Casey Rocket Knows What He's Doing

September 25, 2022

Photo Credit

Casey Rocket


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


Casey Rock­et had 2 incred­i­ble con­nec­tions to the Austin com­e­dy scene before decid­ing to move here. 

He had watched Fun­ni­est, an amaz­ing doc­u­men­tary pro­duced by Dustin Svehlak and Katie Pen­gra, chron­i­cling the lives of sev­er­al Austin comics (includ­ing our queen, Lashon­da Lester) as they com­pete in the Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin con­test. Sec­ond­ly, he had flown to Austin, think­ing it was close enough” to Paris, Texas where he was to per­form for the Tow­er City Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val in 2021 (us Tex­ans are laugh­ing at this, but you out of staters, might have made the same mistake). 

Of course, the fes­ti­val hap­pened dur­ing one of the worst win­ter bliz­zards in Texas his­to­ry, and rent­ing a car to go from point A (Austin) to point B (Paris), was­n’t pos­si­ble, so Rock­et hopped on a Grey­hound for his fes­ti­val appear­ance. It would be months lat­er, after Austin won over the great Den­ver com­e­dy scene, that Rock­et made Austin home. Or rather, where he made a Wal­mart park­ing lot and his car, home.

What I loved about my con­ver­sa­tion with Rock­et is through the near­ly casu­al men­tion of the chal­lenges he’s faced (liv­ing in a car, over­com­ing a drug and alco­hol addic­tion, a dif­fi­cult child­hood), he seems at peace. He’s learned a lot of lessons in his life and he open­ly shared many with me. In fact, I am label­ing this episode Mas­ter Class” sta­tus because there is so much that Rock­et shares that can lend itself to a suc­cess­ful nav­i­ga­tion of a com­e­dy career. 

Nonsense makes me comfortable because then I can ignore the realities of the world.
Casey Rocket

Let’s start with Rock­et’s style of com­e­dy, since that is what we’re all here for. 

Absur­dist is the sim­plest way to describe it. You’ll hear oth­ers talk of the crab”, while some men­tion his high-ener­gy, pac­ing on stage, with almost non­sen­si­cal words being strung togeth­er in a way that should­n’t make any sense (ok, maybe they don’t), but they sure do make a lot of peo­ple laugh. Of his absur­dist style, Rock­et declares Non­sense makes me com­fort­able because then I can ignore the real­i­ties of the world.” And lest you think that being absurd is easy, let’s set the stage that Rock­et has been ply­ing his trade for a sol­id 7 years and that he’s worked hard to be able to per­form absur­dist comedy.

Let’s go back all the way to the begin­ning to Rock­et’s very first per­for­mance, which he intend­ed to be com­e­dy at a tal­ent show where he chose to sing Sia’s Chan­de­lier while dart­ing back and forth across the stage (the birth of the crab, per­haps?). A moment he car­ries with him to this day is the silence of the audi­ence being bro­ken by a wom­an’s voice in the back ask­ing What does he think he’s doing?” He may not have known it then, but through a brief stint in Atlanta, then Boise, Ida­ho, he knew that all he ever want­ed to do was make peo­ple laugh.

Sev­en years lat­er, what point­ers does he have to share with new comics? First off, I think he’d be appalled that I would sug­gest he was a mod­ern day philoso­pher with wis­dom to share — but that is, nonethe­less, my impres­sion. He said When peo­ple start, they think there’s a cer­tain way of doing things and the longer you’re in it, you real­ize cer­tain con­ven­tions aren’t true.” Take of that what you will, but com­ing to that real­iza­tion gave Rock­et the free­dom to ful­ly com­mit to absur­dism (if you look at old clips avail­able on his youtube chan­nel, you see glim­mers) in the last year. And the pay­offs have been big.

When people start, they think there's a certain way of doing things and the longer you're in it, you realize certain conventions aren't true.
Casey Rocket

Upon per­form­ing with fel­low absur­dist William Mont­gomery (him­self a trans­plant from Los Ange­les), Mont­gomery whis­pered in Bri­an Red­ban’s ear (host of The Secret Show, founder of Death­squad TV and long-time pro­duc­er of a lit­tle pod­cast called the Joe Rogan Expe­ri­ence) about Rock­et and soon there­after, Rock­et became a fre­quent per­former on Red­ban’s week­ly The Secret Show.

As Casey has con­sis­tent­ly made rooms roar with laugh­ter at his onstage gym­nas­tics (yes, he admit­ted that he does stretch before­hand), he’s become accept­ed by the old guard of com­e­dy. I’ve said it mul­ti­ple times, if you can appease both the old guard and the new guard, then you are ready to rock­et to suc­cess — come on, you knew it was a mat­ter of time before I resort­ed to the easy pun!

Rock­et has sev­er­al new projects he’s involved with. His long run­ning pod­cast The Grim­by Half-Hour Pow­er on Youtube now fea­tures a new cohost, Cat Swant­ner, her­self a new face to com­e­dy in Austin. He’s co-host­ing a new bi-week­ly impro­vised standup show, The Fish­bowl. There’s no rea­son for you not to see Rock­et per­form, he is every­where these days.

How does he feel about this new­found and well-deserved suc­cess? As he reflects on those ear­li­er chal­lenges in life, he declares I’ll be ok. I’ll land on my feet.” All 10 of them if my Google search on crabs is accurate. 

Listen to the podcast episode to hear these words and more from Casey

Fol­low Casey

Casey can be seen and heard:

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Casey Rocket