Comedy Crusaders: Andrew Youngblood
Photo By Robert MacCready
For most of us, living in the fourth largest metroplex in the United States means that we have more than enough options on where to spend our time and our earnings. Professional sports, the arts, music, and eateries would be just a few of those options. But within those entertaining choices, are scenes. In the arts, stand up comedy is easily the newest up and coming scene. Sure, there are countless names in the comedy world who cut their teeth in Houston. But when most of us think of the traditional comedy clubs, the two drink minimum comes to mind. However, making it’s way up the ranks of entertainment in Houston is the alternative comedy scene. This is comedy being done in rooms where comedy wasn’t what the spot was built for. For fans of comedy and the comedians themselves; the people who book these rooms, are comedy crusaders. One of those “crusaders,” is Andrew Youngblood of Warehouse Live and Youngblood Booking. In just the span of about six to eight months, he’s managed to get one of the city’s more successful open mics off the ground and book some of comedy’s biggest names. FPH sat down with him recently to see how it unfolded.
FPH: You aren’t from here are you? Where are you from?
AY: I was born in Galveston, but I was raised in Rochester, New York. Through the magic of divorce, I got to spend my Summers here growing up. I’ve lived here for a solid eight years now, and I love this town.
FPH: How long have you been doing booking?
AY: Booking shows in general? I’ve been putting on shows since I was in high school back in New York. They were mostly punk shows, you know, from being in bands and wanting to play with or see certain bands. Then a while back, I booked Andrew WK at Boondock’s, and I had so much fun doing it; that I really wanted to keep doing it. I’ve been doing it ever since that show, and at Warehouse Live since I got there a little over a year ago.
FPH: How did you get into booking comedy?
AY: Well, I was a regular over at The Fairview back when they had an open mic. So, when I heard they were closing down, I knew that Bob Morrissey was the host; so I approached him about doing it here at Warehouse. This was right around the time I started here, and the club was looking for something else to bring people in. I had initially approached Bob to host an open mic at Warehouse, but we couldn’t make it work due to schedules and what not. And so, I was friends with Gabe Bravo, and I knew he’d gotten into doing stand up; so I just asked him if he wanted to do it. And, he took off with it and it’s just grown ever since.
FPH: And, the bigger bookings? How did that all happen?
AY: The original plan when we started the open mic night, was to hopefully use it as a way to have an actual comedy presence, and then use that to book bigger comedians here. The management office here at Warehouse gave me a chance, that I can’t thank them enough for; and I just kind of went with what I thought might work. I was a big fan of Henry Phillips, so we booked him and it went pretty good. But when we got Doug Benson, and it sold out as did Chelsea Peretti. It’s just kind of taken off since. I still have to hunt down comedy agents where I don’t have to do that with music; but it’s definitely growing for the better.
FPH: So, who’s the comedy dream act to book?
AY: Probably Hannibal Buress because I’ve been trying to get him for so long. But Louis CK would be great if he ever wanted to play smaller rooms again.
You can make it out every Tuesday to see Open Mic at Warehouse Live, and see what all of the buzz is about. The green room where the open mic is at is a lot like the two larger rooms at Warehouse, in that they feel like they were almost built for stand up comedy. Youngblood’s ability to try new things means that he’s booking at Boondocks, Warehouse Live, and even on a boat with his upcoming July 6th Boat Bash featuring American Sharks and We Were Wolves. While Andrew chases down Hannibal Buress, you can catch the hilarious and dark humor of comedian Todd Barry at Warehouse Live on April 26th.