by Dave Buckman
When the call went out to the Austin Comedy Community that KXAN and the CW were looking to produce a new, local, Daily Show-style show in 2015, featuring Austin comedians and Austin stories. I, like every other comedic-minded performer sent in an their head shot, resumé and reel. I thought I had a shot. Why not? I write jokes! I perform! I’m smart! I have ideas! But when it was announced that Brian Gaar got the gig, well… who could blame them? Brian went to UT and has worked at the Austin American-Statesman for a long time. He certainly has his mind on Austin’s pulse. He also is a solid stand-up with a winning smile, a dry wit, and a very impressive pace of Twitter jokes that are both smart and funny. Playboy even called him “one of the best joketellers on the internet.” First of all Playboy has never called me or you anything… and also, there are A LOT of joketellers on the internet. Brian just happens to be one of the best.
ATX Uncensored(ish) has assembled a solid team around Brian. Kath Barbadoro, the local stand-up veteran, reminds you of that girl in high school who was always funnier than you were and yet you secretly wished she would make fun of you too. Joe Barlow, a recent transplant from the northern Midwest is the classic straight man-on-the street giving the new-to-Austin perspective that most of us have long since had jaded out of our hearts. A 21st Century Steve Allen. They also show local stand-ups in live sets from the Spiderhouse Ballroom. They shoot remotes from RAIN on 4th. They interview local celebrities and business owners and get to hang with visiting Hollywood dignitaries. My favorite piece is when they got in the car and drove just 15 minutes outside of Austin to talk to the regular folks in the Austin burbs. I never felt so cosmopolitan in all my life. Some guy in a gas station in Manor looked like he was going to hunt Brian for sport. In short, they do all the things all of us wish we could be doing for a living. But they also happen to be killing it. I must admit, in only a few short months, they found their rhythm and stride a lot quicker than I would have.
Together, on a nightly basis they are putting up a solid 15-minute takedown of national media, 6th Street, Ted Cruz, their own interns, and any other sorry dumbass that manages to make a headline that day, all while highlighting the Austin Comedy community’s plethora of talent. Jealous? Sure I am. Proud? Yes, that too. Also: impressed, entertained, and tuned-in every weeknight.
Dave Buckman served as Artistic Director of Boom Chicago in Amsterdam and as a director and teacher at The Second City in Chicago. Since 2005, Dave has been living in Austin with wife and creative partner Rachel Madorsky, teaching and performing with their award-winning troupe The Frank Mills. Already a producer for The Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival and Austin Sketch Fest, starting in 2016, Dave will be the new Executive Producer for ColdTowne Theater.