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.

Here’s how to attend KLRU’s free ‘Overheard’ taping with Mary Lynn Rajskub

Mary Lynn Rajskub
Mary Lynn Rajskub

Evan Smith‘s KLRU series, “Overheard with Evan Smith,” is taking advantage of comic/actress Mary Lynn Rajskub‘s September stint at Cap City Comedy Club to get her into the studio for a taping.

Rajskub, a touring stand-up and Moontower Comedy Festival veteran best known for portraying hacker Chloe O’Brien on Fox television’s “24,” sits down with Smith at 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 28 (doors open at 3:15 p.m.). The taping takes place at KLRU’s Studio 6A, located on the east side of Guadalupe St. between 25th and Dean Keeton Streets.

Admission is free, but RSVPs are required. They can be obtained by clicking here.

The comic is also a veteran of HBO’s “Mr. Show With Bob and David,” poised to make a comeback on Netflix, and can be seen as a panelist on “Chelsea Lately.” She plays Cap City Aug. 27-29.

Moontower Friday: Patton Oswalt and Jonathan Katz

Patton Oswalt headlines at the 2015 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. MANDY EARNSHAW / BIRDSONG IMAGING
Patton Oswalt headlines at the 2015 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. MANDY EARNSHAW / BIRDSONG IMAGING

I didn’t have to go see Friday’s “Dr. Katz Live” at the Stateside Theatre, part of the 2015 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. My colleague Omar Gallaga went on Thursday and did a great job in his write-up of the event which, except for a few different comics (I got to see Eddie Pepitone, Todd Barry and Marc Maron instead of Dana Gould, Maria Bamford and Andy Kindler) seemed pretty much the same.

But, like Omar, I could not resist the chance to see a memorable part of my past played out live onstage. For those not in the know, comic Jonathan Katz plays a psychiatrist named Jonathan Katz whose patients are all stand-up comics.

As in Thursday night’s outing, Emo Philips (he played both shows along with Dom Irrera) best embodied the spirit of the original squiggle-vision cartoon, and not just because of his spastic movements. He drew great laughs from the crowd throughout his visit, mostly with cleverly placed lines from his stand-up act, while Katz sat by and watched.

Phillips is not a Scientologist, he insisted, explaining that he’s “not a fan of stupidity even when it’s not evil.”

Jonathan Katz in "Dr. Katz Live" at the 2015 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. MANDY EARNSHAW / BIRDSONG IMAGING
Jonathan Katz in “Dr. Katz Live” at the 2015 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. MANDY EARNSHAW / BIRDSONG IMAGING

The neurotic Maron, as you might imagine also fared extremely well on the bogus therapist’s couch (well, chair). At one point, he told Katz he was uncomfortable talking about his problems in front of a theater full of people, asking, “Are we still in the bit?”

After a brief stop at the Moontower Lounge on the second floor of the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, I headed next door to the Paramount Theatre to see Patton Oswalt (“King of Queens,” “Ratatouille”), the festival’s hottest ticket.

The Moontower organizers did a stellar job of arranging the openers for Oswalt. Mike MacRae ably warmed up the crowd for Brian Gaar, who absolutely nailed his set with stories and jokes about parenting, video games and the city of Waco, where he grew up. Gaar explained Waco with a single sentence: “They built a new road … and they named it New Road.” Later, he told the audience he was awakened by a police officer at 3 a.m. because the cop wanted his help in stealing the New Road sign. A joke about a Master’s Degree in English was a masterclass in comic timing.

Gaar was followed by “Mr. Show” actor Karen Kilgariff who, with beatboxer Drennon Davis, entertained the crowd with original musical numbers, the funniest of which was a song about horrible tattoos. “I think we struck a nerve,” Kilgariff cracked in the middle of the number, which really couldn’t have been more tailor-made for the Austin crowd.

Oswalt, naturally, delivered in spades.

He began with a 10-15 minute bit about waiting on the Congress Avenue bridge for the bats to appear, a visit he had just made prior to the show. The brand new routine was, remarkably, as polished as his standard tour material. It contained detailed descriptions of crowd members and ended with a killer line about a man who had been waiting in front of him for an hour, only to finally turn around and ask the other crowd members what they were all waiting for.

