Some comics are encouraged to try standup by friends, others by co-workers. For Austin's JR Brow, it was both, with an extra nudge from the late, great Bill Hicks. It was the late '80s and Brow was designing T-shirts. A sales rep (Hicks's brother) met with Brow and invited him to Bill's show. Brow and Hicks hit it off and kept in touch via phone. "He'd always ask 'Have you gone up yet? Have you done it?'" recalls Brow. "Next thing you know I did go up, and a year later I was opening for him in Houston." Today Brow mixes music into his comedy, harkening back to the days when he played in cover bands. Early in his comedy career he did impressions and parodies, but changed his approach after a while. "I just started to listen to music from different bands," he explains. "I noticed similarities in chord structures and started going, 'This song is really this song.' It's all one big chord. People come up to me after the show and go, 'I never knew that song was actually that song.' Turns out the Cars wrote for Green Day."
Dec. 1-5, 8 p.m.; Dec. 3-4, 10:30 p.m., 2010