Lara's Moontower Wrap-Up

May 1, 2016

I love it when a plan comes togeth­er. This year that is exact­ly what hap­pened at Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy & Odd­i­ty Fest. We released our picks for the fes­ti­val the week before and I told you it was­n’t easy, but I’m so glad I did it. I stuck to my plan, with a few extra addi­tions, and it real­ly made for an awe­some com­e­dy expe­ri­ence.
Vol­un­teers like Mike and Sharon keep Moon­tow­er run­ning smooth.

So my first add-on was Ari & Kurt Do 4 – 20 on open­ing day at Cap City Com­e­dy Club. It was an amaz­ing line­up of local favorites, host­ed by Ari Shaf­fir and Kurt Met­zger. The show was such a great way to kick off Moon­tow­er and, despite the date, it was a very high-ener­gy show (pun intend­ed). Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the show, ATX Uncensored(ish) did a tap­ing of their show, with guests, Ari and Kurt. It was a great way to close day one.

Dan Soder

I stuck to the plan and head­ed down to The Parish to watch This Is Not Hap­pen­ing and I’m so glad I did. Host­ed by Ari Shaf­fir, sto­ries from Dan Soder, Debra DiGio­van­ni, Big Jay Oak­er­son, Brad Williams and a sur­prise addi­tion, Jesse Joyce. I have to say that I am for­ev­er a hard­core Brad Williams fan after hear­ing his best day” story.

I remained at The Parish for Stash­box and had an incred­i­ble time. Because of some of the head­lin­ing shows com­pet­ing with the time slot, the crowd thinned out some, but you could­n’t tell Andy Kindler that. He put on such a kinet­ic show, my face hurt from laughing.


I head­ed down­town ear­ly to catch a record­ing of the Sir­iusXM show The Bon­fire, host­ed by Dan Soder and Big Jay Oak­er­son. Donned in west­ern wear for the occa­sion, they put on quite a show. Guests Joe DeRosa, Andy Kindler, and Ari Shaf­fir stopped by to join the campers. DeRosa and Kindler had some much fun trash-talk­ing each oth­er. It was the per­fect way to lead me into my evening with David Cross: Mak­ing Amer­i­ca Great Again.

Cross was incred­i­ble and his com­men­tary on the elec­tion and our polar­ized nation was painful­ly hon­est and hilar­i­ous. This day tru­ly spoiled me, as I end­ed it with the dynam­ic Ron Funch­es at Cap City. Funch­es has an infec­tious smile and an adorably con­fi­dent per­sona that makes you know why he’s become such a force in the comedy/​television world.

Janeane Garofalo

I got things going with the Ping Pong Slap­down with com­men­tary by the Sklar Broth­ers. Badge hold­ers enjoy this tour­na­ment exclu­sive­ly every year. Any­one could sign up to com­pete and every­one was treat­ed to free Amy’s Ice Cream, burg­ers from Phil’s Ice­house, and beer from Goose Island. Be sure to check out Com­e­dy Wham on Insta­gram to see pic­tures from the tournament.

That evening I returned to my sched­ule to see Stars In Bars and it was incred­i­ble. JR Brow was won­der­ful, as always. Erin Foley, Phoebe Robin­son, Arden Myrin, and Janeane Garo­fa­lo remind­ed me how much I love strong female come­di­ans and how they inspire me. Then my world was cap­ti­vat­ed by the irrev­er­ent and fab­u­lous Jim­my Carr. He brought the house down with his quick-wit­ted rapid fire style…a per­fect way to close this showcase.

Jesse Joyce

Final­ly, my Moon­tow­er end­ed with Piran­ha, host­ed by Matt Bear­den. This time pan­elists includ­ed Arden Myrin, Jesse Joyce, and Mike MacRae. It was just as I had report­ed before, but cranked up a notch! Audi­ence inter­ac­tion start­ed quick­ly, judges roused each oth­er fierce­ly, and per­form­ing come­di­ans were far from timid with the pan­el. It was a great way to close the festival.

Go to This Festival

I would be remiss if I did­n’t say that Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy & Odd­i­ty Fest was one of the most well-planned fes­ti­vals Austin has to offer. Almost every venue is a quick walk from the next, the vol­un­teers are incred­i­bly help­ful and per­son­able, and the come­di­ans they book are as friend­ly and kind to fans as they are tal­ent­ed. I can­not wait for next year!