Other material touched on religion, his worst gig ever, his parents, clowns, and the song “The Little Drummer Boy.”

Oswalt was also in hilarious form during his crowd work. He nearly whiffed with the first two audience members he singled out — a woman who did marketing for start-ups, and a Family and Sports Medicine doctor. But he struck comic gold with his third victim, an author who wrote modern feminist fiction under a pen name. When pressed about why she used a pseudonym, Oswalt got the woman to admit it was because some people would consider the work to be erotica. Oswalt then guessed that her pen name must be “Vulva Fantastic.”

I’m sure that wasn’t the woman’s actual nom de plume, but “fantastic” is actually a pretty accurate way to describe Friday at Moontower.

Moontower Thursday: Tim Minchin and Emo Philips

Emo Phillips and Tim Minchin at the Moontower Comedy Festival. DALE ROE / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Emo Philips and Tim Minchin at the Moontower Comedy Festival. DALE ROE / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The last time I was this close to comedian Emo Philips was 30 years ago. He was performing in front of a few dozen people in the basement of a Jake’s Pizza Parlor in Lisle, a western suburb of Chicago, Ill. (Philips is a native of another nearby suburb, Downer’s Grove).

I wasn’t sure what to expect these days from the extremely weird stand-up, but his hilarious (and far too-short) set at the Speakeasy Thursday during the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival capped off a terrific night that began at the Paramount Theatre with the musical comedy of Tim Minchin, who I mainly wanted to see so that I could stop hearing people tell me “You’ve got to go see Tim Minchin!”

These folks, mainly organizers from the Paramount, played the atheist and skeptic Minchin’s performance up to ironically biblical proportions.

And Minchin over-delivered.

The eccentric-appearing singer, pianist and composer walked onstage wearing heavy eye make-up (the better to see his hilarious expressions); a stylish, fitted suit; and neither shoes nor socks.

Tim Minchin performs musical comedy during the 2015 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival.
Tim Minchin performs musical comedy during the 2015 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival.

You know that expression that somebody was “played like a fiddle”? That’s the best way I can explain how Minchin manhandled and caressed the grand piano at which he sat for the better part of an hour and a half. Perhaps those dark eyes hypnotized his audience, because I can clearly remember him ripping the keys from the instrument, mashing them together, remixing them — bending and shaping them to his will.

It would have been a great show had he simply played — and played anything — on the piano. But the songs he sang were similarly twisted, full of witty jabs at politics, war, religion and family life. Like a magician, Minchin repeatedly led the crowd down a path and then took sharp turns, veering in directions we never expected to go.

I should qualify that “we,” because so many members of the audience were thoroughly familiar with Minchin’s songs; if you can sing along with the intricate and silly, Tom Lehrer-style rhymes Minchin composes, then you’re a fan.

Minchin claimed that he’s not a comedian, but his occasional non-musical interludes between numbers proved otherwise. I was especially impressed by his crowd work.

He ended his performance with a touching rendition of “Seeing You,” a number he wrote for the stage musical version of “Groundhog Day” he is putting together with Danny Rubin, who penned the script for the Bill Murray movie and is writing the book for the musical.

It was a sweet, but oddly conventional ending to the unconventional show — another surprise twist.

Emo Philips put the odd in the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival.
Emo Philips put the odd in the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival.

Speaking of odd, let’s get back to Philips.

Still sporting his familiar page boy haircut and a wide-sleeved, prison gray tunic, the comic appeared in a curated set hosted by the Sklar Brothers (who were great, but repeated some of the same material they presented at last year’s Moontower).

He’s got the same slow, affected, falsetto delivery you remember, but his non-sequitur barbs (think Steven Wright or Mitch Helberg, who must have been inspired by Philips) seemed edgier than I had recalled.

Even old gems such as, “A Mormon told me that they don’t drink coffee. I said, ‘A cup of coffee every day gives you wonderful benefits.’ He said, ‘Like what?’ I said, ‘Well, it keeps you from being Mormon …'” sounded fresh and drew belly-laughs from the crowd.

“I prefer smart audiences because smart people don’t heckle,” one of his newer jokes began. “If a smart person doesn’t like a comedian, he just blames himself for not having more assiduously researched his entertainment options. Stupid people shout, ‘You suck.’ Smart people think, ‘I suck, for not Googling him.'”

