Lara’s Guide to Moontower Comedy Fest

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By Lara Smith

Asking someone to pick their favorite lineup for Moontower is like asking someone to pick their favorite kid, no one wants to do it, but if you get mom and dad drunk enough, they’ll talk! So I’m sitting down with a nice gin and tonic to give you my picks for Moontower Comedy Festival.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ari Shaffir (Source: Moontower Comedy)
Ari Shaffir (Source: Moontower Comedy)

I’m taking it easy on you day 1. Maybe your plane just landed and you’re still getting acclimated. Maybe you live in the area, but didn’t take the day off of work. I’ll keep it simple for you. You’re welcome to hit up the Pre-Show Happy Hour at the Stephen F. Austin Bar & Terrace at 5pm. After that, find a seat at The Parish by 8pm for This Is Not Happening, the long-form storytelling podcast hosted by Ari Shaffir. The lineup for Thursday includes Debra DiGiovanni, Big Jay Oakerson, and Dan Soder. I’ve heard both Soder and Oakerson tell some incredible stories and I would feel terrible if I let you miss out on this.

Remember when I said I was taking it easy on you today? You don’t even have to leave The Parish to catch my next pick. You’re welcome, because up next is Stashbox at 10:15pm. Hosted by Austin’s reigning Funniest Person in Austin winner, Danny Palumbo, Stashbox includes a lineup of Andy Kindler, Allen Strickland Williams, Maggie Maye, Brendon Walsh, Jak Knight, Randy Liedtke, Chris Cubas, and Jenny Zigrino. The blend of comics on this set is incredible and Cubas and Maye are two of my favorites that still call Austin home. Spoiler alert: With Walsh and Liedtke on the lineup, this is my peace offering for making you miss The Bone Zone on Friday.

Friday, April 22, 2016

David Cross (Source: Moontower Comedy)
David Cross (Source: Moontower Comedy)

You have a day of great comedy ahead of you, but let’s focus on the night. I warned you that I was going to make you miss The Bone Zone, but it’s for good reason. David Cross is finally getting back on the road after a brief hiatus and has picked the Moontower comedy Festival to record his new special, Making America Great Again. Since he’s doing two recordings, I’ve chosen the 7:00pm show (there’s also a 9:30pm) because I have more things in store for you later tonight. It’d be a shame to miss it. If you’ve never been to Austin, The Paramount is a beautiful historic theater that just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Come for the comedy, stay for the atmosphere… but not too long.

After the Paramount Theatre, head north to Cap City Comedy Club to see Ron Funches at 10:30pm. I picked this particular set of Funches’ because Bob Khosravi and Daniel Webb are on the bill. Khosravi has an amazing gift of taking audiences on a story-telling journey. Sometimes it’s to a dark place, but it’s always a great ride! Webb brings a fabulous high-energy performance that will have you smiling for hours after. With Funches (Comedy Central’s @midnight and NBC’s Undateable) closing out your evening, you’ll be set!  No need to thank me (@snowflake1138 on Twitter).

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mike MacRae (Source: Moontower Comedy)
Mike MacRae (Source: Moontower Comedy)

Have I steered you wrong yet? I didn’t think so (thanks for all the tweets), and today won’t be any exception. I’ve given you plenty of time to roam during the day and there’s a lot to see, but we know the nighttime is the right time. Tonight, go to Google Fiber to see Stars in Bars.

This is the showcase that Moontower offers up each year to allow you to see big names in more intimate settings than you normally would. Tonight’s lineup brings you JR Brow, Greg Behrendt, Mike MacRae, James Adomian, Arden Myrin, Brad Williams, Jessica Williams, Phoebe Robinson of 2 Dope Queens, and Erin Foley. I’ve personally seen Brow, Behrendt, and MacRae in the past year and you are in for a treat!  I can tell you with these three alone, there will probably be music, unforgettable impressions, and if you think Behrendt is giving an Oprah-esque class, you’re wrong. His stand up is on point!

Last but not least, I give you my heart, a show so fabulous; I did my first Comedy Wham article on it. At 10:30pm, make your way to The Townsend to see Piranha! Hosted by Matt Bearden, Jesse Joyce is already listed on the panel, and Bearden always has great guests up his sleeve. I could gush about this show, but I already have (go read it). See it for yourself!


I hope this gives you a little guidance and makes your Moontower experience even brighter than the towers of its namesake. Hope to see you out there! Don’t forget, all badges, tickets and information is available on the Moontower Comedy Festival website.

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