Brian Gaar Writes Jokes at Work, Releases Comedy Special ‘Jokes I Wrote at Work’

GaarOn the heels of his critically acclaimed comedy album, Never Gonna Be Famous, Moontower favorite Brian Gaar has just released his very first comedy special. Recorded at the Spiderhouse Ballroom, Jokes I Wrote at Work is an intimate affair that shows Brian is not only a gifted writer (he counts over 80,000 Twitter followers), but he can hold his own with the best of them.  I spoke with Brian about the recent release, his day job as a reporter, and Pokemon. 

The title of your special is “Jokes I Wrote at Work”. Some people may not know that in addition to being a stand-up, you are a respected reporter at the Austin American-Statesman. How do your careers inform each other?

Well, one career allows me to eat and pay rent and the other allows me to get yelled at by bachelorette parties who thought they were going to a piano bar. Also thank you for calling me respected. One time I wrote a story about elephants eating leftover Halloween pumpkins at the zoo. So it’s hard to tell which career is more degrading (jk it’s comedy).

You make no secret about being a gamer. What’s your favorite game right now and what’s coming out that has you excited?

I tried to play League of Legends but I’m too slow now to compete with children. They’re like, “Yo, SavedByTheBell353, you suck.” And I’m like “Look, I had to get up at 5 a.m. because my daughter wouldn’t stop singing songs from ‘Frozen.’ Give me a break.” And they’re like, “LEARN 2 PLAY NOOB.”

So now I’m playing this card game called Hearthstone. And the newest Pokemon because I’m fucking creepy.

How has the comedy scene changed in Austin since you started?

There are more and more people doing it. I don’t talk to any of them because I’m a big shot now and I don’t want their open micer germs getting on me. But I’ll see them at open mics and think, “Huh, I don’t know who any of these people are.” If they have a good set, I’ll let them make eye contact with me.

What’s next for Brian Gaar?

I’m thinking about lunch right now. Do I want to go get something? Should I just eat a Lean Cuisine at work? I should really learn another language. Wait, what’s that under my arm — is that cancer. Ok, I need to figure out who gets my Playstation games, I don’t want a nasty legal battle after my death.

Also get your kids vaccinated. Don’t be the dad who’s like “Well son, when you were a baby, the internet and your mom’s yoga teacher told us that vaccines were bad. Anyway, sorry your legs don’t work.”



Jokes I Wrote at Work is available for download now. Follow Brian on Twitter at @briangaar.

Are you the Funniest Person in Austin?

FPIA2015It’s that time of year again. Cap City Comedy Club is now accepting submissions for the 2015 Funniest Person in Austin contest! It’s the 30th year of the esteemed contest and previous winners have included Moontower favorites like Brendon Walsh, Matt Bearden, Mac Blake, and current title holder Cody Hustak.

If you think you have what it takes to make the grade, you can pick up a submission form at the club or download a form here. Or, if you’re like me and just want to watch the circus, the prelims begin on Tuesday, April 6th, and will continue on Sundays, Mondays & Tuesdays through Tuesday, May 5th. Semi-Final nights are currently scheduled for Sunday, May 10th through Tuesday, May 12th. The Final night of the contest will be Monday, May 18th. It’s a great way to go deeper into the Austin scene and see all that it has to offer.

Here are the rules according to the submission form:

1. Contestants must be currently residing in or around the Austin area. Qualifying zip codes are 787xx, 786xx, 789xx.
2. You must perform at least five minutes, but no more than six minutes during preliminary rounds. No exceptions!
3. In order to qualify to compete, some contestants may be required to submit a five-minute audio/video tape or provide references from funny people.
4. Material must be original. If it is not, you will be disqualified and everyone will hate you.
5. In order to compete, entry forms plus a $15.00(no t-shirt)/$25(includes t-shirt) fee must be submitted to the Capitol City Comedy Club by midnight Monday, March 30th. If available, please submit any headshot/bio information along with application.

