‘Jay and Silent Bob Get Old’ and really dirty at Moontower Comedy podcast recording

Now that Dick Clark is gone, Jason Mewes might be America’s oldest living teenager.

Kevin Smith (left) and Jason Mewed record an episode of their podcast "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old" at Speakeasy during Moontower Comedy Festival on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Credit: Omar L. Gallaga / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Kevin Smith (left) and Jason Mewes record an episode of their podcast “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old” at Speakeasy during Moontower Comedy Festival on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Credit: Omar L. Gallaga / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The perpetual adolescent co-hosted “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old,” a taping of his intervention podcast with filmmaker and prolific podcaster Kevin Smith at Moontower Comedy Festival on Saturday.

The podcast, which began in 2010, is described by Smith as a way of keeping Mewes clean and sober after some harrowing years of drug abuse. But over time, the podcast, which is always recorded live in front of an audience, has also become an entertaining excuse to keep up with Smith’s career moves and for Mewes to tell incredibly raunchy stories.

After six years, you’d think Mewes would have run out of material, right? You’d be surprised!

Playing to a crowded and friendly house at Speakeasy, Mewes unloaded some lusty masturbation stories, including one so fresh it described an incident from the same morning’s flight from Detroit. He also talked about a recent sexual encounter with his wife Jordan that resulted in a knocked over nightstand and waking up their 1-year-old. Mewes, not content to just tell the story, also got up and gave some visual demonstrations and provided sound effects. He’s actually pretty good at this.

This shouldn’t work, especially if you stopped hanging around with horny teenagers after you yourself aged out of the demographic, but Mewes’s particular talent (his superpower, if you will) is somehow remaining boyishly likable no matter how ridiculously raunchy he gets. Some of that is due to Smith’s incredulity (and at times, awe) and the way the two friends make it clear they are far from ladies’ men.

Apart from the sex stories, Smith got to talk about his recent stint as a guest director on the show “The Flash,” which resulted in a guest star role for Mewes (who urged Smith to watch the show in the first place) and the news that he’ll return to direct another episode for the CW series in its next season.

The recording will likely pop up on their podcast feed in a few weeks, and there were enough laughs that you should seek it out when it’s available.

FIlm director and podcaster Kevin Smith performs at the Paramount Theatre for a Q&A event as part of Moontower Comedy Festival in the early a.m. hours of Saturday, April 23, 2016. Credit: Rustin Gudim / contributed by Moontower
FIlm director and podcaster Kevin Smith performs at the Paramount Theatre for a Q&A event as part of Moontower Comedy Festival in the early a.m. hours of Saturday, April 23, 2016. Credit: Rustin Gudim / contributed by Moontower


Moontower Fest ends on emotional high with Maya Rudolph-led tribute to Prince

Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum lead Princess, a Prince cover band, at Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival Saturday, April 23.
Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum lead Princess, a Prince cover band, at Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival Saturday, April 23. Credit: Rustin Gudim / contributed by Moontower

Princess,” a full Prince cover band led by comics and longtime friends Maya Rudolph and vocalist Gretchen Lieberum, had already been on the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival since February. It seemed like a fun musical curiosity, something along the lines of Fred Armisen’s Ian Rubbish show from two years ago.

With the death of Prince on Thursday, the show became so much more. What was already going to be a tribute to Prince’s music and persona became a necessary, cathartic tribute. At times it was funny; Maya Rudolph’s Prince-like sexy declarations and her on-point dance moves and shoulder hiccups made it impossible not to giggle. But it was also incredibly sad, especially as the night concluded, when a tearful Rudolph clearly didn’t want the performance to end. After throwing batches of flowers to the audience, she thanked the Austin audience and said the performance was therapeutic.

“It’s nice to be sad with you all and happy at the same time,” she said earlier in the show. “It never occurred to me that we might ever perform this music when he’s not alive.”

Was there ever a chance the show would be canceled? Not at all. “I couldn’t think of anything I’d like to do more than play this music now,” she said defiantly at the start of the show.

Kicking off with “Let’s Go Crazy,” the show dispelled any notion that it might just be an indulgent karaoke romp of Prince’s hits. Rudolph and Lieberum are clearly hardcore fans and they focused on Prince’s early work, eschewing his later work for songs from “Dirty Mind,” “Controversy” and “1999.” They even threw in an unreleased song, “Purple Music,” and played nothing from after “Purple Rain.”

No “Diamonds and Pearls,” no “Gett Off,” nothing from “Sign O’ The Times” or as one audience member called out for, the “Batman” soundtrack.

Which speaks to the breadth of Prince’s discography: it was a lengthy and complete show even focused on just that early timeframe.

Audience members were given purple glow sticks they waved around in the Paramount Theatre and for at least the first half of the show, it was a standing room, more concert than comedy show. “You can call Uber in 85 minutes,” Rudolph said, urging everyone to stand and dance after the first song.

Rudolph and Lieberum earned laughs with their half-naked all-male band and their shirtless helper “Tampico,” who wiped mustache sweat from Rudolph’s upper lip and showered the singers with rose petals at one point.

How did the band sound? A little shaky toward the end of “Let’s Go Crazy,” but more confident as the show went on and Rudolph, the daughter of “Lovin’ You” singer Minnie Riperton, and Lieberum, have got pipes. Whether solo or in harmony, they sounded great and were well-composed despite what must have been the crushing emotional weight of this week’s loss.

“The Beautiful Ones” was a goosebump-inducing thrill and “Jack U Off” still had a raunchy, eye-popping impact 34 years after its release (Rudolph and Lieberum’s hand gestures only enhanced the not-so-well-known song). “Darling Nikki” even had the backward-singing part at the end, which Prince Rogers Nelson himself advised they include.

The duo got to meet Prince backstage at one of his shows after he’d seen their covers performance on TV, which he enjoyed. “I’ve got you programmed on my DVR,” he told them, perhaps the sexiest use of the word “DVR” in recorded history.

Rudolph described seeing Prince in concert for the first of many times when she was a pre-teen and Lieberum told in detail the story of seeing “Purple Rain” in a theater with her grandmother’s friend at 11 and having her sexuality awoken that night.

By the “Purple Rain” encore, an emotionally exhausting, but completely funky night ended with Rudolph saying she’s not sure what the future of Princess will be, but that she wants nothing more than to keep performing. “Now I just wanna sing more songs. I know that’s what Prince would do,” she said.

Set list:

“Let’s Go Crazy”
“When You Were Mine”
“Let’s Pretend We’re Married”
“Jack U Off”
“Purple Music” (unreleased)
“The Beautiful Ones”
“The Breakdown”
“Little Red Corvette”
“Darling Nikki”
Encore: “Purple Rain”

More photos, credit Maggie Lea, Paramount Theatre / Moontower Comedy Festival:

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


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


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


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.

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

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.