Author Archives: Michael Graupmann

Moontower Spotlight: Pete Holmes

One of the more memorable Super Bowl commercials in recent memory for us are the ones featuring the talking e*trade baby. You know the one: calling all the shots from his crib-side webcam, or giving stock advice from his Baby Bjorn. Hilarious.

Even dribbling strained peas, he's a badass.

Even dribbling strained peas, he’s a badass.

But did you know the baby’s voice is provided by comedian Pete Holmes?  After seeing him at a sold out show at Cap City last year, we know this master of slinging punchlines is far more than a creepy animated baby face. He’s goddamn hysterical.

And now you get to see him perform at this year’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival! Yep, he’s on the list!

If you’re someone who needs a full resume, you should know that Holmes has been on Conan and Jimmy Fallon, is a regular on VH1’s I Love (insert thing to love), and has done his own half-hour special on Comedy Central.

But it’s probably his voice that you’ll recognize right away. He’s got regular voiceover work on Ugly Americans and he’s also the host of the amazing podcast, You Made It Weird, on the Nerdist channel. Word is, he might even get his own talk show on TBS to go on after Conan.

Will the real Pete Holmes please stand up?

Will the real Pete Holmes please stand up?

So, yeah. If you don’t already love Pete Holmes, you should probably get acquainted with him real quick. He’s kind of a big deal.

Make sure not to miss Holmes at this year’s Festival, and to do so, get your FAN badge today seeing as all Holmes’ shows are badge holder only!

Moontower Spotlight: Andy Kindler

One of the primary rules of standup comedy is to never dwell on a joke that doesn’t land.

But for self-effacing meta-comic Andy Kindler, sometimes those mishaps are the richest fields to plant new jokes. He’s turned impromptu self-deprecation into an art form, and it’s honestly a wonder to behold.


For years now, Kindler has been carving out an impressive niche in the standup world criticizing his own and other comics’ routines and helping audiences learn how to describe what works and doesn’t work in comedy. That’s why he was a perfect choice to be a judge on Last Comic Standing.

He’s also got a regular gig at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, where he provides a comical snapshot of “The State of the Industry.” It’s like a roast, but smarter, less crass and never ever involves Andy Dick.

Without really trying, Kindler is educating audiences on what comedy should look like, and he’s doing so by example. He’s a regular on Letterman, a contributor to The Daily Show, a regular voice on Bob’s Burgers and he appears at festivals like Montreal’s Just for Laughs to stay current on the industry.

Don’t miss your chance to see this brilliant funny man at work, dissecting his own comedy and the comedy of his peers, during the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival! Just remember: Kindler’s shows will be badge holder access only, so get it while you can.

It’s gonna be so great!


Tagged , , , ,

Marc Maron to premiere his new TV show at Moontower!

You already love him for the grouchy, hysterical back-and-forth he does with his expertly chosen guests on the WTF podcast. You love him for his real-talk, open-book stage persona when he does stand up shows around the country. And you know you’d love to hang out with him, eating barbecue, drinking beer and talking shit about celebrities.

So why not let the man who’s seen it all and done even more take over your television set, too? Luckily, IFC television is putting Marc Maron on TV. FINALLY.



We’re ecstatic to announce that you’ll get a chance to see his new show, Maron, at the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival in a special advanced badges-only screening at the Stateside at the Paramount theater on April 26th, with Maron himself in attendance.

You already knew he was going to be at the Festival, performing standup on April 24th. Now you get to also watch him watch himself on the big screen at the Stateside on the 26th before he then does a live recording of WTF later that night with a live audience.

Watch or listen (or now SEE) the man doing his thing, and you’ll get what millions of comedy fans across the country have been talking about for years now. He’s a damn genius, and a sober, startling voice of reason in a vapid, broken universe.

So is Marc Maron now going to become the new King of All Media? There is an opening for it, I suppose, after Howard Stern traded that title for a chair at the hosting table on that grating summertime reality show, America’s Got Dancing Ventriloquist Magicians.

Judge for yourself at Maron’s three Moontower shows. Don’t get left out of these special events that everyone will be talking about. Just make sure you get a badge if you want to do so. (Hey, it’s cheaper than subscribing to cable and only maybe getting the IFC channel…)

And if you’re not already a WTF fan, WTF is your problem?


Tagged , , , ,

The glory of SXSW Comedy and the promise of Moontower!

Thanks to the wonder of the annual behemoth of entertainment we Austinites call SXSW, this past weekend provided an amazing mash-up of insane comedy talent from all over the U.S. And it’s not done yet!

