Moontower Comedy Fest Returns to Austin

April 8, 2016

By David Thomas

I enjoy the Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fest. Every year I have to force myself to pry away from show­cas­es ded­i­cat­ed to local come­di­ans and see out of town come­di­ans. When I do, I always find an act I haven’t heard before and go home with new come­di­ans for my teenag­er to check out.

Always Some­thing New

moontower-marquisHost­ed by Austin’s icon­ic Para­mount The­atre, the fes­ti­val runs from April 20th to April 23rd and fea­tures a cross sec­tion of the best come­di­ans the nation and Austin has to offer. I always enjoy see­ing acts like Big Jay Oak­er­son, Maria Bam­ford and Andy Kindler in same week­end. Some of these acts rarely pass through town and quite a bit of time pass­es between vis­its of those we con­sid­er reg­u­lars. Get­ting to see many of these acts in one week­end helps fill the gaps a bit.

Last year was par­tic­u­lar­ly fun for me. I was able to see Irish come­di­an David O’Do­her­ty on Pete Holmes’ pod­cast, You Made It Weird, and catch his stand up. The dude is mag­ic with a Casio key­board. This is where Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fest shines. If not for the fes­ti­val, I prob­a­bly would­n’t have seen O’Do­hetry live since he rarely comes to the U.S. (well, that was the case when I spoke to him last year).

More Than Stand Up

Event goers should be very excit­ed about the line up this year. Maya Rudolph, Janeane Garo­fa­lo and Mar­tin Short are just a few of the

Bren­don Walsh brings The Bone Zone back to Austin
head­lin­ers sched­uled to appear. On top fo that, the Sir­iusXM radio show Opie with Jim Nor­ton will be doing two shows over the week­end. Besides Opie with Jim Nor­ton, The Sklar Broth­ers and Bren­don Walsh are bring­ing their pod­casts to town. Sklar­bro Coun­try will be doing a live pod­cast from Speakeasy on the 22nd at 7pm. Bone Zone is pod­cast­ing from the Velv Com­e­dy Lounge on the same day at 5pm. Sklar­bro Coun­try isn’t the only pod­cast Speakeasy is host­ing. The dynam­ic duo of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are bring Jay and Silent Bob Get Old to the Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fest for a badge only event on the 23rd at 5pm.

It’s cool the fes­ti­val orga­niz­ers have expand­ed into radio/​podcast broad­casts. It gives fans an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see and inter­act with the come­di­ans in a casu­al atmos­phere. What many peo­ple enjoy about these for­mats is that they feel like they’re part of a con­ver­sa­tion — almost like sit­ting on a front porch and sip­ping lemon­ade with the hosts — or some­thing like that.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed

Maria Bam­ford (Cred­it: Moon­tow­er)

Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val sta­ples return in the form of the lounge at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel where fans can have a few drinks and min­gle with come­di­ans over the week­end. At 2pm on the 23rd, the Sklar Broth­ers will host the annu­al Ping Pong Smack­down. This is always fun to watch as come­di­ans vie for the cham­pi­onship while the Sklar Broth­ers pro­vide col­or commentary.

Choos­ing which show, head­lin­er or event to attend can be over­whelm­ing for a fan. Don’t wor­ry, we at Com­e­dy Wham have you cov­ered. Over the course of the next week, Valerie, Lara and I will be post­ing our rec­om­men­da­tions for the Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val. Of course, these are only rec­om­men­da­tions and are not intend­ed to be a yel­low brick road.


Badges and sin­gle tick­ets to head­lin­ing shows are still avail­able. All badges come with reduced rate park­ing at One Amer­i­can Cen­ter which is just a block west of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. All fes­ti­val infor­ma­tion can be found on Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­t’s web­site.