Just for laughs
Austin's favorite comedy festival, Moontower Just for Laughs Austin, is coming back in 2023 with even more big names than the 2022 lineup. The formerly four-day festival became a two-week festival in 2022 after Austin's Moontower Comedy teamed up with Montreal's Just for Laughs. Taking place over more than 10 venues around the city, the hilarious fortnight manages to balance big names and rising stars alike every year and 2023 looks no different.
According to an initial lineup release, next year's installment will bring everyone from Trevor Noah to local favorites to the stage, from April 12-23, 2023. The festival coincides with Noah's Off the Record tour, which he brings to Austin's Bass Concert Hall for four nights. Along with Noah, the release lists more than 20 Paramount and Stateside headlining shows, with more still to come.
A few returning faces include Seth Meyers, Felipe Esparza, and Vir Das, along with Brad Williams, Maria Bamford, Robert Kelly, and Preacher Lawson. Among the festival debuts are Kenny Sebastian, who rose to prominence on YouTube before releasing specials on Amazon Prime and Netflix, as well as Chris Distefano, whose Brooklyn-born edge and nice-guy charm won over fans of MTV’s Girl Code/Guy Code series before releasing specials on both Comedy Central and Netflix
Saturday Night Live cast members, past and present, tend to make a good showing at the festival, with legends Dana Carvey and David Spade bringing their podcast to the stage in 2022 with new cast member James Austin Johnson as their special guest. 2023's lineup will feature some of the show's newest cast members, including Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker, who cut his teeth in the Austin comedy scene before moving to New York.
“As we continue our quest of building the ultimate comedy event in Austin, our partnership with Just For Laughs adds more diversity, variety and fun for our comedy fans,” says Lietza Brass, Moontower Just For Laughs Austin festival director, in a release. “Together we bring a large and exciting roster centered on the brightest comedy stars of today from the U.S., Texas, and abroad. We’re proud to expand our program of presenting shows in Spanish in 2023. We truly have something to please everyone’s taste.”
Christine Melko-Ross, a vice president of Just For Laughs added, “We are excited to continue to expand the Moontower Just For Laughs Austin brand and footprint by curating a diverse line-up of international and U.S. stars and headliners while shining a spotlight on some of the best comedians and podcasts from around the world.”
Badges for the 2023 festival are already available for purchase, with new bundles and packages available this year. For more information, and to stay up to date with new lineup releases over the coming months, head to moontowercomedyfest.com.