Philips appears again at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Stateside’s “Dr. Katz Live”; at 8:15 Friday at the Parish for “Stars in Bars”; and at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in “Stars in Bars” at the Vulcan Gas Company.

 

Marc Maron’s river of rage: surprisingly crowd-pleasing at Moontower Fest!

Marc Maron performs at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, April 23, as part of Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. Credit: Birdsong Imaging, Mandy Earnshaw, contributed by Moontwoer
Marc Maron performs at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday, April 23, as part of Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. Credit: Birdsong Imaging, Mandy Earnshaw, contributed by Moontwoer

Long-time listeners of Marc Maron’s popular interview podcast, “WTF With Marc Maron” and even viewers of his IFC TV show, “Maron” know that an angry, perplexed Marc Maron is a great Maron (at least for the audience). Maron spews invective and holds grudges with the best of them and seeing, or hearing, his barely concealed ire let loose is a beautiful thing.

It’s even better when beneath it all it seems like he’s in a genuinely good mood as he was Thursday night for a 9:30 p.m. show at the Paramount Theatre as a Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival headliner. Clad in a blue plaid shirt, boots and his hipster-adjacent mustache and glasses, Maron was more playful than you might expect from a comedian who makes frequent hay of emotional damage, failed relationships and the struggles of being a 51-year-old man who lives alone and talks to cats.

Though it sounds from his act that his relationships are a mess (unlike most comedians, when Maron talks about his dating life, you get the sense he’s being completely honest), Maron was in fine form Thursday night, delivering both forceful assaults from his self-described “River of rage,” but also interacting with the audience for their various uses of “Wooo!” delivering a bit of improvised physical comedy involving moving a stool, microphone stand and mic cable, and at one point allowing a rolling water bottle to upstage him.

Even when he was berating an audience member for staring at him oddly (“What do you need, man!?”), Maron never seemed as misanthropic or damaged as his past comedic work has suggested. In fact, no matter how far he went into material about sex (bodily fluids figured largely into the act’s final minutes), into the pleasures of yelling at others or even biting the hand that feeds him at the fest (“Whose dumb idea were these hanging things?” he asked about the set decorations), he came across as more lovable than pathetic, a guy who’s found himself by embracing his angry side.

Maybe it’s that this fan of BBQ loves Austin and has found the only place with more hipsters than his gentrified neighborhood in Los Angeles. In fact, he warned Austinites, “If you want to keep Austin weird, stop building so many (expletive) hotels,” Maron said. “This is the hipster Alamo, you must defend it.”

If there was a running thread in his hour-long set about zombie Jesus, childhood traumas and ice cream overindulgence, it was his “Inner blogger voice,” an ongoing third-person critique of the show with dispatches about each joke’s reception, each ending with, “More later.” It’s becoming a regular bit of business for a lot of comedians to comment on the show as the show is happening (Maria Bamford and Jim Gaffigan are among comics who employ it), and in someone less comfortable on stage and, let’s face it, less self-lacerating, it would have become tiresome.

But Maron has somehow come out of his years of struggle, self-defeat and frustration as that rarest thing: a polished, stressed gem who also happens to deliver consistent, deep laughter. Maron is definitely his own thing, thank goodness for us.

Marc Maron will be on hand at 6 p.m. Friday for a screening of the first episode of the third season of “Maron” at the Paramount. At 7:30 p.m., he’s scheduled to be part of “Dr. Katz Live” at Stateside at the Paramount.

The old magic returns in fits and starts at Moontower’s ‘Dr. Katz Live’

Jonathan Katz (left) and Dana Gould (right) do a therapy session at Stateside at the Paramount on Thursday, April 23, as part of Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. Credit: Birdsong Imaging, Mandy Earnshaw, contributed by Moontower
Jonathan Katz (left) and Dana Gould (right) do a therapy session at Stateside at the Paramount on Thursday, April 23, as part of Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. Credit: Birdsong Imaging, Mandy Earnshaw, contributed by Moontower

“Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” started as a low-budget, low-key animated show on Comedy Central show just a few years before “South Park” would become the animated show the network would become known for. It featured stand-up comics doing some of their material playing against the bone-dry wit of comedian Jonathan Katz, who played a put-upon therapist with a passive-aggressive secretary (Laura Silverman) and a dopey, lovable, layabout son (the brilliant H. Jon Benjamin, who’s become a voiceover star with “Bob’s Burgers” and “Archer”).

