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Moontower’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Squeeze Boxes and Black Unicorns

Moontower Holiday Gift Guide 2017The holidays are here and we’ve got you covered. From an accordion full of records to a tell-all from one of this year’s most exciting performers, this treasure trove of gifts inspired by the 2018 festival lineup has something for everyone on your list and each one pairs nicely with a Moontower badge.

Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic: Get ready for Al’s Moontower appearance with this career spanning box set. The vinyl collection features all 14 of Weird’s studio albums, plus a 15th album of odds and ends called Medium Rarities. It comes with a 100-page booklet of rare photos, and it’s enclosed in an replica of Al’s accordion.

The Last Black Unicorn By Tiffany Haddish: This brand new collection of hilarious and fearless personal essays from the Girls Trip star has been getting rave reviews. The book details Haddish’s life growing up in foster care, her struggles with her mother’s schizophrenia and her abusive marriage. Buy the hardback or listen to the unabridged audio book read by Haddish herself.

Sleepwalk With Me autographed by Mike Birbiglia: Bring home an autographed copy of the critical smash hit based on Birbiglia’s own experiences sleepwalking. The Sundance favorite presents one of the most realistic depictions of the life of a comedian.

I’m Horny for Emily Heller T-shirt: Show your love for comedian, writer, actress Emily Heller with this special edition tee from Kill Rock Stars.

Wet Hot American Summer Blu-ray: Grab a copy of the cult favorite that inspired two Netflix series. The 10th anniversary edition features commentary with director/co-writer David Wain, co-writer Michael Showalter, and actress/Moontower headliner Janeane Garofalo.

The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America by Colin Quinn: A candid and hilarious look at race through the lens of a comedian traipsing around the dive bars and comedy clubs of New York City at the end of the last century.

Kurt Braunohler: Keep It Dry Rally Towel: Root for comedian and actor Kurt Braunohler (Bob’s Burgers, The Big Sick) with this official rally towel that’s guaranteed to wick moisture away so you don’t miss the encore.

Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us: For the parent with a sense of humor, pick up the ultimate parenting guide written by four moms including Moontower performer Laurie Kilmartin.

STIGA Titan Table Tennis Racket: Hone your skills before you enter Moontower’s Ping Pong Slapdown with one of the most positively reviewed paddles on the market.

2018 Moontower Comedy Festival Badge: The perfect gift for the comedy lover in your life. Starting Thursday, 12/14 at noon, enjoy special limited time $79 holiday pricing on the Satellite badge. With 50+ shows in more than 10 walkable satellite venues, the Satellite badge provides a three-day comedy binge filled with your favorite comics, star-studded lineups, surprise guests, special events and podcasts in intimate settings. Act soon because this sale will only last 48 hours. More information on badges here.

 

 

Tweets of the Week from the Moontower Class of 2018

Ryan Hamilton. Janeane Garofalo. Preacher Lawson. Colin Quinn. Yesterday, these headliners and dozens of other comedians were added to the seventh annual Moontower Comedy Festival lineup joining previously announced performers “Weird Al” Yankovic, Tiffany Haddish and Mike Birbiglia.  Get to know the comics scheduled for the 2018 fest with a brand new installment of Tweets of the Week highlighting some of the best posts from the Moontower Class of 2018 from the last seven days.

Grab a badge here and stay tuned for more announcements in the months ahead including additions to the lineup and the Moontower Podcast Series.

Year in Review: Go Behind the Scenes of the 2017 Moontower Comedy Festival with Inside Joke

(Clockwise from top left: Morgan Murphy, Patton Oswalt, Martha Kelly, Jay Pharoah, Aparna Nancherla and Shane Torres).

As the Austin Theatre Alliance readies the 2018 Moontower Comedy Festival slate, take a look back at interviews with many of the comedians from the 2017 festival including all new interviews with Shane Torres, Martha Kelly, Ralphie May, Morgan Murphy and Wendy Liebman. Check out the 2017 playlist embedded below.

Inside Joke, the official interview series for the Moontower festival, has been talking to comics at the festival since it’s inception. Visit the YouTube show library for content from all six years of the event including interviews with headliners like Aziz Ansari, Maria Bamford, John MulaneyHannibal Buress, Chelsea Peretti, Leslie Jones and Colin Jost and many more. Continue reading

Live From Austin, It’s Saturday Night! Six Years of Saturday Night Live Cast Members at Moontower

Moontower has a long tradition of showcasing some of the best and brightest from Saturday Night Live and this year is no different. Newly minted cast member and spot-on Owen Wilson imitator Melissa Villaseñor, actor/comedian/impressionist/all-around-hilarious-person Jay Pharoah, and former Weekend Update anchor and legendary comic Colin Quinn are all slated to perform at the festival later this week.

In the six years since the fest began, Moontower has hosted a slew of SNL talent including Colin Jost, Leslie Jones, Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and many, many more. Check out this playlist of Moontower interviews with cast members past and present and stay tuned to the Inside Joke YouTube channel for brand new interviews throughout the fest. To purchase badges and tickets click here.

