Tag Archives: Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival

Zeitgeist: Thy Name is AZIZ

(photos by Marc Brown)

It is difficult to describe the electric charge Aziz Ansari created as Moontower’s first headliner without sounding hyperbolic. Yet, Aziz absolutely slew two sold-out Paramount Theatre audiences. From the excitement in the winding lines to the palpable afterglow attendees brought out to the streets, Aziz Ansari is Exhibit A for the glory of collective, cathartic and barking laughter that only stand-up comedy experienced live can create. Absolutely magical. The Statesman’s Omar L. Gallaga has a live review here.

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Inside Joke – Episode #1

Picturebox presents “Inside Joke” at the Moontower Comedy Festival hosted by John Merriman & Kerri Lendo. Daily episodes will feature exclusive interviews, backstage material, sketches, updates and more from the fest.

Today’s episode features interviews with comics Kath Barbadoro, Chris Cubas, and Ramin Nazer. Plus John & Kerri find a band…

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It Begins! SiriusXm Live Broadcasting Moontower Comedy

And the inaugural 2012 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival is under way! Folks who are not able to make it down to Austin, Texas, can listen to interviews and Moontower artists’ shows on the SiriusXm Raw Dog Comedy channel’s coverage for the duration of Moontower. The Covino & Rich show (pictured above) are broadcasting live underneath the historic Paramount Theatre’s marquee and were joined this morning by Jim Ritts, Executive Director for the Paramount and Stateside at the Paramount Theatres. The Funny is most definitely in the air. Huzzah!

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Erin Foley’s CONAN Set

Erin Foley made her late night television debut yesterday on Conan and in just a couple of days she’ll be gracing stages here at the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. Huzzah!

Erin Foley will be appearing on these showcases:

Thu, April 26th at the ND “Switch” at 8:00PM

Fri, April 27th at the ND “She Bang” at 8:00PM

Sat, April 28th at the ND  “Switch” at  8:00PM

Sat, April 28th at the Velveeta Room “Game Master” at 10:00PM

To purchase “You Betcha” badges ($129) and “Hell Yeah I’m A VIP” badges ($799), as well as tickets for individual performances, go to www.moontowercomedyfestival.com. You can also get them at the Paramount Theatre box office or by calling 512-474-1221. The box office is open Monday – Saturday 12pm – 5:30pm and is closed on Sundays.

For more information on the festival, visit moontowercomedyfestival.com or follow on facebook and twitter @moontowercomedy. Also check out all things comedy at the festival’s blog site www.comedymoontower.com.

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Funny or Die + Master Pancake On Sales & Moontower Mini Film Fest Lineup

MOONTOWER COMEDY & ODDITY FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MINI FILM FEST LINEUP

 MASTER PANCAKE THEATER AND FUNNY OR DIE SHOWCASES ALSO ANNOUNCED

FINAL PERFORMANCES ADDED TO LINEUP

AUSTIN, TX (APRIL 18, 2012) – The Paramount Theatre is excited to announce today the lineup for the Moontower Mini Film Fest to take place during the day at the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival April 25-28 in Austin.

Also announced is a special performance of Master Pancake Theater’s “Mystery Show,” featuring local favorites John Erler and Joe Parsons as they pair bad movies with live comedy, breathing new humorous life into the mundane. Plus, details on the hilarious Funny or Die showcases are just released, with Alex Fernie, Seth Morris, Josh Fadem, Johnny Pemberton, The Walsh Bros and more.

The Moontower Mini Film Fest presents a diverse mix of films – from hilarious features to documentaries on legendary comics to a program of new shorts – to help you keep the laughter going during the daylight hours between marathon nights of comedy. The films are free to all Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest badge holders, however, no tickets will be sold to the film screenings.

FUNNY OR DIE SHOWCASES

4/27/12 – 8:00pm & 10:30pm

Stateside at the Paramount

$25 Reserved

Tickets on sale Thursday, April 19th at 10:00am CST

Funny or Die brings you… four live comedy shows (Super Seriously)! In two showcases scheduled at the Stateside at the Paramount Friday night at 8:00 and 10:30pm writers, performers and friends of Funny or Die step out of the internet and onto the stage for a night of sketch, video, stand-up and surprises. Featuring Alex Fernie, Seth Morris, Josh Fadem, Johnny Pemberton, The Walsh Bros and more!