Despite rosters of impressive comedic talent and a cleverly home-brewed animated style that became easy to love the more you watched it, the show was never a gigantic hit. At a live performance Thursday night as part of the Moontower Comedy Festival, I heard more people before the show explaining what the show was to others than recollections of bits from the show. “Dr. What?” one older gentleman asked his companion, who was about 25 years younger. The show was explained.

Another guy, sitting behind me at the show, explained to his friends, “I used to watch it, but I was too young to understand it when it was on in the early ’90s. I was 14.”

On stage, the energy was a little different, sometimes flailing, other times absolutely matching perfectly in tone what those of us who remember the show fondly came to see. Jonathan Katz, who moves slowly with a cane due to multiple sclerosis, did a few minutes of stand-up comedy at a microphone before the main set and it began with a rape joke. As horrible as date rape is, Katz suggested, even worse would be “Double-date rape.”

Improbably, the joke earned laughs, as did the rest of Katz’s short set, which mostly consisted of well-crafted wordplay and, memorably, short musical performances of Beatles, Rolling Stones and Eagles songs performed Bar Mitzvah-style. Who knew Dr. Katz (not a real therapist) could sing?

But the meat of the show was mock-therapy sessions featuring comedians Dana Gould, Andy Kindler, Maria Bamford, Dom Irrera and Emo Philps, all of whom had appeared on the original show except Bamford. On the stage, two chairs and a fern were set up, though Irrera complained multiple times that he missed the couch and was hoping for some cuddling.

Gould went topic with material about Bruce Jenner, joking that he’s confused about respecting Jenner’s privacy now as a transgender individual given the distinct complete opposite of privacy we’ve come to expect from the Kardashian clan.

Bamford turned out to fit right in and got some of the biggest laughs with material about her new marriage and a ridiculous song about her couples’ therapist.

Andy Kindler appeared with a non-working wireless microphone and, as Kindler does, turned the awkwardness into its own hilarious bit. “This is the story of my life, Dr. Katz,” he whined, as the microphone was swapped out. Kindler went trademark-meta, asking if he’s using humor as a defense mechanism (“No,” Katz said definitively, to huge laughs) and exclaiming, “even my psychiatrist has better material!”

As on the original show, Irrera got weird and overly affectionate quickly, having left a voice mail for Katz and asking for some snuggle time.

But it was Emo Philips who perhaps captured the original spirit of the show best with his quirky timing. While much of the show had the awkward pauses (completely appropriate for “Dr. Katz) that came with mixing improv with prepared bits, Philips’s felt most like the the animated series, with Katz serving as more of a straight man than a fellow comic breaking the fourth wall.

Apart from the Kindler microphone gaffe, there were other timing issues. It took a while for the show to begin after an introductory Moontower Fest video was shown and sometimes the lengthy pauses and fits-and-starts pacing of the therapy sessions felt less than intentional. But it was a delight to hear Laura Silverman’s familiar, grumpy voice played as an intro to each comic. And the play-off music meant to signal the end of a therapy session turned out to be its own comedic highlight as it always seemed to happen just as a comic was making a point or on the edge of a revelation. It was all about timing and the joy of getting a large dose of Katz’s absurdist, punchline-driven humor, which still kills.

On the matter of an aunt’s death, Katz revealed to Kindler that she was cremated. “We think that’s what did it,” he said.

The show happens again 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Stateside at the Paramount.

Never caught the original show? Here’s some classic bits:

Here’s the day-by-day Moontower Comedy Festival schedule

Sasheer Zamata
Sasheer Zamata

The folks over at Moontower have been busy finalizing the day-by-day lineup of headliners and club shows for the 2015 event, which takes place April 22-25 in various downtown Austin venues and the Cap City Comedy Club, 2180 Research Blvd.

Shows include single performances from headliners such as Patton Oswalt, John Mulaney, Pete Holmes, and TJ Miller, as well as group events including “Shebang” with Ophira Eisenberg, Sasheer Zamata, and Jena Friedman; “1st & Ten” with The Sklar Brothers, Alingon Mitra, Byron Bowers, and Nate Bargatze; and “Stars in Bars” with Hasan Minhaj, Emo Philips, Andy Kindler, and Emily Heller. As always, local talent including Matt Bearden, Chris Cubas, John Ramsey, Kath Barbadoro, Bob Khosravi, Mac Blake, JR Brow, Maggie Maye, and more share stages with national acts.