The creators of JASH

The creators of JASH

Sarah Silverman and Reggie Watts did sets at the IFC Crossroads House opening party, promoting their new online venture JASH. Eddie Pepitone was singing lounge music as the host of the CleftClips stand-up showcase at the North Door. And, yep, that’s the beautiful Ken Marino weirding out on the audience at Esther’s Follies.

Even frickin’ Rachel Maddow showed up for some killer comedy from W. Kamau Bell at the Totally Biased showcase. (It was honestly a SXSW highlight knowing how much that woman was laughing.)

I wish everyone had access to these shows. Literally every show you stumble in to is just jam-packed with stars and promising up-and-comers that know how to deliver a good show. There’s just a cool vibe about these out-of-towners giving up their weekends for a performer badge and a trip out to Austin.

So big ups to the comedians who made their way out to Austin to enjoy our thunderstorms and our food trailers (sometimes at the same time) and to the SXSW organizers and volunteers who wrangled them all together into one spot. Kudos, dudes.

James Adomian

James Adomian

Seeing all this live comedy also gets me really excited about all the shows that are coming up in April. Not everyone can afford a SX badge or get away from work.  So if you missed Watts or Kyle Kinane or James Adomian, don’t even worry about it! You’ll get to see them at Moontower!

What?? Yep, there are some SXSW comedians who are coming back in April to entertain you. That’s because we work together with SXSW to ensure that a number of comics play both festivals, joining up with some other big dogs like Jim Gaffigan, Brian Posehn, Bill Hader, Maria Bamford and Marc Maron! It’s like a big stew that combines all these amazing flavors that taste great together.

The first goal of any fest should be to put the comedians first, of course. But as a festival, we also want to achieve the goal of providing fresh, innovative programming that sets each festival apart, giving you the most comedy possible in your home town! It’s why Austin is building such an awesome reputation as a bonafide destination for comedy!

Plus, you’ll also get to see a whole shit ton of our local standup talent in April, showing off their Austin-honed skills in a big festival setting, alongside their standup peers and heroes. (I’m still waiting for the Reggie Watts/Chris Cubas showdown to take place here in Austin…!) It’s this type of collaborative  relationship that allows the comedy scene to keep growing in Austin and beyond, which is something everyone wants to see happen!

Just as important as the comedians are the beautiful Austin audiences that really know how to appreciate comedy. I’m excited to share all the big names and the rising stars with the good people of Texas who get to experience a festival 100% devoted to effin’ comedy!

So party on, SXSWers! Get your sleep and your food when and where you can. Then we’ll see you at the after party. And then the after after party…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Black, Peretti and Friedlander are the final “threefer” for dessert

The menu of comedians joining this year’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival is enough to satisfy even the heartiest of comedy cravings. It’s already like a smorgasbord at your favorite comedy buffet, including the gravy, dinner rolls and fixins.

And finally, for dessert, you’ve got a three-way of sexy good times delivering the final night of unbelievable funny in the form of Michael Ian Black, Chelsea Peretti and Judah “The World Champion” Friedlander.

Yep, they’re joining the festival as well.

imagesYou know Michael Ian Black as one of members of sketch comedy group The State, Stella and Michael & Michael Have Issues. He is the author of My Custom Van and Youre Not Doing It Right and even some children’s books, (if you can imagine his sick mind writing books for kids). His latest Comedy Central special and CD, Very Famous, was released last year and followed by his aptly-named Black is White tour.

If you even follow comedy at all, you already know who Chelsea Peretti is. She’s been a writer for chelseathe best comedy on basic cable, Parks & Recreation, and now Comedy Central’s phenomenal Kroll Show.  In 2010 she was one of “Variety’s Top 10 Comics to Watch” (der) and she made a huge impact on the Moontower crowd last year, so we’re so happy to welcome her back to the big stage this year.

Now that 30 Rock has completed its epic 7 season run, Judah Freidlander is back on the road, spreading his competitive competitive spirit with the country in his tight shirts and monogrammed trucker hats. His unique stand-up persona has appeared on Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Burn with Jeff Ross, establishing him as one of the weirdest, funniest guys on the block.  He wrote the book How To Beat Up Anybody to help everyone achieve the same level of dangerous beauty he himself has attained as an extra-dark black belt.

Man, this is going to be the bestival festival ever. Did you get your badge yet? Or are you doing individual tickets?

judahRemember that the festival will hold a limited number of seats at both the Paramount and Cap City for FAN badge holders, but all of these performances are expected to sell out. We recommend you purchase tickets to all of your must-see shows in order to guarantee you get in.