MASTER PANCAKE THEATER “MYSTERY SHOW”

4/26/12 – 11:00pm

Stateside at the Paramount

$13 Reserved

Tickets on sale Thursday, April 19th at 10:00am CST

Master Pancake Theater “Mystery Show”: Master Pancake is “a glorious pairing of movies and comedy” – Entertainment Weekly. It’s smart, fast, and bust-a-gut funny. Voted BEST COMEDY TROUPE in Austin for the past 4 years, Master Pancake features slacker wise-cracker John Erler and a rotating band of Austin’s funniest comics going up against the worst that the entertainment world has to offer [Photo: Brett Brookshire]

MOONTOWER MINI FILM FESTIVAL AT STATESIDE AT THE PARAMOUNT

The Films are free to all badge holders.  No single tickets available at this time. 

JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK (84 min, directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg)

Thursday, April 26 – 2:00pm

A documentary on the life and career of Joan Rivers, made as the comedienne turns 75 years old.

AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY (102 min, directed by Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas)

Friday, April 27 – 3:00pm

A captivating animated documentary drama on the legendary Texas outlaw comic Bill Hicks, whose profound observations on American life changed the face of comedy forever.

FREAK DANCE (90 min, directed by Matt Besser)

Saturday, April 28 – 1:00pm

A spoiled rich girl who wants to be a dancer finds herself caught in between two rival dance groups set to do battle at an underground competition.

COMEDY SHORTS (80 min)

Saturday, April 28 – 3:30pm

Featuring the shorts Modern Man directed by John Merriman and Kerri Lendo, Kittywood Studios directed by Joe Nicolosi, 92 Alonzo Mourning Skybox Rookie Card directed by Todd Sklar, Someone Like You (Pug Version) directed by Mark Potts and Don Swaynos, Billy’s Birthday directed by Thomas Wohlford, Hands on a Hard Cart directed by Sam Eidson, Sexy Chat directed by Caroline Connor, and The Arm directed by Brie Larson, Sarah Ramos and Jessie Ennis.

The lineup of the inaugural festival includes over 70 of the funniest voices in comedy including Aziz Ansari, Seth Meyers, Nick Offerman, Steven Wright, Wanda Sykes, Jeffrey Ross, JB Smoove, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, The Amazing Johnathan, Andy Kindler, W. Kamau Bell, Hannibal Buress, Jackie Kashian, Oscar Nunez, The Divorce Show, Theme Park, The Dan Band and many more. Eleven venues around Austin will host everything from stand-up to improv, sketch to musical comedy.

“You Betcha I’m Somebody” Badge purchasers, we’re holding seats just for you! We’ve held back 1/3 of the seats at almost every venue just for badge holders. That means, for just $129 you have access to 11 venues, over 70 comics, 60 shows and more than 100 performances. As a bonus, you’ll get access to the Moontower Film Fest each day and all of the badge-only parties! And, are you ready for this… downtown parking every night of the fest. So, grab yours before they sell out! The badge grants you entry into all venues after VIP badges and single ticket buyers, capacity allowing. We are holding a limited number of seats for “You Betcha” badges at the Paramount Theatre, Cap City Comedy Club and New Movement Theater, however we will not have 1/3 reserved for those venues. Seats will be limited, so arrive early or purchase a single ticket to those “can’t miss” shows.

To purchase “You Betcha” badges ($129) and “Hell Yeah I’m A VIP” badges ($799), as well as tickets for individual performances, go to www.moontowercomedyfestival.com. You can also get them at the Paramount Theatre box office or by calling 512-474-1221. The box office is open Monday – Saturday 12pm – 5:30pm and is closed on Sundays.

For more information on the festival, visit moontowercomedyfestival.com or follow on facebook and twitter @moontowercomedy. Also check out all things comedy at the festival’s blog site www.comedymoontower.com.

 ABOUT MOONTOWER COMEDY AND ODDITY FESTIVAL

Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival was established in 2011 by the Paramount Theatre and will hold the first annual festival April 25-28, 2012 in Austin, TX. Moontower is dedicated to bringing world-class comedy to the city through a variety of performances in stand-up, sketch, improv and musical comedy by well know performers and up-and-comers alike.

