Moontower Comedy Fest announces first wave of performers; badges on sale now

The Paramount Theatre, which produces Austin’s annual Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival, has announced the early lineup of comedians who will appear in 2016 and has placed discounted, early bird badges on sale. The festival takes place from April 20-23, 2016 at venus throughout Austin.

Martin_ShortSlated performers thus far include Martin Short, Kevin Smith, Maria Bamford, Jim Norton, Debra DiGiovanni, Piff the Magic Dragon, Sklar Brothers, Ron Funches, and Anjelah Johnson (who will present her popular character Bon Qui Qui’s Gold Plated Dreams Tour featuring Group 1 Crew).

Short, Smith, Bamford and Johnson will headline on the Paramount Theater stage, while writer, comedian, podcaster, and film director Smith will also present a live taping of his “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old” podcast with buddy Jason Mewes as a special badge-only event.

Returning favorites include Andy Kindler, James Adomian and the Sklar Brothers, and newcomers include new “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jon Rudnitsky and “America’s Got Talent’s” Piff the Magic Dragon.

Here’s the current list of performers:

James Adomian, Maria Bamford, Ahmed Bharoocha, Joe DeRosa, Debra DiGiovanni, Sean Donnelly, Jo Firestone, Ron Funches, Goddamn Comedy Jam, Angela Johnson, Jesse Joyce, Andy Kindler, The Lampshades, Matteo Lane, Annie Lederman, Joe List, Josh Adam Meyers, Jim Norton, Johnny Pemberton, Piff the Magic Dragon, Tony Rock, Jon Rudnitsky, Martin Short, Sklar Brothers, Kevin Smith, Beth Stelling, Brad Williams, and Jenny Zigrino.

Moontower FAN, ACE, and VIP badges are now on sale at an early bird discount at www.moontowercomedyfest.com, at the Paramount Theatre box office, or by calling 512-474-1221. Single-show tickets for Paramount headliner shows will go on sale at a later date.

For the most current festival skinny, follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Fun Fun Fun Fest announces comedy lineup

Tig Notaro is slated to perform at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015.
Tig Notaro is slated to perform at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015.

The producers of the annual Fun Fun Fun Fest have announced the acts performing on the Yellow stage.

Tig Notaro, Doug Benson, Eric Andre, Todd Barry, Eugene Mirman, Sabrina Jalees, Jonah Ray and Kurt Braunohler are some of the big name comics performing in the stage, which is sponsored by JASH, the digital comedy collective spearheaded by Sarah Silverman and others.

In addition, popular events including the Air Sex Championship, Altercation Punk Comedy tour, The New Movement, Live Wrestling (ACW and Inspire Pro), and the infamous FFF Taco Cannon will take place on the stage.

Here are the day-by-day lineups for the Yellow stage. Because the fest organizers love a good joke, they’ve placed these performers in this list from last-performing-to-first, and also put several music acts on the Yellow stage each night (musical acts are indicated with an asterisk — please do not laugh during their performances or repeat their lyrics the next day as punchlines).

Todd Barry
Todd Barry

Friday:

King Khan & BBQ Show*, Benjamin Booker*, Tops*, Tig Notaro, Kurt Braunohler, Eugene Mirman, Derrick C. Brown (poet), Bad Example, Altercation Punk Comedy Tour, Greetings from Queer Mountain

Saturday:

Murder By Death*, Cass McCombs*, East Cameron Folkcore*, Doug Benson, Jonah Ray, Sabrina Jalees, GZA (the science of hip hop)*, Dr. Scott Bolton (NASA Scientist and founder of Artistic Sciences), Sandbox with Rob Gagnon, The Secret Group (Houston Comics), Master Pancake’s Saturday Morning Cartoons

Sunday:

BADBADNOTGOOD*, Andrew Jackson Jihad*, Steve Gunn*, Andrew W.K. (motivational speaking), Twerking Lessons with Big Freedia, Todd Barry, Eric Andre, Lil Freckles, Air Sex Championships, ATX Comedy Hour, The New Movement

Single-day and weekend passes are now on sale and available online. Single-day tickets are available for $89 while three-day passes are $199. The big-deal Ultimate Smooth Pass (USP) is available for $450.

Passes and further information are available on the festival website.

Austin comics Ashley Barnhill and Abby Rosenquist represent at New Faces in Montreal

Big congrats to Ashley Barnhill and Abby Rosenquist, Austin comics who are performing this week in the New Faces showcases at Montreal’s Just For Laughs.

Ashley Barnhill
Ashley Barnhill

Big congrats to Ashley Barnhill and Abby Rosenquist, who are performing this week in the New Faces showcases at Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival. Both stand-ups are current or former Austin performers.

The festival website claims superstars are born at the showcases, and while it’s debatable if that is still true — the development deal market for up-and-coming comics isn’t what it used to be — an appearance at the event is still a huge feather in the cap of any aspiring comic performer.

Barnhill, who studied law at the University of Texas at Austin, is a skilled joke-crafter who made a name for herself on Twitter. A Moontower Comedy festival veteran now living in Los Angeles, she works with the likes of Marc Maron and Dave Chappelle, and is slated to appear during the Austin stop of Funny or Die’s annual Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival on Oct. 17.

