Tag Archives: standup comedy

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.

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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!

 

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‘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).

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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.

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Maria Bamford to release “living room” special in November

Maria Bamford is putting the finishing touches on her new one-hour comedy feature, Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special.

Filmed in her parents’ living room with Dad Joel and Mom Marilyn Bamford as the only audience members, the direct-to-fans special will be available for download from Chill.com on November 28th.

Her parents have long been a part of her routine, but this special promises to bring it to a whole new level of intimacy. “Why bother with an audience of strangers when you can seek your parents’ approval directly?” Bamford says of the unique format.

The delightfully quirky Bamford has three brilliant solo standup CDs in addition to the now-classic Comedians of Comedy tour with Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn and Zach Galafianakis.

We adore Bamford’s gentle brand of controlled chaos more than most, so we’re on pins and needles until this experiment in hysterical familial discomfort comes available.

Look for Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special on Chill.com on Nov. 28!

 

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FFF Comics We Heart: Doug Benson

Y’all already know Doug Benson, right?

He’s here most years for SXSW, he practically lives at the Alamo Drafthouse, and he was just here geeking out during Fantastic Fest. He’s here in town so often, he might as well be considered a local.

Alas, Benson is in fact from the Los Angeles area, where he continues building his gradual comedy empire, runs his podcasts and enjoys the benefits of a state that legalized medical marijuana.

Benson started recording Doug Loves Movies back in 2006, and it’s where he truly shines as a quick-witted, movie-obsessed host. Here, he talks with funny celebrities about their tastes in movies and comedy, and then subjects them to a hilarious series of lightning rounds and pop quizzes. It’s always a blast, no matter who the guest is.

Later, he began recording the live stage show he used to host called The Benson Interruption. Here, he sits on stage with the comedian and heckles/helps them with their already great material. Comedy Central made a six-episode late night show of it, which featured the likes of Thomas Lennon, Todd Glass, Michael Ian Black and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Pretty amazing stuff here.

To say that Benson is only the quintessential stoner comedian is reductive. He’s also, conversely, a very busy man, who has taken plenty of smart steps in order to position himself securely in the comedy world.

Benson was on Season 5 of NBC’s Last Comic Standing (he came in 6th), he’s appeared on almost every comedy podcast out there, he’s filmed a few Comedy Central Presents specials, he’s made a couple films, recorded five comedy albums and he became a regular on VH1’s Best Week Ever.

Not too shabby for a dude that was once voted High Time‘s “Stoner of the Year.”

We’re excited to have the squinty-eyed comedian back in Austin again for Fun Fun Fun Fest. He did a set at the Alamo Ritz for FFF Nites. And he’ll be headlining the Moontower Yellow Stage at 5:10 p.m., right after Eugene Mirman and Duncan Trussell make the jokes. See y’all there.

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FFF Comics We Heart: David Cross

Oh man, just thinking about David Cross coming back to Austin gets us all tingly.

It was maybe three years ago that we saw him live while he was touring for his latest comedy album, Bigger and Blackerer. The energy in the room was unbelievable.

Half the crowd was comprised of long-time Cross fans, who had followed his career from The Ben Stiller Show to Mr. Show and beyond. The other half was recent fans, made believers by his standout performance as Tobias Funke on Arrested Development.

The Cross veterans knew what they were in for with his standup, and the noobs were all just blown away by his hilarious crassness and his riled-up mockery of America.

This was not the closeted, blue-faced Never Nude they knew from their television box; this was a fearless creature made of unrelenting in-your-face comedy.

And that’s why we’re so pumped to see him again in Austin on the Moontower Yellow Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest this year.

Fans of his movie and TV work will likely expect a mild-mannered, observational comedian to take the stage and make some funnies. But, if he’s still got the venom inside of him, they’ll be in for a fun surprise.

Of course, it’s possible that success and celebrity (and marriage!) might have reduced that edge in him. (He is appearing regularly on Modern Family, after all.)

But, who are we kidding? Cross is a comedian’s comedian and has plenty of darkness to share with the world. His comedic autobiography is called I Drink for a Reason, after all.

You can catch Cross on the Yellow Stage at 5 p.m. on Saturday night. And then it’s back to the cinema again next year to see him, along with the rest of the Bluths, in the big-screen version of Arrested Development.

Man, this is going to be a really great year for all of us. Let’s all start celebrating now.

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FFF Comics We Heart: Hannibal Buress

Hannibal Buress is maybe a comedy genius.

Right out the gate, his first “real job” besides standup was writing for Saturday Night Live. Yeah, that happens for some people. When they’re really, really funny.

Mike Birbiglia called him “One of the best joke writers I’ve ever seen.” So that’s probably something.

The now 29-year old started doing standup in New York and got noticed for his educated take on the “observational stoner” comedy genre.

Like a lot of comedians, he claims to spend too much time on the Internet looking for new material, which is thankfully constantly evolving.

Thanks to his SNL credit, Buress began touring across the country as a feature and ended up on the late night talk show circuit, which is where the spotlight really increased for him. He later joined the writing team at 30 Rock and has had some hysterical cameos on that show as well.

He has two comedy albums out, one called My Name is Hannibal and one called Animal Furnace, which dropped in May of this year. The latter spawned the epic Comedy Central taping called Hannibal Buress: Animal Furnace.

Burress is now appearing on the Adult Swim show The Eric Andre Show and still touring around the country.

For example, he’ll be in New Jersey Thursday, the night before he’s on the Moontower Yellow Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest. (That is, if New Jersey still exists at that point in time…)

This is his third time in Austin this year, and we couldn’t be happier to see him back here again. He’s seriously at the top of his game right now, making a huge impact on the comedy scene right now.

You can see Hannibal Buress on the Moontower Yellow Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest on Friday, November 2nd at 4:45 p.m.

Then maybe he’ll show up over at Cap City for that night’s Punch…? We can always hope.

 

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FFF Comics We Heart: Eugene Mirman

You most likely know Eugene Mirman as the voice of Gene Belcher, the youngest child from FOX’s amazing animated family on Bob’s Burgers. On the show (just renewed for a fourth season!), he’s the ideal projection of an eager, stream-of-conscious, booger-covered kid that you can’t help but love.

But in real life, Russian-born Mirman (his middle name is Boris!) is the epitome of New England articulation and hipster-inspiring cleverness. He notices the things you don’t in everyday conversation. His sets often involve visual aides.

Here, his definition of “alternative comedy”:

Mirman is no stranger to touring, and often does so at rock clubs and music venues. He’s opened for Modest Mouse and The Shins and also toured on the Comedians of Comedy Tour with Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn and Maria Bamford.

He has his OWN festival called the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival.

Still, he’s been kind enough to visit Austin a few times. He’s been at SXSW twice now, once at a secret show at Frank with Aziz Ansari. And last year, almost the entire Bob’s Burgers cast came to perform at a couple of show’s at Esther’s Follies.

We’re pleased as punch to get to see him and his endlessly evolving set list yet again on the Moontower Comedy Yellow Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest. He performs on Sunday at 4:40pm, nestled right in between Har Mar Superstar and Doug Benson!

If you’ve got a wristband, make sure to give this guy a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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