Tag Archives: The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival

Chris Trew and the New Capital of Funny

Comedian, rapper, improv prodigy, and New Movement Theater impresario Chris Trew gives a brief history of how Austin, Texas, came to be Hilarity’s HQ. Trew (along with his TNM cohorts) founded the Hell Yes Fest in 2011 and the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival was — and still very much is– pleased as Punch and Judy (so many peeps are only 50% pleased, right Tami?) that Trew folded in the Hell Yes Players, his artistic vision, and hijinks and gave Moontower a steady stream of amazing improvisational comedy. Austinites are well advised to catch a show at TNM’s new digs year-round at 616 Lavaca Street (and free citizens of New Orleans and Houston should also (re)familiarize themselves with the glory of a New Movement show). Moontower has packed up until next year but the Funny is all around town and ready to course through you like an Ensure (note to self: fact check whether Ensure “courses” and if this simile plays as “nourishing” or if it reads “grody” either to the maximum or even a minimum).

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View from Moontower: Nick Offerman

Megan Mullally at the historic Paramount Theatre. April 26, 2012 [photo by Marc Brown].

Stephanie Hunt [photo by Marc Brown]

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Moontower Snapshots: Lone Star Greats

Kerry Awn

Matt Bearden

Bob Biggerstaff

Chris Cubas

Bryan Gutmann

John Ramsey

John Tole

Paul Varghese

All photos by Darcie Siiteri and this post just illustrates a fraction of the incredible Texas-based comedians who make our state intentionally funny and who also make Austin such an incredible comedy town. Moontower was a success because Austin is home to so many amazing comics and who in turn foster amazing Austin audiences and appetites for improv, sketch comedy, and stand-up of all stripes.

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View from Moontower: Inside Joke

Kerri Lendo [photo by Marc Brown]

John Merriman [photo by Marc Brown]

Austin-based comedian Kerri Lendo and actor/filmmaker/funnyman John Merriman hosted the marvelous Moontower “Inside Joke” video segments that were produced by Picturebox productions. Comedy Moontower witnessed several top name comedians altar their schedules to appear on “Inside Joke,” which would not likely have been the case if the clips weren’t so well produced, if “Inside Joke” didn’t have such an apparent purity of motive, and if Kerri and John weren’t such delightful hosts and splendid ambassadors. UPDATE: Comedy Moontower has learned from a source familiar with negotiations that “Inside Joke” has an offer from sole sponsor Monsanto to produce a weekly program for San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications “just like ‘Inside Joke’ but shittier.” UPDATE II: Apparently “Inside Joke” has hit a bump on the fast track to watered down corporate infotainment. Merriman is quoted in Teen Zine USA as saying, “I am honored by Monsanto’s faith in the show and excited about their “Ruining The Planet: One Meal at a Time” campaign but Kerri and I feel that their insistence of Carlos Mencia’s participation would disrupt our on camera chemistry.” Stay tuned but it seems that, for now, “Inside Joke” will remain DIY and “good.”

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View from Moontower: Theme Park

L-R: Laraine Newman, Janet Varney, Cole Stratton, Oscar Nuñez [photos by Jack Plunkett]

L-R: Oscar Nuñez, Jessica Makinson, Janet Varney

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View from Moontower: Wanda Sykes

Keith Robinson featuring at the historic Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX. 4/28/12.

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View from Moontower: Marc Maron

(photo by Jack Plunkett)

Marc Maron appearing live on SiriusXM’s Covino & Rich show (photo by Angela Morales)

“Thank you, Austin! The Moontower Comedy Festival was a tremendous success. It was their first year and they did a hell of job. All the shows were great. They treated me good and I really appreciate you all coming out. I also had a great time hanging out with all the other comics, some I hadn’t seen in a long time. I was able to see Steven Wright live for the first time and that was really fucking special. Love that guy. It was really the most organized and well-run festival I have ever been involved with. Congrats, Moontower! I hope I see you next year.”                                                                                                              Marc Maron (reprinted from his 4/30/12 WTF dispatch)

From his headlining show at the Mohawk and his appearances at the Parish and Scottish Rite, Marc Maron was in tip-top form at the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival. Comedy Moontower caught Maron on Friday at Duncan Trussell’s “Show House” at the Parish and it was a pitch-perfect set and the most assured of all the times this bloggo has caught Maron live (and this wasn’t simply due to walking into the energy field Moshe Kasher left behind, as Maron queried). Like John Mulaney, Maron was a masterful raconteur when recounting his doings in Central Texas (in his case, a trip to Opie’s BBQ in Spicewood, TX). Listen to Marc’s most recent WTF epidsode #275 (with Chelsea Handler) to hear him retell his hilarious and epic “Q” run (and also say some incredibly nice things about Moontower). And Marc (and gentle readers), MT2 is already on the books for 2013!

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Moontower Snapshot

(l-r) Jeff Ross, Steven Wright, Wanda Sykes, Dana Gould [photo by Jack Plunkett]

(Stay tuned for more Scenes from the inaugural 2012 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival)