Valerie's Guide to Moontower Comedy Fest

April 13, 2016

By Valerie Lopez

Pick­ing a show to see at Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val is like pick­ing your favorite child. You end up feel­ing guilty after­ward and some­one inevitably has­sles you for mak­ing the wrong choice. Well, here goes noth­ing. I’m sure I’ll feel guilt, or at the very least, expe­ri­ence FOMO (fear of miss­ing out) by miss­ing many oth­er splen­did shows dur­ing the festival.

Thurs­day April 212016

Ron Funch­es (Source: Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy)

For the first night, I rec­om­mend head­ing up to Cap City Com­e­dy at 8pm to see Ron Funch­es with Lashon­da Lester and Matt Sadler. Lester and Sadler are fan­tas­tic local comics and this is a real­ly cool opporuni­ty to see them with Ron Funch­es, a Seat­tle-based com­ic whose own star has risen over the last few years large­ly due to his role on the NBC show Undate­able.

Lester is a promi­nent fea­ture of the local­ly pro­duced Fun­ni­est movie and has appeared in Com­e­dy Cen­tral shows. Her brand of com­e­dy will pair nice­ly with Sadler and Funch­es. Matt Sadler has been very active over the last year. His high ener­gy per­for­mance is extreme­ly con­ta­gious and his style is rem­i­nis­cent of Sam Kin­neson’s style with­out mak­ing you feel like you’ve done any­thing wrong. Between Matt Sadler, Lashon­da Lester and Ron Funch­es, you’re promised a great time.

Run­ner Up

Cruise down­town to catch Unhinged at 800 Con­gress at 10pm to see Daniel Webb host for sev­er­al out of town comics. Webb has been enjoy­ing his own mete­oric rise over the last year, pos­si­bly accel­er­at­ed by his appear­ance as Sele­na at the 2015 Com­e­dy Séance host­ed by Norm Wilk­er­son (a.k.a. Satan). Daniel Webb recent­ly host­ed for The Sklar Broth­ers and is set to host for Ron Funch­es on anoth­er night of Moon­tow­er. He’s been very and you can check out his Com­e­dy Wham Presents inter­view post­ed in March. His high-ener­gy sets and host­ing skills will lead to a top-notch evening at 800 Congress.

Fri­day April 222016

Raul Sanchez (Source: Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy)

This one is fair­ly easy since I’m an avid fan of the Bone Zone pod­cast with Bren­don Walsh and Randy Lied­ke. They’re drag­ging along their fre­quent guest, John­ny Pem­ber­ton, to do a live from The Velv Com­e­dy Lounge at 7pm. You nev­er quite know what to expect with a Bone Zone pod­cast and Bren­don and Randy have a great dynam­ic togeth­er. Bren­don is the 2004 FPIA win­ner and left for Los Ange­les in 2009. He comes back to Austin reg­u­lar­ly either as a solo act or with Randy.

After the Bone Zone, stay put at The Velv Com­e­dy Lounge to watch The Foxxhole at 10:30pm. Catch Lashon­da Lester again along with San Anto­nio trans­plant Raul Sanchez. They will be shar­ing the stage with Jak Knight and Tony Rock. Lester is great of course and Sanchez has been per­form­ing more and more in Austin. Hav­ing spent a few years in San Anto­nio, I appre­ci­ate his spot-on depic­tions of life in San Antonio.

Sat­ur­day April 232016

Leslie Jones (Source: Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy)

If you’ve heard my seg­ment on Radio Tatas The Lady War­rior Mmm­matt Moment”, a tongue-in-check ded­i­ca­tion to Matt Bear­den; is it any won­der I wouldn’t let this week­end go by with­out rec­om­mend­ing a Matt Bear­den show? You can see him per­form every sin­gle night if you’re a super fan, but the high­light for me will be see­ing him roll out his Piran­ha show at The Townsend at 10:30pm with Jesse Joyce.

This show is loose­ly based on those car auc­tion shows. Instead of cars, comics auc­tion their jokes to the high­est bid­der. Matt is an actor (known for MTV’s Austin Sto­ries), an FPIA win­ner and cur­rent per­ma­nent 3rd chair of 93.7 KLBJ FM’s Dud­ley and Bob with Matt Morn­ing Show. He’s devel­oped sev­er­al com­e­dy shows includ­ing Punch and Slug.

Since the Piran­ha show is so late, sneak in a show before­hand like Leslie Loves Col­in at 7pm at the Para­mount The­atre. Col­in Jost and Leslie Jones are the cur­rent cast mem­bers of Sat­ur­day Night Live. If you don’t know, Jost and Jones have a run­ning bit on SNL News Update where Jones flirts relent­less­ly with a relent­less­ly awk­ward Jost. It’s one of my favorite recur­ring bits on SNL and their dynam­ic is near­ly as lov­able as the dynam­ic cre­at­ed between Seth Myers and Bill Hader’s char­ac­ter Ste­fon sev­er­al years ago.

Tick­ets to this show are like­ly to sell out, so if you don’t have a badge, you may be out of luck. It’ll be well worth the effort to try to catch these two mis­matched com­ic love-birds in action. Plus, watch­ing Leslie Jones is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to watch one of the reboot­ed Ghost­busters movie stars in person.


Badge and tick­et pur­chas­es, sched­ules, and all oth­er infor­ma­tion can be found on the Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy Fes­ti­val web­site.