EXCLUSIVE: Jenny Zigrino Lands Bad Santa 2
(Over Jennifer Lawrence)

Follow @JulieSeabaugh on Twitter

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The single 2014 season of Marlon Wayans-hosted TBS competition Funniest Wins might have passed even hardcore comedy fans by. Runner-up Jenny Zigrino‘s May Conan performance, however, proved widely revelatory. Equal parts exuberant and self-effacing, Zigrino debated the pros of plus-size bodies and temperamental cons of remaining Friends with Benefits.

The Comedy Central, E! and IFC vet hits the big screen January 29 in Wayans’s Fifty Shades of Black parody, and shares the screen with Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates this Thanksgiving in Bad Santa 2. Continue reading

National Comedy Journalist Julie Seabaugh Joins Moontower Blog

Julie Seabaugh

PEOPLE OF MOONTOWER: Dry your tears and despair not, for help is on the way! I recently decoded a message from an ally of the colonies who will lead a new charge against the alien forces. Okay, I’m being told to wrap up this bit.

Anyway, that great setup was a way for me to let you know that I actually do have some great news. Esteemed comedy journalist Julie Seabaugh will be joining the Moontower blog early next year! Julie previously served as A&E staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and has contributed to Rolling Stone, GQ, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and The Village Voice (outlets that would no doubt get a big kick out of that space bit I wrote before).

Julie is also a big Moontower fan, having attended every festival since we started. She’ll begin posting in January, but in the meantime you can check out her website and follow her on Twitter!

So, beam me DOWN Scotty, because there IS intelligent life here and her name is Julie Seabaugh! Oh God, that’s terrible, do I have time to edit this? Julie, please hurry.

Martin Short, Maria Bamford, James Adomian and the 2016 Moontower Early Lineup

Moontower 2016

The first wave of Moontower acts has been announced! So many amazing names on this list. From returning Moontower favorites like Maria Bamford, Ron Funches, and James Adomian to comedy legends like Kevin Smith and the inimitable Martin Short. We’ve got SNL‘s latest addition Jon Rudnitsky, comedy lounge act The Lampshades, which includes Kate Flannery (The Office) and Scott Robinson, plus special shows like Goddamn Comedy Jam, which combines standup comedy and rock covers with a live house band. Over the coming weeks, I’ll bring you closer looks at some of these acts including interviews and deeper dives into their comedy. In the meantime, check out their websites and get to know the first members of the Moontower class of 2016! Badges are on sale now! Continue reading

Bob Khosravi Is Recording an Album

Bob Khosravi

Hear ye, hear ye! Bob Khosravi is recording his first live comedy album for “Stand Up! Records” tonight, November 11th, at Cap City Comedy Club! The Austin based comic will be on the small stage at Cap, so seating is limited but a few tickets remain for this intimate affair.

Bob is a favorite of comedy fests including Moontower and Bridgetown, and he’s been a finalist in the Funniest Person in Austin contest multiple times. He’s a great storyteller with a wicked sense of humor and a knack for the absurd. I spoke with Bob about his early days performing in a motel bar, his joke writing process, and why you should attend his show. Continue reading

Rolling with Randy Liedtke

Randy Liedtke

You may recognize Randy Liedtke from one of his many television appearances. The comic has appeared on Late Night with Seth MeyersLast Comic Standing, and Maron. You may have heard his voice on Adventure Time or The Bone Zone, the irreverent podcast he hosts with comedian Brendon Walsh. Maybe you don’t know his name but you heard about that comedian who was pulled over for eating an iPhone cookie while driving.

Well you might as well learn his name now because he’s not going away anytime soon. In the past week alone, Liedtke saw the release of his critically acclaimed standup album I’m on a Roll, the premiere of his new Comedy Central half hour, and appeared on @midnight and Conan. I spoke with the comic about YouTube, pranks, and his favorite comedy album.  Continue reading

Tweets of the Week from Moontower Alumni

Tweets of the WeekAnd I said, “What about [Tweets of the Week]?”
She said, “I think I remember the [blog posts]”
“And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it”
And I said, “Well, that’s the one thing we’ve got”
                                                                                                -Deep Blue Something

Andy Ritchie Is Fighting for His Life

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A few months ago, comedian Andy Ritchie discovered he had a brain tumor.

