Evan Rabalais vs. the 96 Hour Comedy Festival

February 12, 2023

Photo Credit

An Indoor Lady


Valerie Lopez


Alyssa Spatola


Evan Rabal­ais attempt­ing to break the record for world’s longest stand-up com­e­dy show checks out. Between play­ing hours-long Dun­geons & Drag­ons cam­paigns and craft­ing sto­ries opposed to just one-lin­ers for his standup, he’s no stranger to long-form entertainment. 

Like­wise as pro­duc­er of Fallout’s Crit­i­cal Hit–a table­top improv show – Rabal­ais is famil­iar with the strate­gic and some­times stress­ful aspects of com­e­dy show pro­duc­tion. With his next adven­ture, 96 Hour Com­e­dy Fest (May 24th-28th, 2023), he’s about to embark on his most dif­fi­cult (albeit excit­ing) quest yet by com­bin­ing the two.

96 Hour Com­e­dy Fest
will be four straight days of around-the-clock stand up com­e­dy in an attempt to break the Guin­ness Book World Record for world’s longest stand-up com­e­dy show. The record would be a great acco­lade for the festival’s venue, Fall­out The­atre, and could fur­ther solid­i­fy Austin’s place on the com­e­dy map. 

I wanted to do this because it's weird. It's interesting.
Evan Rabalais

But with all the logis­tics, plan­ning, paper­work, and well, math, some­one might won­der why Rabal­ais would per­son­al­ly take on the task. Turns out, this is not his first rodeo. He got to per­form at 3AM for an entire hour at the Nashville fes­ti­val in 2016 that cur­rent­ly holds the record (of a whop­ping 80 hours and 5 min­utes). He shares with Valerie Lopez that the fun, weird expe­ri­ence inspired him to attempt his own record here in Austin. I want­ed to do this because it’s weird. It’s inter­est­ing. It’s fun for me to try and think of the math of this pro­duc­tion. And on top of all that, like at the end of the day, if it’s suc­cess­ful, my name is in the Guin­ness World Record book.”

But fol­low­ing Guinness’s strict rules of hav­ing non­stop stage rota­tions for a full 96 hours won’t be easy. Hav­ing to metic­u­lous­ly man­age the 15+ minute set times of at least 150 come­di­ans gives a whole new mean­ing to comedic tim­ing. But Rabal­ais’s tenac­i­ty and knack for long-form fun and strate­gic think­ing will be giv­ing Austin a super unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to be a part of com­e­dy his­to­ry. Orga­ni­za­tion is dif­fi­cult, but it excites me. Real­ly try­ing to orga­nize a show like that real­ly tick­les my brain in a pos­i­tive way.”

Rabal­ais can’t do it alone. For this type of event, it will quite lit­er­al­ly take a vil­lage, but sub­mis­sions for 96 Hour Com­e­dy Fest haven’t been rolling in quite as quick­ly as he would like. Hey comics! Sign up! Please for the love of God,” Rabal­ais hilar­i­ous­ly plead­ed with Valerie in this week’s episode. 

While Guin­ness does require each com­ic pro­vide some paper­work (proof of at least one year of stand up expe­ri­ence and your 20 most recent paid gigs) the cost to sub­mit is 100% free, unlike many oth­er fes­ti­vals. And with so many hours of time to fill, comics will be guar­an­teed some great stage time. Not to men­tion, it’s going to be super fun. If you enjoy being around comics all day, every day, and just doing weird shit at all hours of the day, that’s what this is,” Rabal­ais shared.

If you enjoy being around comics all day, every day, and just doing weird shit at all hours of the day, that's what this is
Evan Rabalais

So if that sounds like fun to you, this is your call to sub­mit to the fes­ti­val! Over a four-day peri­od, Rabal­ais needs hosts, and 150 (but ide­al­ly 200) come­di­ans to sub­mit and per­form one after anoth­er, for at least fif­teen min­utes, with­out a sin­gle entire minute of silence, in order to obtain the record. 

If you’re not able to help by per­form­ing, you can still help out by vol­un­teer­ing as a record-keep­er (Ohhh, fan­cy!). Or, if you’re just in it for the gig­gles, you can help by mere­ly being an audi­ence mem­ber (one of the 10 min­i­mum that need to be in the room at all times).

It sounds like a lot of rules, but by fol­low­ing them, the 96 Hour Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val is also break­ing the rules of con­ven­tion­al com­e­dy fes­ti­vals, thus break­ing new ground for Austin’s com­e­dy scene. He’s bring­ing us some­thing real­ly awe­some and it shows in his pas­sion for it. I can do a lot of real­ly cool things, a lot of good things – all I need is the oppor­tu­ni­ty.” Austin com­e­dy scene, give Evan Rabal­ais and your­self that opportunity: 

Whether it’s at 3PM or 3AM, we hope to see you at 96 Hour Com­e­dy Fest May 24 – 28, 2023 at Fall­out Theatre!

Fol­low Evan

Evan can be seen and heard:

  • Crit­i­cal Hit - First Wednes­day of every month at the Fall­out Theater
  • 96 Hour Com­e­dy Fest — May 24th-28th, 2023 at the Fall­out Theater
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Evan Rabalais