Brently Heilbron Builds an Empire for Everyone

February 13, 2017

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin


URGENT AND TIMELY HEADS UP: Make it a priority to grab tickets to the February 19th live taping of Standup Empire. Go now. We’ll wait.

Done? Great. Let’s continue.

Comedy fans in Austin will almost certainly be immediately familiar with the name Brently Heilbron. Whether from his twisted emo puppet band Fragile Rock, or the ongoing PBS series he hosts, Standup Empire, you’ve almost certainly run across Heilbron’s work. It’s always a pleasure when Valerie Lopez finds a kindred soul with a fascination for the art behind the art, and this interview is an a shining example.

Heilbron got a very early start in performing, trading schoolwork in 8th grade in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, for the arguably more valuable exposure and healing experience on the stage. It was a pattern that continued after he moved to Austin to study at the University of Texas and ultimately had to make a choice between his theatre studies and honing his craft. You can no doubt guess which path he chose.

Comedy Wham Presents: Brently Heilbron

With a career that includes fascinating and sometimes randomly crossed paths with big names like Woody Allen and Paul McCartney, Heilbron has accumulated knowledge, skills, and delights in a variety of comedic formats. From writing a musical about the ass of an iconic American actor, to the aggressive ditties he bangs out on his ukulele, there’s simply no denying the joy he gets from the limelight and - something he adores - providing a place in that light for others. While Standup Empire is Heilbron’s show, he makes it patently clear that it’s first and foremost a platform for others, and for the Austin comedy community.

There’s simply no way I can capture everything Lopez and Heilbron cover in this episode, so download and get listening.

Now that you’ve grabbed those tickets (seriously, not going to say it again), check out more of Heilbron at his website, and on Twitter. For music for all moods, but mostly the emo puppet kind, check out Fragile Rock on their website, Twitter and Facebook pages. He’s also starting a monthly column in the Austin American Statesman in March about the Austin comedy scene, so keep your eyes peeled.