Tyler Groce - Learning by Doing

October 6, 2020

Photo Credit

Tyler Groce


Valerie Lopez


Scott Sticker


This is our debut Com­e­dy Wham Presents Live Stream! You can see the record­ed video inter­view on the Com­e­dy Wham Twitch or Youtube chan­nels, or on our Com­e­dy Wham Face­book Page.

At any giv­en open mic, this is a com­mon scene: you’ll notice a com­ic slip the mic back into the stand, slink off the stage and sidle up to Tyler Groce. Groce will lean towards the com­ic and casu­al­ly whis­per some­thing in their ear. They’ll dou­ble over with laugh­ter, pull out their note­book, then sigh, dammit that’s so much bet­ter than what I wrote…”

Groce is one of those comics who seems to have the nat­ur­al per­former spark.” Infu­ri­at­ing to oth­er comics, infec­tious to audi­ences, and intrigu­ing to any­one even think­ing of start­ing standup. And just like so many oth­ers with that spark, its main ignit­ing force was hard work.

A keen observ­er, Groce noticed from a young age that fun­ny peo­ple got noticed quick­ly. He’d watch his mom rolling with laugh­ter at an episode of I Love Lucy (which Groce con­tends does not hold up) and he’d want that atten­tion. His hard work then was study­ing – sit­coms, his sib­lings, strangers who made peo­ple laugh – and pars­ing through what was funny.

The sit­coms he’d stud­ied as a child trans­formed into com­e­dy pod­casts as a col­lege stu­dent at Texas A&M, which even­tu­al­ly led him to stum­bling into see­ing Tom­my Johna­gin at Cap City Com­e­dy Club.

It was my first time see­ing live stand up,” Groce said, and it was just a guy on stage talk­ing. And it seems so sim­ple … because it is. That’s what so ele­gant about it is it is simple.”

It seemed sim­ple, but it wasn’t until after Groce was out of col­lege that he tread­ed into com­e­dy. Even then, he jumped into improv first because he was too afraid to do standup.” He poured him­self into improv for sev­er­al months before writ­ing enough to decide to get up on the stage by himself.

He first tried standup at an open mic at Austin Java on Lamar. I didn’t get a laugh, but I got a huh,’” Groce said. And that was all I need­ed. That was great. I didn’t need any more than that.”

I didn’t get a laugh, but I got a “huh,” and that was all I needed. It was great. I didn’t need any more than that.
Tyler Groce

If you watch Groce’s standup, you can tell he’s an impro­vi­sor – he’s beyond quick on his feet, able to roll with a quick line about the com­ic before him or unite the audi­ence by notic­ing some­thing quirky about the room. If you watch him do improv though, you wouldn’t guess he was a standup – and that’s on pur­pose, he said.

…the more I got into stand up, it hurt my improv,” he said, because when­ev­er you do stand up, you want to be fun­ny. You want to do the joke. You want to be clever. You don’t want to lose your ego… but you’re not help­ing the scene.” That made him work hard­er to con­sid­er the full team and land jokes when he can, not steal the show to pro­mote himself.

That huh” that Groce got at his first mic ignit­ed the spark inside him that he would con­sis­tent­ly fuel over the next sev­er­al years by get­ting on as many stages as pos­si­ble. He com­pet­ed in Cap City’s Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin com­pe­ti­tion first in 2017 with­out advanc­ing. The next year, how­ev­er, he got through as a finalist.

It was crazy,” Groce said. It was real­ly excit­ing. I’m glad that real­ly brought up my clout in the scene.” With that clout came host­ing one of the Austin scene’s longest run­ning, most pres­ti­gious shows, Buz­zkill at the Buzzmill.

His clout and his tal­ent con­tin­ued to grow expo­nen­tial­ly until Groce was seem­ing­ly whisked away from the Austin scene to Ams­ter­dam to work with Boom Chica­go, a world-famous com­e­dy fac­to­ry that has churned out notable come­di­ans and writ­ers such as Jor­dan Peele, Seth Mey­ers, Ike Bar­in­holtz, and Jason Sudeikis. 

At Boom, Groce got to live the life of a per­former. Along with six oth­er cast-mem­bers, Groce was on stage six nights of the week, per­form­ing and push­ing him­self to try new things. To some­one like Groce, this fueled the com­e­dy spark inside him to an inferno.

I got so much bet­ter in that time,” Groce said. I grew. I not only got bet­ter, but, I learned more about what com­e­dy is, how it func­tions; how it works.”

It was a mas­ter-les­son in learn­ing by doing,” he said. Doing com­e­dy in anoth­er coun­try taught Groce to decon­struct his jokes and look at every­thing in a new light. He said that’s the main rea­son he got bet­ter. You have to con­sid­er that every word you say is being hit by ears that may not know what you’re talk­ing about,” he said. The entire year he was in Ams­ter­dam, he worked to tweak his jokes, his ref­er­ences, his set-ups to get the same reac­tion as he would get in the states.

After a year of this mas­ter les­son, Austin’s siren song snagged Groce back. He had plans to relax with his girl­friend in Austin, com­pete in anoth­er FPIA, then head to LA or New York City. Of course, COVID hit and his plans quick­ly unraveled.

Ever evolv­ing and a non­stop work­er though, Groce didn’t let a glob­al pan­dem­ic stop him from pro­duc­ing com­e­dy. He has put out con­sis­tent­ly fun­ny and thought-pro­vok­ing videos on Insta­gram reg­u­lar­ly touch­ing on every social issue imaginable. 

There’s always a core, fun­ny thing I want to hit on,” Groce said of his video mat­ter, but I think just how my brain works is I typ­i­cal­ly think about race stuff or social issues. And if I find some­thing fun­ny in there, I’m like: oh! Let me try to cram it into video form!’”

You don’t have to wait for someone to say, ‘can you come be funny on stage?’ If you want to be a filmmaker, go make a film!
Tyler Groce

He had plans to take a film course after leav­ing Ams­ter­dam, but the pro­gres­sion of his Insta­gram videos real­ly shows Groce’s pro­gres­sion through his com­mit­ment to learn­ing by doing. You don’t have to wait for some­one to say, can you come be fun­ny on stage?’” Groce said. If you want to be a film­mak­er, go make a film!”

The fact that Groce’s hard work has brought him lit­er­al­ly around the world proves his phi­los­o­phy of learn­ing by doing.” Once live com­e­dy comes back, we’ll be watch­ing Groce close­ly, if not only to see what bril­liant lines he slips to some­one just com­ing off stage.

Tyler can be seen and heard:

Fol­low Tyler 

Tyler Groce