A limited number of single tickets for select group club shows will go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m.

MOONTOWER SHOW SCHEDULE
(Subject to change; additional performers may be added)

Weds., Apr. 22
Ron White’s Texas Toasted
 – 7p.m., Paramount Theatre (with Margo Rey and other special guests)
Opposites + Pilot’s License – 8 p.m., New Movement
Good Fight – 9:30 p.m., New Movement

Thurs., Apr. 23
Tim Minchin – 7 p.m., Paramount Theatre (hosted by Mac Blake)
Marc Maron – 9:30 p.m., Paramount Theatre (hosted by John Ramsey, with Ashley Barnhill)
Dr. Katz Live – 7:30 p.m., Stateside (with Dom Irrera, Maria Bamford, Andy Kindler, Dana Gould, Emo Philips)
Maria Bamford – 9:30 p.m., Stateside (hosted by Kerri Lendo, with Ophira Eisenberg)
Shebang! with Sasheer Zamata – 8 p.m., The Speakeasy (hosted by Phil Hanley, with Ophira Eisenberg, Kate Berlant, Jena Friedman, Michelle Wolf, Michelle Buteau, Liza Treyger, Avery Moore, Karen Kilgariff, Sasheer Zamata)
Stars in Bars with The Sklar Brothers – 10 p.m., The Speakeasy (with Emo Philips, Michelle Wolf, Jermaine Fowler, David O’Doherty, Sasheer Zamata, Hari Kondabolu, Ted Alexandro, Robert Kelly)
Todd Barry Show – 8:15 p.m., The Parish (hosted by Maggie Maye)
Unhinged with Eddie Pepitone – 10:15 p.m., The Parish (with Kate Berlant, Dana Gould, Erica Rhodes, Judah Friedlander, Mike Lawrence, Alingon Mitra, Randy Liedtke, Guy Branum, Simon Amstel, Rachel Feinstein)
Austin Towers – 8:30 p.m. The Velv Comedy Lounge (hosted by Randy Liedtke, with Ralph Hardesty, Pat Dean, Brian Gaar, Chris Cubas, Mike MacRae, Lashonda Lester, Caroline Bassett, Kerri Lendo, Ryan Cownie, Jay Whitecotton)
Blue Moon – 10:30 p.m., The Velv Comedy Lounge (hosted by Satan, with Kurt Metzger, Liza Treyger, Brendon Walsh, Michelle Buteau, Cody Hustak, Bridget Everett, Monroe Martin, Doug Mellard, Dom Irrera)
SuperShow! – 8:30 p.m., Google Fiber Stage (hosted by Matt Bearden, with Joe Zimmerman, Liza Treyger, Nate Bargatze, Monroe Martin, Byron Bowers, Troy Walker, Guy Branum, Ted Alexandro, Robert Kelly)
Andy Kindler’s Particular Show – 10:30 p.m., Google Fiber Stage (hosted by Andy Kindler, with Mike Lawrence, Karen Kilgariff, David O’Doherty, Blaine Capatch)
Rachel Feinstein – 8 p.m., Cap City Comedy Club (hosted by John Buseman, with Matt Sadler)
The Hat-Trick – 8 p.m., New Movement
The Real @ChrisTrew Show – 9:30 p.m., New Movement

