Carlton Wilcoxson: Master of Shoutouts

January 7, 2020

Photo Credit

Joe Lucky

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Valerie Lopez

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It appears that the Austin comedy scene is growing at an increasingly rapid pace, and we have come to yet another comic that meets the "long overdue" label, Carlton Wilcoxson. In a bit of good fortune, I reached out to Carlton specifically to be our first release of 2020. I had no idea how perfect the idea would turn out to be. More on that in a moment.

When Wilcoxson isn't shouting out moms and people in planes, he's one of the hardest working comics in Austin. Hailing from St. Louis, he came to Austin on an advertising agency fellowship and wanted to see comedy (after a great taste of seeing some of the best at the Comedy Cellar in New York City), and made plans to see a show downtown. As per usual, Pat Dean almost ruined the experience for him (we kid, of course). Wilcoxson didn't know what to make of the fact that Dean brought his banjo on stage, let alone that M.K. Paulsen also performed at the same show with his recorder. Wilcoxson didn't know what to expect, so when he found himself at an open mic, he set his mind to giving it a shot.

And he bombed. Or so he claimed. And as many experienced comics know, that is a common reality of new comics. So anyone reading this under the guise of a New Year's Resolution to "start comedy", take note. You bomb and you bomb for a long time sometimes. Until that magical moment when someone you respect and hold in high esteem grants you the label of "comic". And so it was for Wilcoxson. Once someone granted him the label, he started giving himself permission to have more fun on stage. Of that time, Wilcoxson says "I was very hard on myself in the bombing phase, and the rewards didn't necessarily come from anything on stage. It came from when people who I thought were really really funny referred to me as a comic." With that, things quickly started falling in to place for him. This is not the first nor last inspirational message to be found in this interview, but that one may be the singular most important to anyone pursuing comedy. Persistence and hard work are tried and trued formulas for anyone we've ever talked to, so who are we to question the formula?

I was very hard on myself in the bombing phase, and the rewards didn't necessarily come from anything on stage. It came from when people who I thought were really really funny referred to me as a comic.
Carlton Wilcoxson

And the inspirations continue with Wilcoxson, particularly in the last few years as he's joined with several "work spouses" in hosting long-standing shows: Angelina Martin for two shows at The Buzzmill - the long-running Buzz Kill showcase and the new Honey Dip (featuring longer form sets), and Hunter Duncan for Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober (comics team up under one of these "conditions"). Wilcoxson takes his role as host seriously: "You're the commander of the ship, you are bringing these people on board, you have a responsibility to lead them to a fun place, a place of good distractions." Oh, and we haven't even mentioned the million-megawatt smile of his that helps make you feel very comfortable about getting on board that ship, having a drink, and settling in for an entertaining ride. You might even find yourself doing the limbo, though we make no guarantees.

You're the commander of the ship, you are bringing these people on board, you have a responsibility to lead them to a fun place, a place of good distractions.
Carlton Wilcoxson

2020 is a new year and Wilcoxson is aware of its potential, with new projects on the horizon (shows to co-host, improv performances, video series, and more), there are challenges as well as opportunities. But something new is possible for him that wasn't possible for him until recently: mentoring. Much as others helped him get his footing in the scene and as a comic, he'd like to pay it forward to the next "generation" of Austin comics. And it's a comfort to know that in 2020 there will not only be comedy, but there will be stewards of the scene who care as much as Carlton does.

Whether you believe in resolutions or not, Carlton believes in you and believes in what's possible in 2020. And that's something we can all "woooooooooooo" about.

Carlton can be seen:

  • Critical Hit - Thursday January 9 at The Fallout Theater
  • High Priestess Backyard Comedy + Tarot - Friday January 10. Info here: https://www.facebook.com/highpriestessatx/
  • All Star Stand-Up Comedy Showcase - Thursday January 23 at The Fallout Theater. Tickets $10 Online/$12 Door.
  • Buzz Kill - free weekly showcase co-host at 9pm Wednesdays at The Buzz Mill
  • Honeydip - free weekly long-form showcase co-host at 8pm on Thursdays at The Buzz Mill Shady
  • Stoned vs. Drunk vs. Sober - monthly showcase on the last Saturdays of the month at The Fallout Theater

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