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Spotlight on Mary Lynn Rajskub

Comedian/actress Mary Lynn Rajskub (pronounced “Rice-Cub”) may be best known as a star of the silver and small screen, but she cut her teeth in stand-up, beginning at the San Francisco Art Institute before relocating to the nascent alt comedy scene in Los Angeles where her awesomely awkward, expressive, and decontextualizing style found a receptive home. She was a cast member on two of the most critically acclaimed TV comedies of the ‘90s, HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David and The Larry Sanders Show. She also played Chloe on a little program called 24. She’s also quite adept with canvas (as a talented painter and not as the oft-rumored Mexican wrestling star Dulce Maria Garcia Rivas). Rajskub is a prolific performer, who has created a myriad of one-woman shows, the recent web series Dickie, and who will appear in the upcoming web series Dirty Work and the film Safety Not Guaranteed, not to mention her pantheon of cameos. Being a new mom with her first husband Matthew Rolph (c’mon, I kid) had kept Rajskub from clocking in a ton of stage time but this uniquely talented comedian seems to be positively luminous from a new perspective and for the great fortune of stand-up fans, Mary Lynn Rajskub is bringing her insight, POV, and shtick to Austin as part of the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. I recently spoke to the exceedingly gracious Rajskub, who called from a rather unusual local in Southern California and who, like myself, was fairly tickled by the absurdity of the situation.

Steve Birmingham: With your busy performance schedule and your recent calendar activity, it seems that you’re doing stand-up with gusto of late, and that’s a wonderful thing. And we’re certainly thrilled that you’ll be performing here at the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. What is the impetus for you regularly rocking the mic now?

Mary Lynn Rajskub: That’s where I came from.

SB: Absolutely.

MLR: Those are my roots and I actually started out in performance art when I was in art school and performance art sort of turned into people laughing at me and me making fun of myself. Don’t ask me which one came first. But then I met comedians and I was attracted to them years ago, just for their ability to explore their own personas and their own point of view onstage in a monologue form while engaging an audience. It sounds so silly saying it like that but that’s what was exciting to me. So I always did acting but most of my best jobs and best work kind of spring from me doing that. And that’s kind of the way it always was.

SB: And I understand that you performed stand-up throughout the run of 24. I guess to me, it just seems like maybe you’re performing a little more than I had been aware of. That just might be my own ignorance.

MLR: No, you’re absolutely right and I didn’t even answer that part of the question yet. I sort of went off on a little tangent there. Lately I’ve been sort of focusing in on [stand-up] because my life is so different now because I have a family, a son and a husband, which I never planned on having or expected to have. So I have this new excitement about exploring that material and it’s just a really good time for me because most people recognize me from 24 and [I’m] sort of coming off 24 and reading all these pilots, and I’ve been doing a bunch of different little projects and then it just occurred to me that you this is the time now for me to explore my own material. Time to get back to what I always did. That’s what I’m putting together is sort of the point of view, embracing my life as it is right now and it’s been really fun.   Continue reading

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Full Lineup Announced: Jeffrey Ross, Funny or Die, The Super Serious Show + On Sale Info

FULL LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR MOONTOWER COMEDY AND ODDITY FESTIVAL

APRIL 25-28, 2012 IN AUSTIN, TX

ROASTMASTER JEFFREY ROSS JOINS OVER 70 OF THE FUNNIEST FACES IN COMEDY

PLUS, ANNOUNCING FUNNY OR DIE SHOWCASES & THE SUPER SERIOUS SHOW

MORE SINGLE SHOW TICKETS ON SALE INCLUDING A TOP SECRET SHOW

BUY YOUR BADGES AND SINGLE TICKETS BEFORE THEY SELL OUT!

AUSTIN, TX (APRIL 11, 2012) – The Paramount Theatre is proud to announce the final lineup for the 2012 Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival in Austin April 25-28th. Famed roaster Jeffrey Ross joins the roster, and the Funny or Die showcases are announced, including The Super Serious Show. Plus, new single show tickets are going on sale Thursday, April 12 at 10am Central. Purchase your “You Betcha I’m Somebody” Pass before they sell out for those want to get the most bang for your buck and laugh all the way to the bank.

