by Brendan K. O’GradyPhoto by Erin Holsonback
I’ve often referred to Pat Dean as “The Mayor of Austin Comedy.” He’s one of the most universally well-liked guys you’ll ever meet –– absolutely nobody has a bad word to say about the man. If we ever had to band together to select our city’s official ambassador of funny, the nomination process should begin and end with him. Pat even plays the banjo and everyone still loves him.
Pat’s stage persona is equal parts indignity and ignominy, a barely-restrained torrent of mock-complaints about the state of a life that went horribly off-track somewhere down the line. If a sigh could be yelled, that would be the sound of Pat Dean’s comedy. But while Pat’s act has long been admired by his peers and hardcore Austin comedy fans, in 2015 Pat Dean seemed to be everywhere.
Pat, along with Lane Krarup, already co-hosted both a fun monthly showcase at Kick Butt Coffee and the popular StoryFellers podcast (in which Austin comics dive deep into some of their best personal stories). This year, Pat added co-hosting duties for Chris Tellez’s Shit’s Golden showcase, was featured at the Moontower Comedy Festival, hosted a series of terrific videos about Austin’s BBQ scene for VICE, got cast in the feature film The Trolls, and booked his first headlining weekend at local comedy institution The Velv (he got rained-out by October’s epic storms, but we’re all eagerly awaiting the re-schedule).
The secret to his sense of humor is that Pat is never too harsh and never off-putting. He’s an everyman through-and-through, and his sense of humor plays like an open invitation, a barstool being pulled up for the entire audience to sit and join in the bellyaching. Pat Dean plays pretend about a world that’s relentlessly bleak and unforgiving, and in the process he makes it a much more fun place to actually be.
Brendan K. O’Grady is a comedian, writer, and actor in Austin, Texas. He’s one-half of the producing/hosting duo behind the acclaimed weekly stand-up showcase SURE THING, as well as the co-owner of Austin’s independent comedy record label, SURE THING RECORDS.