Finding Enlightenment with Eddie Pepitone, The Bitter Buddha

Comedian Eddie Pepitone is a study in contrasts. One minute he’s railing against society at the top of his lungs and the next he’s cheerfully recommending his favorite vegan restaurant.  A comic’s comic, Pepitone is famous for playing unhinged characters on shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the Judd Apatow produced Love on Netflix. “The Bitter Buddha” shared some wisdom with Moontower about channeling anger for a role, what he does to relax and what he likes to do in Austin.

On playing angry characters: Well, fortunately or unfortunately, my rage — inspired by my Sicilian father — is always close to the surface, so it’s pretty accessible to me.

On relaxing: I love watching my NY sports teams and Agatha Christie PBS shows, reading one of my thousand books I have lying around, and hanging with my wife and two dogs in the park.

On the current political situation: I have found that I’ve had to take a day or two or three away from news and social media because it’s just enraging. The good ole USA is headed straight toward fascism and so many people are hurting it’s unbearable sometimes. The most enraging thing is the split in the left and the abhorrent right wing. Disgusting. So it’s very tough to deal with. Meditation and nature help. Continue reading

Comedy Central Announces Comedians Getting ‘Stand-Up Presents’ Half Hour Specials

Earlier today, Comedy Central announced the list of comedians who will get their own half-hour specials this year as part of their newly titled Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents series. The shows will tape in April in New Orleans and is set to premiere this fall. The lineup features 2017 Moontower performers Lashonda Lester, Shane Torres and Josh Johnson as well as several Moontower alums including Jo Firestone and Jenny Zigrino. The complete list of talent is as follows.

Adam Cayton-Holland
Anthony Devito
Jo Firestone
Solomon Georgio
Casey James Salengo
Sam Jay
Josh Johnson
Joel Kim Booster
Lashonda Lester
Chris Redd
Yamaneika Saunders
Julio Torres
Shane Torres
Jenny Zigrino

Catch Lashonda Lester, Shane Torres and Josh Johnson at the 2017 Moontower Comedy Festival this April. To purchase tickets and badges, click here.

Tweets of the Week from the Moontower Class of 2017

The Moontower Comedy Festival presents another edition of Tweets of the Week featuring performers scheduled to appear at the 2017 festival. For more information about the festival and to purchase badges, click here. Additionally, single tickets are available for select shows.


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Jim Gaffigan Brings Noble Ape Tour To Moontower

Moontower Comedy Festival and ACL Live at The Moody Theater have announced that comedian Jim Gaffigan’s Noble Ape Tour will stop at ACL Live at The Moody Theater on April 22, 2017 at 7:00 p.m – the final night of the Moontower Comedy Festival. Moontower badge holders receive a special opportunity for presale access for this Moontower Extra Event.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Moontower alum Jim Gaffigan back to Austin and the festival,” said Lietza Brass, Moontower Comedy Festival Director. “Jim was a major part of our inaugural Moontower and we greatly appreciate this opportunity to co-present him with ACL Live. Presenting Jim Gaffigan in a venue of this size represents significant expansion of the Moontower Comedy Festival.”

Comedian and Moontower veteran Jim Gaffigan has received numerous accolades and successes including becoming a New York Times best-selling author and a top touring performer, as well as receiving GRAMMY nominations for his comedy specials, Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed and Mr. Universe. Additionally, Gaffigan released his fifth Netflix special, Jim Gaffigan: Cinco earlier this year.

Moontower badge holders will receive a follow up email with presale date and time. Click here to purchase badges.

Single tickets will go on sale at ACL Live on February 24 at 10:00 AM CST. Click here to purchase tickets.

Ian Abramson’s 7 Tips for 7 Minutes in Purgatory

Named Chicago Magazine‘s 2014 Best Experimental Comedian and L.A. Weekly‘s Best Up-and-Coming Comedian of 2015, conceptual absurdist Ian Abramson has worked with The Onion, Funny or Die, Seeso, Hulu, The History Channel and ABC.

His Comedy Central web series 7 Minutes in Purgatory asks comics to perform alone in one room as audiences react to video feed in another location. Before 7 Minutes returns to Moontower this April, Abramson offers comedians — and audience members — advice on getting the most out of the experience.

Go in with a plan. “You can be high-concept, character-based or do whatever elaborate thing you’d like. The plan can also be to go in and riff. The plan I would not suggest is only sticking with your material. Do jokes, but don’t just do your jokes. You’ll probably start to feel like you’re bombing.  As a comedian, if you’re bombing sometimes the instinct is to power through, keep doing the jokes, and don’t let them break you. You want to resist that, because your face is blown up and they’re literally seeing you sweat. I would suggest going the other way.” Continue reading

Brian Posehn, Morgan Murphy, Jay Pharoah and More Join Moontower Lineup


The Austin Theatre Alliance has announced a second wave of notable additions to the 2017 Moontower Comedy Festival lineup.

Jay Pharoah (Saturday Night Live), Brian Posehn (Mr. ShowThe Sarah Silverman Program), Morgan Murphy (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 2 Broke Girls) and Matt Bellassai (2016 People’s Choice winner for Favorite Social Media Star) are set to join the April 19-22 event.
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