Josh Cabaza: A Fresh Start Pays Off

December 11, 2022

Photo Credit

Todd Larson


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


Joshua Cabaza has been per­form­ing authen­tic com­e­dy for about 2 years. That’s a con­tro­ver­sial take giv­en Cabaza start­ed standup in San Anto­nio in 2010 (as the staff math­e­mati­cian at Com­e­dy Wham, I can ver­i­fy that 2010 to 2022 is not 2 years). In his own words he felt like he was start­ing over in late 2020 because he could­n’t stand the mate­r­i­al he had been doing before the pan­dem­ic. Before the pan­dem­ic, he had been prepar­ing to record his third album, but in late 2020 after tak­ing a close lis­ten to his pre-pan­dem­ic mate­r­i­al, he scrapped most of it to start fresh.

I would imag­ine that if you’d been writ­ing and per­form­ing for 10 years, scrap­ping your mate­r­i­al would be dif­fi­cult. And it was. But, as a self-pro­fessed stub­born per­son, Cabaza admits that some of the advice he had received in his ear­ly days was not any­thing he was inter­est­ed in fol­low­ing. Whether it was cut­ting down on the use of the word f*ck or not being as raunchy, it was­n’t until 2014 when he joined the Blind Tiger Com­e­dy Club co-op that he was final­ly ready to lis­ten and make changes. But not near­ly as dra­mat­ic as the changes he made to his com­e­dy from pre- to post-pan­dem­ic. Changes which includ­ed, gasp, writ­ing clean! It should be not­ed that this con­flu­ence of rad­i­cal­ly chang­ing his set coin­cid­ed with a new goal. Cabaza declared that Being as authen­tic as pos­si­ble was my biggest goal.” One of the pay­offs of this new goal came in the form of advanc­ing to the semi­fi­nals of the Cap City Com­e­dy Club’s Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin con­test in 2022, Cabaza­’s first year with an Austin address.

Being as authentic as possible was my biggest goal
Josh Cabaza

One of the fea­tures of his sets these days is talk­ing fre­quent­ly about his fam­i­ly and kids. Cabaza is incred­i­bly grate­ful for the sup­port from his wife who serves as co-own­er of Com­e­dy Fre­quen­cy (his com­e­dy pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny, for­mer­ly known as FMCM) but also as sound­ing board. She played a piv­otal role in him win­ning the 2017 Fun­ni­est Per­son in South Texas com­pe­ti­tion by final­ly telling him to stop com­pet­ing if every time he lost, he would come home whin­ing. He won that year. As for his kids? They’re young and they may not love being the sub­ject of his com­e­dy now, but one day they’ll appre­ci­ate hav­ing the cool dad who does com­e­dy.

If you know any names from the San Anto­nio com­e­dy scene, you need to know the names Raul Sanchez, George Antho­ny, Chris Grul­lon, Tori Pool, Tan­veer Aro­ra, and so on. Of the first two, Cabaza men­tions that he and Sanchez start­ed at the same time and Antho­ny start­ed a year lat­er. Antho­ny endured Cabaza­’s lec­tures about how com­e­dy works until one day Sanchez final­ly told Cabaza to stop son­ning him. You’re new too, stu­pid.” In addi­tion to Cabaza being tak­en down a peg and the for­ma­tion of a Cabaza-Antho­ny BFF sit­u­a­tion, the bonus joy for us of that sto­ry is if you know Sanchez, you can hear the into­na­tion in his voice. The trio are diehard friends today and Cabaza and Antho­ny col­lab­o­rate exten­sive­ly with their week­ly Will­ful Igno­rance pod­cast and as pro­duc­ers of The Bat­tle of the Sketch­es, a sketch com­e­dy competition.

What you're doing [comedy] is what you want to do, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. So, don't take yourself so seriously.
Josh Cabaza

In those ear­ly days of Cabaza­’s career, he pro­duced a lot of shows, to the detri­ment of where he need­ed to invest in the fun­da­men­tals: his standup. It took him 10 years to get there and he’s still jug­gling a full plate. Not so much with pro­duc­ing shows, but with pro­duc­ing BIG things, hav­ing invest­ed time in mak­ing his standup the best it can be. From the pod­casts he hosts and pro­duces (now from a 6th Street pod­cast stu­dio), to the annu­al Bat­tle of the Sketch­es, to over­see­ing the Com­e­dy Fre­quen­cy pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny, to his own com­e­dy career, it would be easy to think that he’d be too busy for his fam­i­ly. Cabaza makes it crys­tal clear when it comes to pri­or­i­tiz­ing his many endeav­ors, Fam­i­ly first … that’s first. I’ll drop every­thing … for them.” His pri­or­i­ties are clear. He encour­ages oth­ers to real­ize what you’re doing is what you want to do, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. So, don’t take your­self so seriously.”

Cabaza­’s wis­dom is born of a lot of hard lessons learned and over­com­ing his own stub­born­ness. As Cabaza enters his third* year in com­e­dy, he’s putting the fin­ish­ing touch­es on that third album which has a very spe­cif­ic release date, July 31st, 2023. Or maybe it was July thir­ty firth. We encour­age you to lis­ten to the episode east­er eggs at the end of the pod­cast. Due to a minor record­ing sna­fu, Cabaza had to record the answers to the clos­ing ques­tions. The album title Toys for Sale” was inspired by an incred­i­ble sto­ry from Cabaza­’s child­hood. Once you’ve heard the sto­ry, you’ll real­ize that Cabaza­’s authen­tic self was there all along — a cre­ative sales­per­son, whose con­nec­tion to fam­i­ly is mighty.

*third, thirth, or the more fac­tu­al­ly cor­rect 12th

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

Fol­low Josh 

Fol­low Com­e­dy Frequency

Fol­low Bat­tle of the Sketches

Josh can be seen and heard:

  • Will­ful Igno­rance with George Antho­ny (Merch)
  • Freq Show — 1st and 3rd Thurs­day of the month, 7pm at The Creek and the Cave
  • Bat­tle of the Sketch­es — April 8, 2023, Vul­can Gas Com­pa­ny (sub­mis­sions open now)
  • Toys For Sale — com­e­dy album comes out July 312023
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Josh Cabaza