2013 FPIA winner Mac Blake

Top 3 Line-ups in Recorded Human History

3. Ford’s assembly line – December 1, 1913. Henry Ford lined up cars to enable the mass production of an automobile and reduced the time it took to build a car from more than 12 hours to just 35 seconds! More than seventy people were mutilated in the machinery and these early cars were recalled but the opening night party had penny candies.

2. Bathroom line-up at Woodstock – August 15, 1969. Held in the Catskills in Bethel, New York, Woodstock featured 32 acts, 400,000 young people, and a single bathroom in the guest house on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm. Many attendees were in line for the entire three day festival and several died of dehydration. Groovy, man!

1. Moontower’s 2015 Lineup – January 20, 2015. The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival lineup for April of this year features Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron, Wanda Sykes, Pete Holmes, John Mulaney, Maria Bamford, Andy Kindler, Todd Barry and many more! Tickets are on sale now!


More names will be announced shortly!

3 Moontower Badges To Buy Before You Die

1. Fan Badge

2. Ace Badge145071536

3. VIP BadgeiStock_000009717203Medium



Last minute gifts for comedy fans!

Christmas MoontowerThe holidays are here and you haven’t done any shopping. Why do you always do this? Don’t beat yourself up, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few ideas for the comedy fan in your life, most of which you can buy from your couch.

1. Books about comedy: So many amazing comedy books came out this year. Yes Please by Amy Poehler, So Anyway… by John Cleese, and You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman are three great ones that are quick, fun reads. All of these are available on Kindle too so you can buy them on Chirstmas day and really push yourself to a new level of procrastination.

2. Tickets to a stand-up show: Go online and get your friend tickets to an upcoming comedy show. There are some great shows coming up at Cap City and the Paramount. Or go big and get her a Moontower badge! Early bird priced badges are now on sale and start at just $99. All badges provide access to all four days of the festival which runs April 22nd – 25th. For more information, click here.

3. Comedy albums: You already know that Austin is a great town for comedy but you might not know that many comics who came up in Austin have records available for sale. Brian Gaar’s Never Gonna Be Famous debuted at #2 on the iTunes charts earlier this year and is a great place to start. Former Funniest Person in Austin winners Ramin Nazer and Andy Ritchie likewise have albums out. Also check out records from Jake Flores, Chuck Watkins, David Huntsberger, Howard Kremer, and JT Habersaat. In many cases it might be too late to get a physical CD (though Amazon is still shipping today and tomorrow) but most if not all of these are available online on iTunes or a similar service.

Austin Comedy Albums








The 10 Funniest Thanksgiving Sketches on SNL

SNL ThanksgivingHere at Moontower, we are BIG Saturday Night Live fans. We’re lucky enough to have had several SNL MVPs at our fest like Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers. Here now are some of our favorite holiday sketches from the Bill Murray and Gilda Radner era all the way to last week’s “Back Home Baller”. Happy Thanksgiving!

Back Home Baller

Penelope Thanksgiving

Paul Simon Thanksgiving skit, 1976

The Californians Thanksgiving

Debbie Downer

Garth and Kat Thanksgiving

Kiddie Thanksgiving Dinner

Vincent Price’s Thanksgiving Special

Kissing Family Thanksgiving

Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving Song

Anthony Jeselnik’s Brutally Funny Twitter

jeselnik2In honor of Anthony Jeselnik‘s upcoming Paramount show, we decided to take a look back at some of the comedian’s best tweets. For the uninitiated, Jeselnik is a comic whose caustic one liners delivered with an otherworldly confidence have made him one of the most exciting acts performing today. You may know him for his Comedy Central roasts or from The Jeselnik offensive which he created. He’s also produced the critically acclaimed album Shakespeare and the one hour special Caligula and was a crowd favorite at the 2013 Moontower Fest. Now without any further ado (and really, who wants more ado at this point), here are some of the comedian’s best tweets.

NOTE: Though the live taping portion of Friday’s Paramount appearance has been cancelled for “boring reasons” the show is definitely still on! Jeselnik hits the Paramount stage at 7pm on Friday November 14th. More details and tickets here.