If you have a badge, you get access to premium seating at the Paramount starting today through a special “FAN badge pre-sale” before the general public, including premium tickets like to Reggie Watts’ show. Don’t wait on these. Be a champ.


Tagged , , , ,

Reggie Watts, ladies and gentlemen

One more headliner to add to the 2013 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival: Reggie Watts!

But before you read on, you should probably stop what you’re doing and go buy your tickets for all of this year’s headliner shows that went on sale at 10am this morning. If you’ve got a $129 badge or above, the presale is all about your right now.

With that said…

It’s not often that someone shows up on the comedy stage with a keyboard instead of a set list of jokes. Rarer still is the comedian who turns the act of comedy into fully appreciated performance art. And it’s even more rare that said comedian is instantly hailed as a revolutionary genius and goes on tour with Conan O’Brien.

But then there’s that rare exception like Reggie Watts. He’s a musical genius and he’s funny as hell in person, and he puts his abilities to task every time he steps on to a stage.

When he appeared with “Fuck Shit Stack” on Comedy Central, there was no denying he was going to be a huge deal. He’s actually making postmodernism relevant. How do you DO that these days?

With a giant keyboard, a giant afro and a giant smile on his face, Watts has been impressing sold-out crowds across the country with his improvisational musical skills and his impeccable wit for years now. Using just his voice, his uncanny sense of rhythm and his looping pedals, he inspires this feeling of giddy euphoria and playfulness and you can’ t help but enjoy.

It sounds insane, but it’s truly unlike any comedy event you’ll experience anywhere else this year. You honestly have to see him to believe him.

In the meanwhile, enjoy some of these videos to get you in the mood:

Tagged , ,

And the comedians keep rolling in!

Further announcements from this year’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival include more national and local favorites. But you better hurry, dammit, because the badges are almost all sold out!!!


Jackie Kashian

Just announced in the lineup include: true Midwesterner and nerd podcaster Jackie Kashian, deadpan funnylady Carmen Lynch, and amazingly funny cop-turned-comic Billy D. Washington!

And don’t forget the Austin mainstays who have helped light up our local stages for years! Maggie Maye is always surprising and delighting us both on Twitter and with her dance moves. Mario DiGiorgio has been turning it out for decades with his writing, acting and stand-up work. And the adorable Derek Phelps never fails to impress with his wit and charm.

Thanks to an overwhelming response from comedy fans and festival supporters, the Moontower ACE and VIP badges are now sold out. But plenty of the all-important FAN badges are still available for $129. The FAN is your 4-day pass to the festival and gets you access to shows at every venue, space permitting.

Derek Phelps

Derek Phelps

This year, the only venues where single tickets to shows will be sold are the Paramount Theatre and Cap City Comedy Club. For all others, you must have a badge to gain entry. Still, the individual tickets are the way to go in order to get into those very special shows. Don’t wait for those…

So far, this year’s Moontower is going to be a ridiculous orgy of comedy with a crazy good lineup of some of the best comics in the business: Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Anthony Jeselnik, Dana Carvey, Bill Hader, Janeane Garofalo, Maria Bamford, Marc Maron, Brian Posehn, Kyle Kinane, Todd Barry, Chris Hardwick… We can’t even list them all, we get too excited.

Hopefully you’re not STILL on the fence about coming to the festival this year. Because you’ll be missing out on one of the best four-day parties of the year. Don’t be a douche. Buy a badge.





Janeane Garofalo and Brian Posehn join the Moontower lineup!

Yes, it could keep getting better.

Because now, we’re adding comedy all-stars Janeane Garofalo and Brian Posehn to the 2013 Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival lineup! Yep. That’s happening.

album_photos_12If you don’t know who Janeane Garofalo is, you probably weren’t alive in the 90s or have a radio or a television, so you likely won’t be reading this either. Basically, she’s one of the most iconic faces of comedy, from her early roles in The Ben Stiller Show and Reality Bites (and, hello, Romy and Michell’s High School Reunion!) through her continued media presence on Air America’s “The Majority Report.”

She’s an outspoken activist, a long-time feminist icon and an unapologetically politically-minded comic. (And, no, she’s not a lesbian… Just a badass in every possible way.) What we’re saying is: She doesn’t give a shit what you think about her. Which is precisely why we can’t get enough of her.

Joining her for a special midnight double-header at the Paramount during the festival is beloved stoner/nerd comedian Brian Posehn.

This big, beautiful bear of a man has skyrocketed to alternative comedy stardom alongside his fellow hirsute peers Patton Oswald and Zack Galianakis and the lovely Maria Bamford during the game-changing Comedians of Comedy tour. He also got to be a part of the genius of HBO’s Mr. Show.

