Sure Thing - Duncan Carson & Brendan K. O'Grady - 512-Out

October 1, 2023

Photo Credit

Jana Birchum (Austin Chronicle)


Valerie Lopez


Valerie Lopez


This arti­cle will be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent from the arti­cles you’re used to read­ing when we release a pod­cast episode.

In the course of research­ing to write the arti­cle fea­tured in The Austin Chron­i­cle, I emailed Bren­dan K. O’Grady and Dun­can Car­son, co-hosts of Sure Thing and own­ers of Sure Thing Records. The fol­low­ing are some excerpts of the back and forth ques­tion and answer. A lot of the infor­ma­tion that O’Grady and Car­son shared could­n’t fit in the Chron­i­cle arti­cle, but we want­ed you to have the added insight. 

Official Launch Date?
Well we're reaching all the way back to the first Laugh Lounge on June 2, 2012, to get to this 512 total, and we've always kind of celebrated the first show in June as a show anniversary of sorts. But what is time, really- the first SURE THING was 2/13/23, and we hung the arrows up for the first time and it was like people's limbs crowding up onto the stage packed and there was just an electricity in the air.. there's the day the show started, and the day it really became ours. Then there's the first show at Fallout, which felt like finding a new home, and the first show back from the pandemic, which felt like coming back to life. Really there's the day I met Brendan, July 6th 2011 I think I worked out at some point, and then we just started making stuff. They all make sense as launch dates. (DC)
Number of time slots?
Our 8pm Saturday show became late night Fridays when we moved to Fallout, and we somehow survived going from free to decidedly not-free. (BKO)
Comic who performed the most?
Danny Palumbo holds the all-time lead with 30 appearances. No story other than we all three came up in the scene here in 2011 together and he has always been phenomenally talented and all that. Chris Tellez is next at 24, then Mike MacRae at 23. (DC)
Number of Sure Thing Showcases that were part of a Comedy Festival?
9 - 5 with Out of Bounds, 3 with Austin Sketch Fest, 1 at Fun Fun Fun Fest- we were also booked for the final Sound on Sound fest but it got canceled, which sucks because I really wanted to see Iggy Pop :( (BKO)
Number of marriage proposals?
At the show, just the one. They had their first Tinder date at our show, attended regularly, and when he asked if he could do that we said "If you're sure she'll say yes!" Duncan and I were even invited to the wedding reception. There have been a number of couples, especially from the Java days, that tell us going to the show regularly was a staple of their early and continued dating history. There's also a couple who were dating when they first came to our show, got married, and then last year he came back to the show without her and it turns out they got divorced, so we've also definitely OUTLASTED at least one marriage lol. (DC & BKO))
Number of gear bags used in the life of the show?
1- It's a Trader Joe's bag that's been half-ripped to shreds over the years, but it's held our cables, mics, cashbox, merch lights... so much stuff over the years, and it's still in use every week. (BKO)
Odd or quirky events at the show?
The manager of Austin Java locked her keys in the office so we couldn't turn off the overhead music to start the show, so there's a picture of Brendan and I literally taking the door off its hinges. That old space itself was a continual oddity, it would smell like sewage sometimes because it was a roofed-over patio and had drains in the floor, on a related note the air conditioning would be frequently dicey, one sweltering July week of course both bathrooms were out of order. Also that spot on Parkway was right on the footpath to wherever Eeyore's birthday was celebrated so once a year we'd do a comedy show while a motley psychedelic parade went by the window (and poked into the restaurant to ask to use the bathroom). (DC)
Number of Sure Thing tours?
1 - When Mac's first record came out the three of us piled into a car and did 7 cities (I believe) in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana over 2 weeks. It was called Sure Thing Tour Thing, because I couldn't come up with anything better. (BKO)
Go make your own thing.
Brendan K O'Grady

Fol­low Brendan

Fol­low Duncan

Fol­low Sure Thing

See Dun­can

  • Every Fri­day Night at Fall­out The­ater with his new Fall­out Tonight vari­ety hour!
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