Abby Rosenquist
Abby Rosenquist

Rosenquist, who came to Austin via Omaha, Nebraska, is an Out of Bounds and Moontower veteran who made a splash at this year’s Funniest Person in Austin contest and can be seen at local haunts including The Velv.

Of course, both comics have worked out material on Austin’s Cap City Comedy Club stage.

Best of luck to Barnhill and Rosenquist in Montreal.

Out of Bounds Comedy Festival releases lineup, places tickets on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the Festival, which features 500 performers in 120 shows ta nine downtown Austin venues.

Sketch group Magician vs. Clown is slated to perform at the 2015 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin.
Sketch group Magician vs. Clown is slated to perform at the 2015 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin.

Passes are now on sale for Austin’s 2015 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, taking place Sept. 1-7.

Looks like the little comedy festival that could, did. Started in 2002 by members of local improvisation group Well Hung Jury and staged over a couple of days at downtown’s Hideout Theatre, the fest has become something of a very jolly grin giant.

This year, 84 improv groups, 41 standup comics, and 16 sketch acts from around the globe (including talent from our own white-hot comedy scene) will perform in nine downtown venues over the course of seven days. ending on Labor Day. That’s more than 500 performers in 120 shows, for those of you who are counting.

An All-Festival Pass goes for $119 and includes full access to all shows (including headliners), after-parties, and area discounts.

The upgraded All-Festival Pass Plus will set you back $129, includes all the benefits of the regular pass plus an OoB Fest T-shirt and a free pack of Official 2015 OoB Trading Cards.

Tickets for individual shows are also on sale. Visit the festival’s schedule page (where you can find the complete lineup of acts and schedule of performances) to buy tickets for a specific show, or reserve a spot if you’ve purchased a pass (not all venues offer single-ticket purchase or reservations).

There’s lots to laugh at in Austin this summer

Comedy acts from Don Rickles to Joe Rogan land on Austin stages this summer.

Don Rickles and Regis Philbin.
Don Rickles and Regis Philbin perform at Austin’s Bass Concert Hall in June.

It seems as if the hotter it gets outside, the more difficult it becomes to laugh. Maybe that explains the relatively sparse list of big comedy names stopping in Austin over the summer (especially in July).

Or perhaps it’s just that comedy bookers — like comedy fans — are notorious procrastinators. For example, we still don’t know if Funny or Die, which has brought acts including Dave Chappelle and Flight of the Conchords to the Austin360 Amphitheater over the past two summers, is mounting a tour this year and whether or not it will stop in Austin (the tour usually begins in August).

Still, there are plenty of national headliners worth checking out, in addition to the locals, who never, ever stop.

Iliza Shlesinger
Iliza Shlesinger

Cap City Comedy Club (8120 Research Blvd.) brings in Tommy Davidson, Iliza Shlesinger and Tom Green in June; Michael Ian Black in July; and Mary Lynn Rajskub in August. For times, tickets and other information, call 512-467-2333 or visit www.capcitycomedy.com.

Aussie comic Jim Jefferies, star of the FX television series, “Legit,” brings his raunchy comedy to the Paramount Theatre (713 Congress Ave.) at 8 p.m. on June 4. For tickets, $39.50-$44.50, call 512-474-1221 or browse to www.austintheatre.org.

On June 24 at 7 p.m., the Paramount presents comic legend Don Rickles with TV legend Regis Philbin at Bass Concert Hall (2350 E. Campus Dr.). With an admirable lack of Cosby-like scandals, insult comic and “Mr. Warmth” Rickles remains the comedic elder statesman to see. Tickets range from $55-$130 and can be obtained by calling 512-471-2787 or surfing to texasperformingarts.org.

Puddles Pity Party brings the tears of a clown to the Stateside at the Paramount (713 Congress Ave.) at 7 p.m. on June 27. The imposing clown with the most beautiful and unexpected voice has been a standout at previous Moontower Comedy Festivals. $30 tickets can be purchased by calling 512-474-1221 or visiting www.austintheatre.org.

Perennial Austin visitor and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” panelist Paula Poundstone returns to One World Theatre (7701 Bee Cave Rd.) for a pair of shows — 7 and 9:30 p.m. — on Aug. 22. For tickets, $25-$65, and information, call 512-330-9500 or visit www.oneworldtheatre.org.

Joe Rogan PHOTO: JOSHUA HEGES
Joe Rogan
PHOTO: JOSHUA HEGES

Stand-up comic, conspiracy theorist and former “Fear Factor” host Joe Rogan performs at ACL-Live (310 Willie Nelson Blvd.) at 8 p.m. on Aug. 29. $38 tickets can be purchased by calling 877-435-9849 or heading to www.acl-live.com online. (Weird Al Yankovic plays the venue on Aug. 20, but his gig is sold out.)

If Summer ends Labor Day weekend, then we are contractually obligated to include the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, running Sept. 1-7 at various venues in Austin. And why wouldn’t we? The festival — now in its 14th year — brings improv, sketch comedy and stand-up performers from all over to play with the locals. Find more information at www.outofboundscomedy.com.