What we do

If you didn’t know already, Austin has a crazy comedy scene and it needs coverage. Comedy Wham was inspired by Chris Tellez’s tireless promotion of his monthly showcase at the Spider House Ballroom called Shit’s Golden. Austin needed a site to cover the shows, open mics, venues and the performers who keep them going – sometimes on a pretty short notice. Comedy Wham hopes to fill that void.

Staff

Valerie Lopez

Producer / Interviewer / Editor

Valerie grew up watching Saturday Night Live, ALF and has seen live comedy across the country. She started interviewing local Austin comics for the podcast extension of ComedyWham.com in January 2016 because she wanted to know more about the lives of comics off stage. After attending local comedy festivals, she boldly asked if national comics would also talk to her and lucky for her and us, many have said yes. She’s interviewed comics from Austin, Canada, Los Angeles, New York, and even England.

Her style of interview is very much a meandering conversation - did they also watch ALF? what was their first set like? What inspires, scares, brings and keeps them in comedy? The answers are almost always fascinating and highly entertaining insights into the mind of a comic. With her casual and friendly interview approach, she hopes to one day be known as “The James Lipton of Austin Comedy”. A girl can dream can’t she?

When she’s not podcasting, watching or performing comedy, Valerie is a proud parent of a smart-aleck junior comedy fan and works as a number cruncher. Her co-host Miss Purrington can often be heard contributing to the podcast.

Richard Goodwin

Writer / Interviewer / Web Tomfoolery

Native Texan, born in Corpus Christi and settled (for now) in Austin, TX, Goodwin spends his days in the tech world and nights and free time immersed in comedy and culture of all kinds. (Or, let’s be honest, on the couch with a good movie.) He has a daughter he’s trying to raise to be a productive member of society, although she seems to mostly be taking care of it on her own.

He’s still working on material for his first open mic (20 yrs and counting), but in the meantime is more often found helping others punch up their work, due to hilariously paralyzing stage fright.

Lara Smith

Writer / Interviewer

Originally from Southeast Texas, Lara found an interest early on in comedy. At the age of nine, she already had Eddie Murphy’s debut album committed to memory. Growing up watching SNL, SCTV, and The Kids In The Hall, she would recreate sketches with her sister at home.

After college, Lara moved to Austin and became a fan of the local comedy and theater scene. Initially considering stand up herself, Lara decided her efforts were better focused in podcasting. She is now co-host and co-creator of Radio Tatas and Noncommittal Podcasts, and a contributor to Comedy Wham Presents. She’s also been a featured guest on Taco Tuesday Podcast, The Ruca and Dave Show, and New York City Crime Report.

David Thomas

Founder in Residence

Time + budget + full time job = an online Bachelor’s degree in Communication. Since Dave’s day job wasn’t asking him to use it, he decided to put it to use elsewhere – which is here – writing about shows, venues, sketch and improv groups, and anything else comedy related. Dave’s eclectic taste in comedy has exposed him to an amazing variety of comedy and talented performers. You never know who or what you’ll come across in Austin.

Miss Purrington

Co-host and Admeownistrative Assistant to Valerie Lopez

Tenzie grew up in Nashville before moving with her human family to Austin in 2015. Her human family rehomed her to a nearby family where she escaped to live on the streets for a few months before agreeing to a trial run with Valerie and her son in 2016. Her original human family was traced by microchip (please chip your pets!!) and agreed to let Valerie become her human caretaker and the name Tenzie was retired and Miss Purrington was born. Depending on the proximity to feeding times, Miss Purrington will play a very active role in interviews or never even give a comic a passing glance. As a result of an unexpected escape and then return due to cat sitter error in the first 2 weeks of 2020, Miss Purrington is a much loved icon in the Austin comedy scene.