With Joan and Attell

Comics Come Home: Flores, Huntsberger, and Fairbanks return to Austin

Three amazing comics who all logged time in Austin are returning for three separate headlining shows starting tonight! Jake Flores kicks things off this weekend followed by David Huntsberger and Chris Fairbanks next weekend. These truly are three of my favorite comics and certainly some of the best the Austin scene has ever produced. Read on and make your plans today!

Jake Flores |  Friday 11/7, 9pm  Saturday 11/8,  9 & 11pm | Velveeta Room

Hometown hero Jake Flores makes his triumphant return to our fair city with two nights of shows at the Velveeta Room Friday and Saturday. Jake moved to New York about a year ago and recently recorded a stand-up special for Stand Up! Records. He has performed at Fun Fun Fun Fest and Moontower and is one of the most interesting comics around.

 David Huntsberger | Saturday 11/15, 7:30pm & 9pm | New Movement

On Saturday November 15th, former Austinite David Huntsberger is filming his first ever stand-up special at the New Movement. Huntsberger is best known these days as one of the hosts of the successful Professor Blastoff podcast along with Tig Notaro and Kyle Dunnigan. David Huntsberger’s Animated Stand-Up Special, as it’s billed in his successfully funded Kickstarter, will blend animation and live performance in a multimedia production that sounds amazing. There are two shows at 7:30 and 9pm and a few tickets remain. Grab them while you can!

Chris Fairbanks | Friday 11/14, 9pm Saturday 11/15, 9 & 11pm | Velveeta Room

Also next week, check out the hilarious Chris Fairbanks at the Velveeta Room. Chris is a former Funniest Person in Austin winner who has appeared in Montreal’s Just for Laughs New Faces section, and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, as well as Season 7 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Ryan Cownie hosts this one and Matt Bearden is set to appear along with a few special guests.



The Best Tweets of the Week from the Moontower Class of 2014


People of Moontower, it’s that time again. Bow down to your Tweets of the Week from the Moontower Class of 2014! Hip hip hooray! For more tweets from your favorite Moontower comics, subscribe to our list on Twitter.

Also, there are TONS of amazing comedy shows coming to the Paramount in the coming months so be sure and stay up to date with our schedule (This November alone we have Anthony Jeselnik, David Sedaris, Chris D’Elia, Lewis Black, and Nick Swardson).

Five reasons to see Tig Notaro live!

Tig Notaro Tig Notaro is coming! Tig Notaro is coming!

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade (and, if that’s the case, let me say that I am truly sorry; if you don’t mind my asking, what were the circumstances that led to that horrible living situation? PM me!) Tig is one of the smartest, funniest, and most celebrated comics working today. And now, she’s returning to Austin on Tuesday October 16th to perform at the historic Paramount Theatre as part of her Boyish Girl Interrupted Tour! Here now are five reasons why you should see Tig Notaro live.


1. Comedians adore her.  Louis CK famously said she gave “one of the greatest stand-up performances I’ve ever seen.”

2. She’s been on your favorite TV shows. She’s made memorable appearances on The Sarah Silverman Show, The Office, Conan, The Amy Schumer Show, Transparent and many more.

3. She puts on a good show wherever she performs. In 2006-2007, Tig performed as part of a series of house concerts across the country in the living rooms, basements, rooftops, garages, backyards, lofts and barns of fans. Look for Knock Knock, It’s Tig Notaro, a documentary about her experience, on Showtime.

4. She hosts a hilarious podcast.  Professor Blastoff is an amazing podcast that features her longtime writing partner Kyle Dunnigan and former Austin resident David Huntsberger.

5. She’s an amazing writer. She’s a regular on This American Life with Ira Glass and has contributed to The Moth storytelling series. Other writing credits include The Emmys hosted by Jane Lynch and The MTV Movie Awards hosted by Aziz Ansari.

Tickets for Tig Notaro’s Boyish Girl Interrupted Tour are on sale now! She performs Thursday October 16th at the Paramount Theatre in Austin (tix).