Writer/actor/comedian Jeff Ross, aka The Roastmaster General, has built a reputation by insulting celebrities. As the roaster for several Comedy Central Roasts over the years, his victims have included William Shatner, Pamela Anderson, Flavor Flav, David Hasselhoff, Donald Trump and more. As a stand-up comic, Ross has appeared on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and others. And, you might have seen him on shows like “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “Six Feet Under,” or films such as “Along Came Polly.”

Ross rounds out the final lineup of over 70 of the industry’s most riotous comics for the 2012 festival, which also includes Aziz Ansari, Seth Meyers, Nick Offerman, Steven Wright, Wanda Sykes, JB Smoove, Chelsea Peretti, Dana Gould, Laraine Newman, Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Shayla Rivera, The Amazing Johnathan, Andy Kindler, W. Kamau Bell, Baron Vaughn, Erin Foley, Hannibal Buress, Jackie Kashian, Oscar Nunez, and many more. Group shows including The Divorce Show and Theme Park join other performances like The Dan Band to offer something for just about everyone, from stand-up to improv, sketch to musical comedy. For a full list of comics and shows, go to www.moontowercomedyfestival.com.

Plus, Funny or Die brings you… four live comedy shows! In two showcases scheduled at Stateside at the Paramount for Friday night, April 27th, 8:00pm & 10:30pm, writers, performers and friends of Funny or Die step out of the Internet and onto the stage for a night of sketch, video, stand-up and surprises. Then, on Saturday night, April 28th Funny or Die and Caviar Content present: The Super Serious Show, also at Stateside at the Paramount with shows at 8:00pm & 10:30pm, with a serious mix of performers and short films and featuring Eric Andre (Russell Simmons Presents, The Awkward Kings of Comedy), Rory Scovel (“Conan”), The Walsh Brothers (UCB), Andy Peters, Iliza Shlesinger (winner “Last Comic Standing”), and more. Host and full lineup TBD with tickets to these showcases going on sale soon.

SINGLE PERFORMANCES ON SALE APRIL 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM CST

JEFFREY ROSS:

The Paramount Theatre

4/27/2012 @ 7:30PM

Reserved

$35.00

After years of being the butt of jokes as a New Jersey Boy, Jeff Ross now gets the last laugh.  The Writer/Actor/Comedian has gained notoriety for his work on the Comedy Central Roasts, a series of televised broadcasts in which celebrities are insulted by their peers in the name of humor.  Pamela Anderson, Donald Trump, William Shatner, Joan Rivers, Flavor Flav, Charlie Sheen and Davis Hasselhoff are celebrities we love to hate. They all have been “roasted” by Ross at some point in his appearances on the Comedy Central Roasts between 2005 through 2011.  He currently is the New York Friars’ Club Roast Master General, a title few can earn only after years of proven biting insults.

TRIPLE PLAY

Scottish Rite Theatre

4/28/2012 @ 10:30PM

GA

$17.00

A triple-play is a rare act, and it doesn’t get much rarer than seeing these three Comedy All-Stars on stage in the same show!  Andy Kindler (“Late Night with David Letterman,” “Bob’s Bugers”), Mary Lynn Rajsskub (“24,” “Modern Family”) and Marc Maron (WTF with Marc Maron).

TOP SECRET SHOW

Stateside at the Paramount

4/25/2012 @ 10:45PM

Reserved

$15.00

This show is so secret you’re lucky we’re even telling you when it’s going to happen! The stellar line up is under wraps and anyone who leaks from our camp will be fired or put the death; not necessarily in that order. But entre-nous…you need to be there if you’re going to have anything to talk about at the bar that night.

3’s A CHARM

The Velveeta Room (4 shows)

4/26/2012 – 4/28/2012

GA

$10

We wanted to give you plenty of opportunity to see some of our favorite Moontower comedians, some you’ll know, one you may not, but all are our hot picks! That’s three, count ‘em three, Moontower comedians all on stage.

