Lukas McCrary: Enjoying Their Just Desserts

March 15, 2022

Photo Credit

Joe White


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


Austin has seen an influx of new comedic tal­ent since late 2020 when Texas’ polit­i­cal lead­ers decid­ed that we’d be one of the least restric­tive states in the coun­try when it came to Covid safe­ty pro­to­cols. The num­ber of stages avail­able to new and exist­ing comics since then has explod­ed (as evi­dent on our Austin events page).

In addi­tion to comics you’d see at the many open mics around town, one high-pro­file podcaster/​comic (Joe Rogan) joined the influx into Texas. These 2 fac­tors were enough to influ­ence comics from across the coun­try to join the ranks of the Austin com­e­dy scene. One soon-to-land in Austin com­ic was Lukas McCrary, hav­ing moved from Ten­nessee after a few years of com­e­dy in Nashville. They made a stop through Salt Lake City (look at a map, folks, McCrary missed the exit to Austin on his trek) and quick­ly real­ized that it was­n’t the com­e­dy mec­ca they had hoped for.

Hav­ing grown up in a fam­i­ly of sports-lov­ing-types in Knoxville (about 3 hours dri­ve east of Nashville), McCrary, the youngest of 4 broth­ers, grad­u­al­ly learned that the­ater was their thing, not get­ting pushed around a foot­ball field (despite the bribery that their father offered to keep them in the sport). Lest you think that McCrary is the pro­to­typ­i­cal the­ater kid, they’re quick to admit the­ater was THEIR thing, even though the­ater is lame”. And this is where you get a true fla­vor of McCrary’s comedic style — what’s the truth? what are they real­ly think­ing? did they ever wear eye­lin­er un-ironically?

With standup, it's all on you. And if you do well, it's all on you. And if you do bad, it's all on you,
Lukas McCrary

Once McCrary grad­u­at­ed, they head­ed to Nashville to study graph­ic design and start com­e­dy. Why did they make the piv­ot to standup after their expe­ri­ence in the­ater? With standup, it’s all on you. And if you do well, it’s all on you. And if you do bad, it’s all on you,” McCrary answers. Admit­ting that they liked the indi­vid­ual endeav­or more than the team sport” ele­ment of improv or the­ater. As with many new comics, rook­ie mis­takes were made. I love hear­ing the rook­ie mis­takes made, and this one comes around so rarely, that I gig­gle when­ev­er I hear it. Want­i­ng to prove a point to the open mic audi­ences (if you’ve been, you have a pic­ture in your head, right?) that they were a cre­ative jug­ger­naut, McCrary com­mit­ted to writ­ing new sets for each open mic per­for­mance. Until some­one took them aside to explain that they did­n’t need to do that.

McCrary tried their hand at com­e­dy in Salt Lake City before decid­ing to give Austin a chance (a one month chance, to be pre­cise) after hear­ing that Rogan had moved here and after (woooo hooo!) look­ing over the Com­e­dy Wham events page (now avail­able in Austin, Hous­ton and DFW), gave it a tri­al run. McCrary hit a huge mile­stone with­in 2 months by per­form­ing on the new­ly relo­cat­ed from LA to Austin, Kill Tony, in front of spe­cial pan­el, guest Joe Rogan. The first words out of Rogan’s mouth at the end of the 1 minute set was Wow, that was good!”. And these days, if Rogan says some­thing like that, it’s the type of val­i­da­tion that can send you on a stratos­pher­ic high. Cou­pled by an invi­ta­tion to Bri­an Red­ban’s Secret Show, the stars were quick­ly align­ing for this new Aus­ti­nite. Near­ly 1.5 years lat­er, the 1 month tri­al peri­od is cur­rent­ly on an indef­i­nite hold.

Being so well-con­nect­ed to the new land­scape of the Austin com­e­dy scene, McCrary and I dis­cuss the changes in the scene that we’ve seen, that for them are just what the scene has been since they arrived in ear­ly 2020. It was a fas­ci­nat­ing conversation.

The expe­ri­ences and oppor­tu­ni­ties to per­form before big­ger audi­ences gave McCrary the con­fi­dence to try pro­duc­ing shows. They launched Main Course Com­e­dy a twice a month Fri­day night fix­ture at Austin’s Fire­house Hos­tel & Lounge, and more recent­ly launched Just Desserts at the Ball­room at Spi­der­house. Being fans of both desserts and food in gen­er­al, we like the food-themed show names, but for McCrary the nam­ing con­ven­tions they’ve adopt­ed have to do with being sat­is­fied. McCrary’s goal is mak­ing sure that audi­ences are sat­is­fied and get a great night of com­e­dy. Like being sat­is­fied with a sand­wich, they say: I like a sand­wich once a day.”

I like a sandwich once a day.
Lukas McCrary

What’s next for McCrary? They’ve got their sights set on cre­at­ing longer sets. The first time I saw them per­form it was open­ing for Jes­si­mae Pelu­so and they admit­ted it was their first time doing a fea­ture (long) set. They’d like to do more and are plan­ning a trip to LA to start build­ing in the lessons that per­form­ing in front of dif­fer­ent audi­ences can offer. Being curi­ous if they’ve start­ed to fig­ure out how to adapt their sets to dif­fer­ent audi­ences, McCrary con­fess­es in my head, my ego tells me Yeah, you got it down. You’ve got it down. 100%.” But if you lis­ten to the pod­cast, you know that McCrary is as sar­cas­tic as they come. In addi­tion to the sar­casm relat­ed to their ego’s voice, we ban­tered sar­cas­ti­cal­ly about a num­ber of sub­jects, includ­ing their threat of steal­ing co-host Miss Purrington.

Curi­ous if McCrary’s sar­cas­tic style is what you see on stage? Yes, to some extent. A short form sto­ry­teller with jokes punc­tu­at­ed through out, part of their style is the turn or sur­prise ele­ment. And this is what makes them so engag­ing to watch. You just don’t know when or how the sur­prise will come. And that makes com­e­dy fun no mat­ter what. If you haven’t seen McCrary per­form yet, make plans to. We have no idea how long the tri­al peri­od will last (though a recent apart­ment lease gives us a lock for at least a year), so act quick. Or don’t. McCrary does­n’t care (but secret­ly they do).

Fol­low Lukas

Fol­low Main Course Com­e­dy Productions

Fol­low Hit List Comedy

Lukas can be seen and heard:

  • The Main Course (every oth­er Friday) 
  • Just Desserts 
  • Hit List
  • Hire him for your graph­ic design­er needs!
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Lukas McCrary