“It was a horrible call,” says longtime friend, comedian Nick Swardson. “For what he had and how young Andy was it was scary. I’ve lost a lot of friends to drugs and suicide. Mainly comedians. But this was different. This was a card dealt to a guy who didn’t fucking deserve that shit.” Continue reading

Bill Burr Brings His Stand-Up to Bass Concert Hall Next Month

Bill Burr

HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Moontower favorite Bill Burr will perform at Bass Concert Hall on September 21st. Tickets go on sale at 11am today, August 7th. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Easily one of our favorite interviews at Moontower, Burr is quick, funny, and unapologetic. Even if you don’t know his stand-up, you may be familiar with his work as an actor on Breaking Bad, Chappelle’s Show, and The Heat. Below find some excerpts from our talk backstage at the Paramount during Moontower 2013.  See you at the show!

 

Inside Joke – Bill Burr on Touring

Inside Joke – Bill Burr reveals the ending of “Breaking Bad”

Tweets of the Week from the Moontower Alumni Association

Tweets of the Week

Hello my baby / Hello my honey / Hello my ragtime gal / Send me a TWEET by wire / Baby my SOCIAL MEDIA’s on fire.

Guys, I am truly sorry for what I just did. Can I make it up to you with some tweets of the week? Good idea. Thanks! Have a great weekend! You too! My car’s over here. Oh, haha, me too. We should really hang out sometime. Yeah, I’d like that, I’ve just been really busy lately. Yeah, I know how that goes! Haha, yeah me too! Okay bye for real this time!

Moontower Favorite Ralph Hardesty Teaches Stand Up Comedy Intensive for Students

Ralph

And now for something completely different! This summer, The Paramount Academy for the Arts presents a Stand Up Comedy Intensive class as part of its Performing Arts Camp. The classes run from 1pm-4pm on July 20th – July 31st and are open to students in grades 6-12. Festival favorite Ralph Hardesty (Moontower, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival) will introduce students to the process of writing and performing stand-up comedy and cover topics ranging from writing jokes to working a crowd.

“With the Paramount having such a big identity as a home for comedy we wanted to connect to that work,” explained Associate Director of Education & Outreach Brian C. Fahey. “Ralphie has been a featured comic in Moontower for the past few years and he’s a middle school teacher so he’s a great fit to teach the class.”

I spoke with Ralphie about his own beginnings in comedy, what he wished he knew when he started, and what to expect from the class.

 

When did you first develop an interest in comedy? Tell me a bit about your background and early experiences in standup.

I’ve been interested in comedy my entire life! I used to watch old reruns of I Love Lucy and the Mary Tyler Moore show over and over until I memorized them, and I would recite them at the dinner table. Standup is one of my first loves, but I didn’t start doing it until I was older. I went to my first open mic when I was 28, and that was because I was unemployed and needed things to occupy my time. I didn’t know that it would end up taking SO MUCH of my time, or I might not have ever started. I’m happy I did?

If you could tell your younger self one thing you learned about standup since you started, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self to start earlier than I did. I started a full 10 years later than I wish I had, since the only thing that a young comedian needs is experience, as much as they can get. That’s why I think this class is such a great idea, because it gives very young adults experience in a safe space. It’s a terrifying idea, to try to make strangers laugh, but anyone can do it.

Tell me a little bit about the stand-up comedy class. What can students expect?

I think the class will be a fun way to generate ideas for stand up comedy performances, as well as workshopping their own original jokes. We’ll also be watching excellent examples of (completely clean) comedy, which should be pretty universally entertaining. So, in short, students can expect a really fun time watching and performing comedy!

 

For more information about the classes and to register online, click here.

More on instructor Ralph Hardesty:

Ralph Hardesty is a die-hard Midwesterner who, after a series of indelible life mistakes, eventually wound up writing comedy in Austin. Hardesty has performed at a ton of festivals including Fun Fun Fun Fest, Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Ladies Are Funny Festival (though he is male, he is no less a lady) and the San Francisco Comedy & Burrito Festival, which was delicious. Moms love him.