Featuring Ian Karmel, Brody Stevens, and Brendon Walsh

April 26th: 7:30pm

Featuring Pat Dixon, Danny Palumbo and Tom Rhodes

April 26th: 10:00pm

BRIAN GAAR

Hosted by Brian Gaar, Featuring Casey Ley, Andy Peters and Brody Stevens

April 27th: 10:00pm

KATH BARBADORO

Hosted by Kath Barbadoro, Featuring Bryan Gutmann, Erin Jackson and Brent Weinbach

April 28th: 7:30pm

DOUBLE HEADER (2 shows)

Beale Street Tavern

4/27/2012 @ 10:15PM & 4/28/2012 @8:00PM

GA $10.00

So, you’ve seen a comedian and want more! Then head to this show and catch some of our favorite Moontower performers, doing what they do best…BIG SETS!

Featuring Rory Scovel and Paul Varghese! April 27: 10:15pm

Featuring Ian Karmel and Jackie Kashian! April 28: 8:00pm

AUSTIN WILDCARDS  (2 shows)

29th Street Ballroom

4/26/2012 @ 7:30PM & 10:00PM

GA

$10.00

Austin Wildcards invade 29th Street. Austin’s got powers, towers & wowers of comedy. After all, this festival wasn’t sparked by a city of duds and this show proves it! Get a glimpse of the talent that has made the Funniest Person in Austin contest a national comedy beacon with former finalists to title holders!

(photo by Todd V. Wolfson)

CHARLIE HODGE SHOW (PODCAST)

4/26/2012 @10:30PM

The Mohawk

GA

FREE ADMISSION

Formerly one-third of the morning radio trio on The Dudley and Bob Show, Hodge has launched his own four-hour midday program featuring his brand of idiosyncratic comedy (complete with impressions of notable local figures George W. Bush, the Whataburger dude, and the Lockhart sausage – yes, he impersonates a sausage) mixed with tried and true rock & roll standards.

 CHECK BACK SOON FOR MORE INFO AND TICKET ON SALE ANNOUNCEMENTS:

FUNNY OR DIE SHOWCASES

Writers, performers and friends of Funny or Die step out of the Internet and onto the stage to present sketch, video, stand up and surprises.

Funny or Die and Caviar Content present: THE SUPER SERIOUS SHOW

Web-comedy powerhouse Funny or Die present the Moontower edition of the hottest independent comedy shows in Los Angeles featuring a serious mix of performers and short films. Featuring Eric Andre (Russell Simmons Presents, The Awkward Kings of Comedy), Rory Scovel (“Conan”), The Walsh Brothers (UCB), Andy Peters, Iliza Shlesinger (winner “Last Comic Standing”). Host and full lineup TBD with tickets going on sale soon.


“You Betcha I’m Somebody” Badge purchasers, we’re holding seats just for you! We’ve held back 1/3 of the seats at almost every venue just for badge holders. That means, for just $129 you have access to 11 venues, over 70 comics, 60 shows and more than 100 performances. As a bonus, you’ll get access to the Moontower Film Fest each day and all of the badge-only parties! And, are you ready for this… downtown parking every night of the fest. So, grab yours before they sell out! The badge grants you entry into all venues after VIP badges and single ticket buyers, capacity allowing. We are holding a limited number of seats for “You Betcha” badges at the Paramount Theatre, Cap City Comedy Club and New Movement Theater, however we will not have 1/3 reserved for those venues. Seats will be limited, so arrive early or purchase a single ticket to those “can’t miss” shows.

To purchase tickets for individual performances as well as “You Betcha” badges ($129) and “Hell Yeah I’m A VIP” badges ($799), go to www.moontowercomedyfestival.com. You can also get them at the Paramount Theatre box office or by calling 512-474-1221. The box office is open Monday – Saturday 12pm – 5:30pm and is closed on Sundays.

For more information on the festival, visit moontowercomedyfestival.com or follow on facebook and twitter @moontowercomedy. Also check out all things comedy at the festival’s blog site www.comedymoontower.com.

ABOUT MOONTOWER COMEDY AND ODDITY FESTIVAL

Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival was established in 2011 by the Paramount Theatre and will hold the first annual festival April 25-28, 2012 in Austin, TX. Moontower is dedicated to bringing world-class comedy to the city through a variety of performances in stand-up, sketch, improv and musical comedy by well know performers and up-and-comers alike.

