter to do but keep fuck­ing doing this for­ev­er,” but giv­en Sure Thing’s remark­able longevi­ty so far, we’re inclined to believe that they very well just might! And we can’t wait to see what’s in store for their show and record com­pa­ny as they ful­fill that prophe­cy. (Maybe we’ll even be sit­ting down with them again in anoth­er six years, or for a 300th inter­view mile­stone! Who knows?)

Spe­cial thanks to the fol­low­ing for the live event: 

Matt Far­ley of Motern Media (music intro), Richard Good­win (video pro­duc­tion), Lara Smith (pro­mo­tions), Dustin Svehlak (record­ing), Fall­out The­ater (host­ing), Vanes­sa Gon­za­lez, Dave Hill, Arielle Isaac Nor­man, and Jere­mi­ah Watkins for their video contributions.

Fol­low Brendan

Fol­low Duncan

Fol­low Sure Thing

See Bren­dan, Dun­can, and Sure Thing

  • Every Fri­day Night at Fall­out Theater!
Support Comedy Wham

If you'd like to support our independent podcast, check out our Patreon page at: Patreon.com/comedywham .

You can also support us on Venmo or Paypal - just search for ComedyWham.

Duncan Carson
Brendan K. O'Grady