by Mac Blake
Montgomery Wayne Seitz wasn’t the best stand-up in Austin, but he might have been the most stand-up. I don’t know if that completely makes sense, but Monty was a complicated guy. As Jay Whitecotton wrote, “Everyone that met him loved him, got annoyed by him, avoided him, put up with him, got excited to see him, and most definitely smoked out with him.”
Monty was Austin Comedy’s self-styled “Cosmic Cowboy.” Yeah, that meant he wore a cowboy hat and got high a lot, but it was more than that. Monty was about as genuine a person as you’d ever meet. If he said “good to see you” he wasn’t just being polite, he was goddamn glad to see you. There was nothing half-hearted about anything Monty did. That’s why his death this past August was such a shock.
Monty’s gone? That can’t be right. That’s not how the scales are supposed to balance. Monty was taking care of a wife left minimally conscious by a car crash. He had two children whose adult lives are just beginning. The nicest guy you know isn’t supposed to go out like that.
After Monty’s death, every open mic turned into a tribute. Every night turned into storytime. An online fund started by comics Lisa Friedrich and Michael Priest hit its goal in 3 days.
Cap City Comedy Club offered its space for Monty’s memorial service. His friends and family filled the main showroom. At least half of those assembled were members of the Austin comedy community.
In my mind, that was Montgomery Wayne’s final contribution to Austin Comedy. His final gift. Because in that moment, our scene never felt more like a community. We had lost one of our own and we were hurt by it. But we had each other. It took an Outlaw with straw cowboy hat and an irrepressible smile to show us how important that is.
Mac Blake is an accomplished stand-up, a frequent performer at ColdTowne Theater, and one of the producers of Austin Sketch Fest.