Famed comedy fest returns to Austin with 4 days of funny this fall

Famed comedy fest returns to Austin with 4 days of funny this fall

Margaret Cho
Mistress of mirth Margaret Cho is one of many comics headlining this year's festival. Courtesy of Moontower Comedy Festival

A gaggle of hilarity is descending on downtown Austin this fall as the Moontower Comedy Festival returns to the Capital City for its 10th year.

More than 100 comics — superstars Margaret Cho, Dave Attell, and Doug Benson among them — will take over 10 different downtown Austin venues for four days of stand-up comedy shows, podcasts, parties, and special events from September 22-25.

Festival badges are on sale now at and range from those including premium seats at headlining shows with lots of perks, to badges giving laugh fans entry to more than 70 shows at downtown venues. Badges are also available at the Paramount Theatre box office and by calling 512-474-1221.

Moontower Comedy Festival, produced by the Paramount Theatre and sponsored by adored local laugh hot spot Cap City Comedy Club, has been dubbed “an embarrassment of comedy riches,” in part for featuring a diverse array of comedic performers, from famed big shots to cult favorites, comedy up-and-comers, and a bevy of local favorites.

The milestone 10-year anniversary festival, which comes at a time when Austinites are seriously in need of some laughter and good times, will include more comedy than ever before, with more daytime programming, the return of the Paramount Midnight Show, and a host of new Austin venues. 

While additional performers will be added to the Moontower lineup in the coming months, the first round of announced comedians, revealed Thursday, June 10, includes headliners who will perform at the Paramount and Stateside theaters downtown.

Moontower Comedy Festival headliners include:

  • The unapologetically sassy and hilarious Margaret Cho, who returns to the festival this year at the Paramount.
  • Dave Attell, the New York comedian, actor, writer, and host of Comedy Central’s Insomniac with Dave Attell, who will make his Moontower debut.
  • Leanne Morgan, whose mom-centric comedy has gained her loads of fans during her Big Panty Tour.
  • Bob the Drag Queen, fan-favorite winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, who will usher in the return of midnight shows at the festival.
  • Jacqueline Novak, who will perform her off-Broadway one-woman stand-up show, Get On Your Knees.
  • Cute-as-can-be comedic genius Maria Bamford.
  • Actor and comic Brad Williams, who was once referred to by Robin Williams as “Prozac with a head.”
  • Actor and comedian Dan Soder, who Showtime fans will recognize as Mafee in the Billions series.

The lineup announcement also notes other comedians appearing as part of the Moontower Comedy Festival this fall. They include Andy Kindler, Doug Benson, Erin Foley, Jessica Kirson, Matt Bearden, Sam Morril, Moshe Kasher, Natasha Leggero, The Sklar Brothers, Vanessa Gonzalez, Hannah Einbinder, and Tom Segura en Espanol (performed entirely in Spanish).

The current full lineup of participating comics is available on the Moontower website.

In addition to its must-see stand-up shows, Moontower will feature several live podcasts and broadcasts from the festival stages. The 2021 program will include fest favorites The 500 with Josh Adam Meyers, SiriusXM’s The Bonfire with Dan Soder and Big Jay Oakerson, and Will You Accept This Rose? with Arden Myrin, as well as the Moontower debuts of The Endless Honeymoon with Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher, Are You Garbage? with H. Foley and Kevin Ryan, Going Deep with Chad and JT, Doug Loves Movies with Doug Benson, Jeremiah Wonders with Jeremiah Watkins, and Pod Don’t Lie with Sam and Stav with Sam Morril and Stavros Halkias.

“We’re back and better than ever,” says Lietza Brass, festival director. “Our fans have grown to expect Moontower to deliver the freshest and very best in comedy, podcasts and events. This year is no exception. As if there wasn’t enough to celebrate coming out of an incredibly challenging year for live comedy, we are thrilled to be reuniting just in time to really ‘party at the Moontower’ in honor of 10 years growing what has become an incredibly tightknit community of the comedy-obsessed.”