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Spotlight on Maria Bamford

                                                                                                                             photo by Susan Maljan

“I love Maria Bamford. She makes me laugh. I think she’s hysterically funny. She performs all over the place [in LA]. Have you seen her? She’s so funny— she’s one of the few people that really makes you laugh hard, who’s doing something so interesting and insane. She does a lot of voices. She has a very high voice and she does a lot of characters and people in her life — with deep voices — and it’s just a unique, bizarre act. I’ve seen a lot of comics and it takes a lot to make me laugh really hard. And she definitely makes me laugh super hard.”

                                                   Judd Apatow to the Los Angeles Times’ Deborah Vankin  (11/19/10)

It feels somewhat superfluous to comment on Maria Bamford after Judd Apatow’s words but his endorsement is representative of just how highly esteemed she is by professionally funny people and stand-up fans alike. Maria Bamford is widely and rightly hailed as one of America’s finest, most original, consistently creative, and unfailingly funny comedians. In comedy parlance (okay “vaudeville,” Jesus!), she’s the top banana. Yet, in an interview we did in 2003 (as a point of reference, the first YouTube video was uploaded in April 2005), she expressed concern about disappointing “people who have come to see general c-o-m-e-d-y, spelled with a series of bananas.” That comment spoke to her self-deprecation and her awareness that she can be a little quiet and odd, but she was exceptionally hilarious and inventive then, just as she is today. The only thing that’s changed is the public’s increased sophistication and appetite for the edge of the envelope-pushers (suck it, paper-pushers). Maria Bamford has created such a distinctive niche and name for herself that the term “Bamford-esque” would be part of contemporary lexicon if she weren’t one of a kind.

And the Los Angeles-based, Duluth, Minnesota-reared Bamford operates in a more performance-based manner that draws on surrealism, Dada, and the avant-garde, but this is not to say that her act is overly precious— it is not, it’s just funny. She uses her flair for voices to create living, breathing, startling vignettes— often about her family, depression, and wonderfully left field observations (and perhaps best manifest in her handmade web series The Maria Bamford Show). She has released three instant-classic stand-up CDs and has an abundance of TV credits. Bamford holds the distinction of being the first female comedian to have two Comedy Central Presents specials and was the sole lady on Patton Oswalt’s Comedians of Comedy tours (which were documented as a Michael Blieden-directed feature and as a Comedy Central series). Maria is also in great demand as an animation voiceover artist. For example, she voices the Praying Mantis and Aphrodite on the just-released, first episode of the Noah’s Ark series on Funny or Die (also voiced by Marc Maron and Jonathan Katz. Watch below and sensitive viewer discretion is advised).

The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival is doubly thrilled to have Maria Bamford on the lineup since she is such an Austin favorite— to the point that her multitude of local fans consider her an honorary citizen (not just because Texas needs the tax revenue). And certainly the People’s Republic of Austin would harbor The Bammer if things ever went “bad.” It’s a kinship thing. Like, the short-lived, Austin-based Punchy Tee company created a limited edition “Maria Bamford supports me in in my journey” T-shirt for charity. Proceeds went to the Austin Children’s Shelter last summer, which was rad because despite the ACS’s vital services and “home-like environment,” I’m not readily seeing on their web site (it’s after hours) if they too have a “No Kill” policy like the one the Austin City Council adopted two years ago for animal shelters. I’ll presume not. Was it reckless to speculate?  Oh yeah, I’m the cheese here. The Hunger Games domestically grossed itself $270 million and rising. Hey, sometimes there’s further ado. Seriously though, Comedy Moontower was fortunate to have Maria Bamford take the time to answer a few questions via e-lec-tron-ic mail.

Steve Birmingham: At the time and still now in hindsight, an abundance of people (myself included), consider the Comedians of Comedy tours as part of the vanguard for this new era of excitement and appreciation for stand-up and uniquely talented comics. I concede that one person’s “watershed” can be another’s “string of venue restrooms, one grungier than the next,” but could you please describe how the shows and touring initially felt and also what your perspective is in retrospect?

Maria Bamford: It was a very short amount of time— the movie was 6 days and the TV show was maybe 10. It was nice to be with other comics on the road and most especially, comics whose work I admire. I also love gas station food— so I just remember it being a real boon. I’m so glad that anyone is inspired to create their own work/creative projects as a result, that’s what was helpful to me about it too.