Fri., Apr. 24
Wanda Sykes
 – 7 p.m., Paramount Theatre (with Keith Robinson)
Patton Oswalt – 9:30 p.m., Paramount Theatre (hosted by Mike MacRae, with Brian Gaar)
TJ Miller & Pete Holmes – Midnight, Paramount Theatre (hosted by Chris Cubas, with David O’Doherty)
Dr. Katz Live – 7:30 p.m., Stateside (with Dom Irrera, Todd Barry, Emo Philips, Eddie Pepitone, Marc Maron)
Maria Bamford – 9:30 p.m., Stateside (hosted by Ralph Hardesty, with Kate Berlant)
1st & Ten – 8 p.m., The Speakeasy (hosted by The Sklar Brothers, with Dom Irrera, Troy Walker, Alingon Mitra, Byron Bowers, Joe Zimmerman, Nate Bargatze)
Come to Papa Live – 10 p.m., The Speakeasy (with Tom Papa, Dana Gould, Karen Kilgariff, Mike Lawrence, Todd Barry, Bridget Everett)
Stars In Bars with Hasan Minhaj – 8:15 p.m., The Parish (hosted by Hasan Minhaj, with Emo Philips, Randy Liedtke, Michelle Wolf, Brendon Walsh, Jena Friedman, Tom Papa, Robert Kelly
Shebang! with Sasheer Zamata – 10:15 p.m., The Parish (hosted by Guy Branum, with Liza Treyger, Erica Rhodes, Maggie Maye, Michelle Buteau, Ophira Eisenberg, Lashonda Lester, Emily Heller, Sasheer Zamata
4Eyes – 8:30 p.m., Vulcan Gas Company (hosted by Judah Friedlander, with Andy Kindler, Maggie Maye, Hari Kondabolu, Blaine Capatch, Mike Lawrence, Monroe Martin, Karen Kilgariff, Kerri Lendo, Matt Bearden, Emily Heller)
New York’s Finest – 10:45 p.m., Vulcan Gas Company (hosted by Kurt Metzger, with Jena Friedman, Monroe Martin, Michelle Wolf, Jermaine Fowler, Hari Kondabolu, Judah Friedlander, Michelle Buteau, Nate Bargatze, Robert Kelly, Ted Alexandro)
Unhinged with Kate Berlant – 8:30 p.m., Google Fiber Stage (hosted by Phil Hanley, with Pat Dean, Eddie Pepitone, Kate Berlant, Randy Liedtke, Blaine Capatch, Daniel Webb, Ophira Eisenberg, Guy Branum, Sasheer Zamata)
SuperShow! – 10:30 p.m., Google Fiber Stage (hosted by Doug Mellard; with Alingon Mitra, Erica Rhodes, Liza Treyger, Zac Brooks, Hasan Minhaj, Joe Zimmerman)
“Meet Jermaine Fowler” – 8:30 p.m., The Velv Comedy Lounge (hosted by Matt Sadler, with Bob Khosravi)
Austin Towers – 10:30 p.m., The Velv Comedy Lounge (hosted by Troy Walker, with Derek Phelps, Danny Palumbo, Kerri Lendo, Pat Dean, Jay Whitecotton, Bob Khosravi, Mac Blake, Daniel Webb, Jonathan Pace, Avery Moore)
Rachel Feinstein – 8 p.m., Cap City Comedy Club (hosted by Kath Barbadoro, with Joe Hafkey)
Rachel Feinstein – 10:30 p.m., Cap City Comedy Club (hosted by Caroline Bassett, with Bryan Gutmann)
“To Be Free” with Simon Amstel – 8 p.m., The Townsend
Stupid Time Machine + Charles – 9 p.m., New Movement
Revolver + North Coast – 10:30 p.m., New Movement

