ALL JOKING ASIDE
Just look at the accusations that Hasan Minhaj fabricated part of his act or the recent furor over Matt Rife’s shift from TikTok darling to Netflix edgelord. Comedy has never been more relevant to society, providing fodder for thousands of think pieces and the tribal borders for contemporary identity. It’s fitting that a city vexed by a changing cultural identity would devote one of its marquee festivals to the art of the joke.
On November 30, Moontower Just For Laughs Austin released the initial lineup for its two-week romp. From April 10-21, comedy juggernauts and emerging stars will grace more than 10 downtown venues. And for the first time, the festival will include two arena shows. Andrew Schulz, whose monster special Infamous was filmed at the Paramount Theatre, headlines the Moody Center on April 19. Plus, hot off his first Netflix special, Shane Gillis will kick off the first weekend at the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park.
Fans of ‘90s and aughts nostalgia will also have plenty to look forward to. Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey will discuss all things Dunder Mifflin at ACL Live for a taping of their blockbuster podcast Office Ladies. Marking the 30th anniversary of their groundbreaking MTV series, sketch troupe The State will reunite on stage with Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon, Michael Patrick Jann, Kevin Allison, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Joe Lo Truglio, David Wain, and Ken Marino combining old and new material.
Some of the powerhouse women of the era will also make a Moontower stop. No stranger to the discourse around comedy, two-time Emmy and Grammy award winner Kathy Griffin brings her new show My Life on the PTSD List to Paramount. Strangers With Candy legend Amy Sedaris and groundbreaker Margaret Cho will perform headlining sets.
Other standouts include Nailed It! host Nicole Byer, stand-up favorite Brad Williams, alt-comedy star Marc Maron, 2023 White House Correspondents’ Dinner host Roy Wood Jr., Adult Swim star Joe Pera, and RuPaul’s Drag Race standout Mo Heart.
The State Theatre will host some of the genre’s most imaginative emerging voices. Must-see performers include millennial cabaret act Catherine Cohen, quadrilingual favorite Sugar Sammy, rising star Ken Flores, and observational Finn ISMO. Claire Parker and Ashley Hamilton will explore the lurid world of Hollywood autobiographies as part of their Celebrity Memoir Book Club podcast.
The festival will peak during a four-day comedy bacchanal from April 17-20. Venues throughout downtown Austin will double over as Tina Friml, Todd Barry, Jenny Zigrino, Carmen Christopher, Django Gold, Leslie Liao, Opey Olagbaju, Poly Diaz, Shane Torres, the Sklar Brothers, and the 2 Dykes and a Mic podcast take on club shows.
Festival badges, now on sale for $150-$275, allow comic buffs to personalize their experience. While all passes ensure entry to all club shows, the premium tickets come with perks like private happy hours, presale access to headliners, and access to a private mezzanine bar at the Paramount. Additional performers will be announced in the upcoming months.
- Moontower Comedy presents Mekki Leeper ›
- Moontower Comedy presents Anthony Jeselnik: Bones and All ›
- Moontower Comedy presents Trevor Wallace ›
- Moontower Comedy Festival unveils first headliners for 2019 lineup ›
- Moontower Comedy presents Jimmy O. Yang ›
- Moontower Comedy presents Jonathan Van Ness: Fun & Slutty ›
- 'Marcel the Shell' joins Austin Moontower comedy festival lineup with other SNL alumni ›
- Moontower Comedy Fest releases 2014 lineup, including Aziz Ansari and Hannibal Buress ›
- Moontower Comedy presents Whose Live Anyway? ›
- Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest reveals 2015 lineup including huge headliners and classic comedians ›