SB: What is one of the funniest or most memorable moments from all that time with Patton, Brian [Posehn], and Zach [Galifianakis]?

MB: I guess— because of the nudity— I remember looking at dozens of coquettish photos sent to Zach from this guy in South America, if your anus may be described as a coquette.

SB: You created, single-handedly wrote, and performed in (save the late Blossom Bamford the Pug) your web series The Maria Bamford Show, which Damon Jones shot, directed and edited. The caliber of creativity and humor in those twenty episodes utterly shames the content and bloated budgets of many, many TV sitcoms (and by the way, congratulations on the Museum of Arts and Design’s exhibition of the show). How did the project come to fruition? And to what degree was the process of working (offstage) without interference empowering and fun but also potentially imposing when the Internet is forever and you’re impersonating your family and portraying exaggerated personal adversity?

MB: Well that’s nice to say about it, and it came from me wanting to be on a TV show, doing a one-woman show about it— as well as fears of “madness” from my family tree. Dan Pasternack, currently [VP, Development and Production] at IFC (Portlandia), let us do whatever we wanted. It was awesome possum.

SB: This is clearly not lifted from Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire: What are your two favorite journeys?

MB: I like going to NYC and any beginning of a trip— leaving LA.

SB: With your flair for characters who do not filter their inner monologues and your wonderfully surrealistic propensity to suddenly shift a point of view or cadence, your work was perfectly at home on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Was there something you took away from collaborating with and/or observing Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim?

MB: From Tim and Eric— they are fast and loose and inexpensive! It’s super inspiring how they are low-key and just make lots and lots of content and don’t seem very pretentious about it. I would like to be them, but I can’t find openings in their skins.

SB: How do you think your material has changed in the last decade and how do you see it evolving in the future?

MB: I don’t know. I’ve got lots of food and suicide material for the next album. I can’t wait to find out the next new jokes via my strong connection to a God.

SB: You’ve always been honest about your Diet Coke, uh, hobby and on your “Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome” CD, you joke about growing older and “getting a Diet Coke hump.” What are your thoughts about an Australian cosmetic surgery clinic’s web site naming you for coining this condition under their “bridalplasty” section as reason for “body contouring”? Also, can you comment on the phenomenon of “bridalplasty”? Their site reads: “For some women it’s a mere formality, but for many, their wedding is considered the happiest day of their lives. That’s why, most brides want to look as radiant as they feel, and why for many, cosmetic tweaks are no longer a flight of fancy, they are a must. But just as with planning the reception, choosing the cake, making the guest lists, and selecting the flowers, ensuring you have the right surgeon, and the right information on procedures should be your top priority. After all, with all eyes on the bride, you’re going to want to wow.”

MB: Gosh. I did not come up with Bridalplasty. Let’s hope the right writer is recognized. Surgery and party planning!

SB: You’re an accomplished animation voiceover artist. Is the protocol that you’re generally hired for a job and then collaboratively hash out exactly how a character should sound or is auditioning some times involved? And even when working with the best in the biz, does voiceover work ever teeter towards ludicrousness when having to articulate potentially abstract directions or is that just part of being a pro?

MB: Voiceover is just fun. It’s, as Chris Rock suggested, fairly low-stress. I’m super lucky to get VO work and it is never more difficult than loading trucks of baked goods at night.

SB: Your voice talent is a hallmark of your act but in my view, it is always in the service of supremely crafty writing and engendering highly conceptual routines. A Rich Little, Michael Winslow, or joke-thrower, you ain’t but I’m curious about how you approach creating new material? Is your tendency to have a bit mostly written and rehearsed before trying it on stage?

MB: I try to write and rehearse it before but that could just be control freaking. I’ve been thinking of taking an improv class again to let go a little.

SB: I’ve never been a fan (Leo) Gallagher’s work, but I do hope that he fully recovers from his recent heart attacks and is able to enjoy a long retirement. However, I seriously think it is one of the greatest things ever in “comedy” that he franchised his brother Ron Gallagher to tour and perform his Sledge-O-Matic routine. It eventually got litigious but I think it’s astounding that Ron (aka Gallagher Too) had a successful run for so many years. What is something another comedian has done that you find amazing?