Sat., Apr. 25
John Mulaney – 7 p.m., Paramount Theatre
John Mulaney – 9:30 p.m., Paramount Theatre
Star Cluster: Teen Open Mic – 3 p.m., Stateside (hosted by Ralph Hardesty. Any teenager between 12 and 18 can sign up to try out their favorite joke. Admission is free, but all comics and audience members must RSVP at www.austintheatre.org/teeheeteen)
Maria Bamford – 7:30 p.m., Stateside (hosted by Avery Moore, with Joe Zimmerman)
Dana Gould – 9:30 p.m., Stateside (hosted by Blaine Capatch, with Kate Berlant)
Todd Barry – 11:30 p.m., Stateside
New York’s Finest – 8:15 p.m., The Parish (hosted by Michelle Wolf, with Hari Kondabolu, Kate Berlant, Kurt Metzger, Michelle Buteau, Judah Friedlander, Nate Bargatze, Ted Alexandro, Sasheer Zamata, Robert Kelly, Jermaine Fowler)
The Sklar Brothers – 10:30 p.m., The Parish (hosted by Mike MacRae; with Alingon Mitra)
Cashing In with T.J. Miller – 6:30 p.m., Cactus Cafe
Moontower at the Cactus – 8 p.m., Cactus Cafe (hosted by Pat Dean, with Alingon Mitra, Liza Treyger, Doug Mellard, Monroe Martin, Ryan Cownie, Chris Tellez)
Moontower at the Cactus – 10:15 p.m., Cactus Cafe (hosted by Maggie Maye, with Troy Walker, Erica Rhodes, Byron Bowers, Randy Liedtke, Chris Cubas, Zac Brooks)
Stars in Bars with Matt Bearden – 8:30 p.m., Vulcan Gas Company (with Emo Philips, Hasan Minhaj, Tom Papa, David O’Doherty, Karen Kilgariff, Andy Kindler, Ted Alexandro, Emily Heller, Ophira Eisenberg, Eddie Pepitone)
Blue Moon – 10:45 p.m., Vulcan Gas Company (hosted by Satan, with Jay Whitecotton, Liza Treyger, Monroe Martin, Cody Hustak, Kurt Metzger, Brendon Walsh, Michelle Buteau, Eddie Pepitone, Robert Kelly)
SuperShow! – 8:30 p.m., Google Fiber Stage (hosted by Brendon Walsh, with Guy Branum, Randy Liedtke, Troy Walker, Jena Friedman, Chris Cubas, John Ramsey, Erica Rhodes, Simon Amstel, Phil Hanley)
The Bridget Everett Show – 10:30 p.m., Google Fiber Stage (with Guy Branum)
Austin Towers – 8:30 p.m., The Velv Comedy Lounge (hosted by Joe Zimmerman, with Cody Hustak, John Buseman, JR Brow, Joe Hafkey, Derek Phelps, Norman Wilkerson, Kath Barbadoro, Danny Palumbo)
4Eyes – 10:30 p.m., The Velv Comedy Lounge (hosted by Doug Mellard, with Blaine Capatch, Mike Lawrence, Nate Bargatze, Ted Alexandro, Tom Papa, Ryan Cownie, Emily Heller, Monroe Martin, Hasan Minhaj
Rachel Feinstein – 8 p.m., Cap City Comedy Club (hosted by Chris Tellez, with Bob Khosravi)
Rachel Feinstein – 10:30 p.m., Cap City Comedy Club (hosted by Kath Barbadoro, with Danny Palumbo)
Feathers + Au Pair – 6 p.m., New Movement
Stupid Time Machine + Charles – 7:30 p.m., New Movement
Bad Example – 8 p.m., New Movement
Revolver + North Coast – 10:30 p.m., New Movement

For a complete list and schedule, visit the Moontower website. Follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Austin comic Chris Cubas makes debut appearance on Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’

Austin stand-up comic Chris Cubas, center, appears on the Comedy Central program "@Midnight."
Austin stand-up comic Chris Cubas, center, appears on the Comedy Central program “@Midnight.”

Well, Austin stand-up comedian Chris Cubas might not have blown up the Internet, but he sure had a dominating presence in my Facebook feed on Thursday (I follow a lot of comics). That was the morning after Cubas guested as the first fan of the Comedy Central game show “@Midnight” to appear on the program as part of its #PointsMe contest.

“Cubas WAS ON @MIDNIGHT! And he KILLED IT”

“KILLED IT ON @MIDNIGHT!!!!!! So good!!!”

“Chris Cubas won the internet last night.”

I had to scroll quite a bit to not see similar posts linking to video of Cubas’ turn on the show, on which he seemed surprisingly comfortable fielding set-ups from host Chris Hardwick and standing between “The Sarah Silverman Program’s” Steve Agee and “The Odd Couple’s” Thomas Lennon.

The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival veteran and warhorse of the Funniest Person in Austin contest eventually won the game with his quick wit.

In the category of #FantasyCelebs, in which contestants had to combine the name of a celebrity with a fantasy-genre touchstone, he hit right out of the gate with “Conan the O’Brien.”

In a round called “Other City Slogans” (in honor of our “Keep Austin Weird” motto) Cubas was quick on the buzzer with gems including “San Antonio: Y’all Heard That New Kid Rock Record?” and “Boston: Ah, Go (expletive) Yourself.”

Check out a portion of his appearance in the video below, then send him kudos on Twitter @ChrisCubas.