Then  he appeared in the amazingly perfect Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central as one half of the adorable couple who were Sarah’s gay neighbors. Since then, he’s been in Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, the sequel to the terrible Fantastic Four movie and Judd Apatow’s Funny People.

175px-Brian_Posehn_Get_Smart_premiere_arrivalToday, when he’s not touring doing stand-up or doing cameos on every sitcom on TV right now, he’s writing for Marvel Comic’s new Deadpool series, which recently featured the funniest mutant in comics fighting all of the dead US presidents after they were resurrected as zombie killers. Y’know, the usual.

Seriously. One night with both of these brilliant, iconic comedy figures is like the best gift since… the last headliners we mentioned.

If you haven’t gotten your badge yet, I’m not even sure what else it would take to convince you that this is the best idea you’ll have all year. Individual tickets will be available to a few of the shows, but only badge members will be able to choose their shows and guarantee their attendance at all these headliner shows.

So, c’mon, get to it, yo. It’s Janeane Garofalo and Brian frickin’ Posehn.



Tagged ,

More Moontower funny ladies for your enjoyment

Christine Pazsitzky

Christine Pazsitzky

When we made our first announcements of the still-growing lineup at this year’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival, a few folks commented that there weren’t as many ladies as they like to see in their comedy festivals.

But, alas! We’re announcing a slew of brilliant lady-type comics who are joining the festival to balance out the sausage party it was looking like before…

Jessica Kirson

Jessica Kirson


After the huge success of the all-women She Bang show from last year, there was no way we weren’t going to recreate that magic and pump up the lady vibes of the whole weekend with more of our favorite comedians of the female persuasion.

Joining us this year at the MC&OF are comics Morgan Murphy, who has been on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “2 Broke Girls”, REEEEEEALLLY GAY comedian Julie Goldman from “The Big Gay Sketch Show,” “Chelsea Lately” roundtable regular Christina Pazsitzky, and the hilarious Jessica Kirson, who you absolutely remember from “Last Comic Standing.”

But wait! There’s more!

The adorable Helen Hong from Logo’s “Setup Squad” is coming; “self-deprecating feminst slob poet” Emily Heller will be here; Mary Patterson, the quintessential nice white girl from Mobile, AL, will be joining us; and so will one of our favorite Austin-based comedians/actors/vintage Etsy store owners, Kerri Lendo!

That’s a lot of eclectic talent gathered together for one weekend. And it’s only a fraction of all the talent that you’ll be able to see at this year’s MC&OF! Some will have boy parts in their swimsuit areas and some will not. It doesn’t matter as long as they’re funny!

Emily Heller

Emily Heller


Just remember to get your badge before they all sell out! There are only 24 VIP Badges and 48 ACE Badges left for the grabbing and snatching, so you better act fast.

The final schedule is not yet decided, but these badges are the only way you’re going to get to see all these lovely ladies in one place. (And no, I don’t mean, in your dreams. Grow up.)

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

‘The Satanic prince of stand-up’: Anthony Jeselnik

When scoping out the list of Paramount headliners for this year’s Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival, most of the comedians’ names fall effortlessly across the tongue. Hader. Carvey. Schumer. Even Gaffigan is fun to say.

And then there’s this name: Anthony Jeselnik (@anthonyjeselnik).


He’s got one of those last names that can only be pronounced correctly in the backs of heavily-mucused older women’s throats.

Fortunately, this rising star of the standup world has a razor-sharp wit that has made him a sure bet for solid comedy and a recent staple on the Comedy Central Roasts of “celebrities” like Donald Trump, Roseanne Barr and Charlie Sheen.

Jeselnik got his big start on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon during its first season, but he thankfully realized that he had more than enough material and stage presence to make a living out on stage behind the mic.

His first comedy album, Shakespeare, is, for lack of a better word, brilliant. He’s a master of the rhythmic one-two punch that made standup famous in the early days, but he makes it feel somehow fresh and edgy with how effing smart it all is.

He’s been on all of the lists of Young Comedians to watch since his meteoric rise in 2009, standing out from his peers like Aziz Ansari, Matt Braunger, Whitney Cummings and Kumail Nanjiani mostly because of his hair. It’s really impressive hair, y’all.

His latest special, Anthony Jeselnik: Caligula, premiered this month on Comedy Central, and now he’s coming to Austin to take the Paramount stage on April 24 at 9:30 p.m. We guarantee that this is one of the show’s not to miss.

So now you can’t say you don’t know who Anthony Jeselnik is. You probably couldn’t pronounce his name correctly before. And that’s alright, because after Moontower, you’ll always remember his comedy.

Tagged , , , , , , ,