MB: I loved Gallagher as a kid and I haven’t really watched him since then, but I’m sure he’s just as skilled with the smashing and that’s great [if] he’s still working, still creating. Anyone who is still making an effort and failing and trying and failing and succeeding and trying etc., are pretty amazing in my book. I’m trying to get the courage to try new things and so people like Brent Weinbach or my close friend Jackie Kashian— to see anyone’s risking and repeat is a great joy. I just saw Eddie Pepitone last week and he blew my brainbox.

SB: What is your idea of artistic satisfaction?

MB: To keep trying new things, slow and steady production, and sharing with other comics good times and the horror, the horror.

SB: Austin, Texas, gets plenty of de rigueur compliments but since you’ve graced us with performances so often over the years, can offer some constructive criticism for Austin and/or our Austinites?

MB: Austinites are weird and should keep it that way. Hahahoho. The only thing I’d hope is that they don’t change into Dallas.

SB: Please finish this sentence: The one thing I’ve learned about stand-up comedy is ____.

MB: The one thing I’ve learned about stand-up is that I don’t know anything. And music mic stands look like praying mantises.

The Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest is honored to present Maria Bamford

Wed, April 25th at Cap City Comedy Club @ 8:00PM

Thu, April 26th at Cap City Comedy Club @ 8:00PM

Fri, April 27th at the ND (She Bang’s special guest) @ 8:00PM

Fri, April 27th at The Parish (Show House) @10:00PM

Purchase Tickets Here. You can also get tickets and badges at the Paramount Theatre box office or by calling 512-474-1221.

The box office is open Monday – Saturday 12pm – 5:30pm and is closed on Sundays.

Visit Maria Bamford’s web site HERE

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The Dan Band

Dan Finnerty flanked by backup guys Gene Reed and John Kozeluh

If his name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, you are likely already familiar with actor/singer Dan Finnerty from his cussed-up version of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” performed in Will Ferrell’s Old School, as the age-inappropriate bat mitzvah singer who croons a pervy rendition of Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love” in the big screen’s Starsky & Hutch, and also as the wedding singer in The Hangover who delivers 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” with full-blown white boy R&B force. However, The Dan Band is not really about irony. Their funny, four-letter word-laden covers and medleys (chiefly female-performed Top 40 pop songs that are predominantly from the ‘70s, ‘80s & ‘90s) are rooted in unabashed enthusiasm, genuine showmanship, silliness, and fostering laughs in a party pit atmosphere on the dance floor. The Dan Band’s intense cult following is a testament to their glorious live shows but also the fact that even the most jaded of hipsters aren’t too cool or immune to resist reveling in the infectiousness of a power ballad.

The Dan Band is the product of a drunken karaoke lark when Finnerty sang Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” and his upbringing in rural Bath, New York. He explained to VH1, “I blame my musical taste on my sister, who’s four years older than me. All of my friends had older brothers who were turning them on to classic rock like Zeppelin and Rush. My sister had me rocking out to Laura Branigan. The most hardcore we got was Heart.” Finnerty’s singing and comedic timing are the real deal and as a former Stomp cast member, the dude has some serious moves. Well, to be honest, I never caught Stomp so I don’t know if that gig afforded him more than acting like Herman Munster darn, darn, darn, darning. I’m just saying that Finnerty has the skills. The Los Angeles-based Dan Band’s rising popularity and critical acclaim landed them a one-hour Bravo special that was directed by McG and executive produced by Steven Speilberg (who later cast Finnerty in The Terminal). In addition to appearing on movie soundtracks, The Dan Band has released two CDs and 2009’s Ho: A Dan Band Xmas is entirely comprised of original songs. The Dan Band’s upcoming performance in Austin is a unique opportunity to catch this internationally beloved and unfailingly entertaining outfit.

The Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest Proudly Presents The Dan Band

 At the Mohawk 4/25/12 – Doors @ 7:30pm / Show @ 8:30pm

And featuring comedians Aaron Aryanpur and Matt Bearden.

GA $25

Purchase Tickets Here. You can also get tickets and badges at the Paramount Theatre box office or by calling 512-474-1221. The box office is open Monday – Saturday 12pm – 5:30pm and is closed on Sundays.

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