Andy Huggins Might Not be a Spring Chicken but he's Finally Arrived

Article by: Robert Dean

Comedy has never been more prominent than it is right now. 

This is the golden age, unlike no other. And with younger comics blowing up thanks to social media, there's been a pleasant development on the inverse: the comedians who've been on the grind forever are finally getting the spotlight shined on them. 

And for Andy Huggins, it's about damn time. 

Andy Huggins | photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.

Still going strong at seventy-three, Huggins is a machine. 

He still works on refining jokes, getting stage time, and finding new riffs to make people laugh. As the world of comedy is exploding, he's excited about what it means for the bigger picture, along with the jokes and styles of these kids around him, most of whom could be his grandkids.

"I've always felt a kinship to younger comics. I don't get out like I used to. I do my set and go home. Those late nights are long over for me." 

Talking to Huggins, he was proud to talk about his new special, Early Bird Special.

And he should be; the guy has been working rooms for the last forty-five years, with a dead-set focus for the previous thirteen, to be the best version of himself possible. After leaving Virginia as a young man, Huggins stopped in Los Angeles for a while, where he performed regularly at the Comedy Store, but ultimately wound up in Houston in 1981, where he's since remained. 

"There was a lot of stage time back then, so that's why we went. Bill Hicks kept telling us how great Houston was, so a few of us came. Harris County was booming." 

Huggins was candid when asked about his allegiance to the Lone Star state. 

"I guess after forty-two years, I'm a Texan. I've never had a sense of location, it's about my friends and where they are. I've been here since 1981. So, I can guess I'm a Texan, I do love my Astros and Whataburger." (Whataburger is better than In & Out, fight me.)

Huggins is a one-man army who's worked hard at finding his space in the ever-evolving world of comedy, "I've never felt like anyone but myself. There might be a certain independence that comes with being a comic, even just how your personality is being a comic." 

With this wisdom in mind, Huggins has seen a thing or two in the wild 1980s era but also through working in so many rooms over the years, down to the details. "There are some rooms, where the laughs have a depth to them. You want a room that holds the laughs in, holds the depth, the noise sticks. That and low ceilings, when a seasoned comic walks into a new room, we look up at the ceiling now, down at the stage."

Huggins's style is as old school as it gets.

He's not dated, but he's a pleasant throwback to the guys from the Carson era of the Tonight Show, where the jokes came as rapid-fire one-liners. 

Huggins leans into how his work has evolved but also stays true to its classic Americana roots, "I've always worked with the presumption that making a room full of strangers laugh has been my goal. I've always been a Middle of Main Street comic. I'm not like Bill Hicks. I'm just there for the jokes, not political statements."

When asked how he feels about finally getting his moment, that Early Bird Special is out there for the people to discover him on a bigger scale, Huggins was again candid, "It's a bit disorienting. Things have never expanded to the degree they have. It's going really well." The views are racking up in the millions. It's good to sit back and smile. I'm seventy-three, I'm on TikTok!" 

But even as he's been in the game for a while and others may have moved onto a different place in their careers, he remains like a wise sage, "Quite honestly, I've never been jealous. Sure, sometimes I was puzzled. It takes more energy than I have. I've certainly had plenty of opportunities. This is just mine right now, and I'm thankful for it." 

While talking to Huggins, you can't help but cheer for the guy.

He's salt of the earth, old school, and genuine. After all the years he's put in, it feels good to see him get the win, even if it came later than expected. 

Always one to offer advice in the best way possible, Huggins mused about what he's learned doing comedy all these years, "A comic needs patience, focus, and discipline. Sadly, when I was young, I never had a day-to-day discipline. Writing is everything. You can't go at it half-assed. You also need to be proactive; Netflix isn't going to knock on your door unannounced. You need to take charge of your career."

While that works in comedy, it's a true statement for everyone on the grind. Here's to Andy Huggins. 

Check out Early Bird Special here
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