What to See When You Aren't Catching Moontower Comedy's Big Shows

Bonnie McFarlane
Bonnie McFarlane

Anybody attending the 2019 Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival could easily obtain their full share of laughs by spending all four nights with the headlining acts. I mean, come on: Nick Offerman, David Spade, Nate Bargatze, Sal Vulcano, Jenny Slate, Vir Das, Anthony Atamanuik, Hari Kondabolu, Ronny Chieng, Jon Glaser, Amanda Seales, and the cast of Schitt's Creek ... comedy gold! But part of the joy of Moontower is venturing out to the satellite venues and discovering comics you don't know – often swapping the mic with several other stand-up masters in masterfully curated shows. Space prohibits us from listing every one of those shows we're primed to catch, but here are a handful of sets you shouldn't miss.

Kevin McDonald & Friends

The Kids in the Hall co-founder – one of Canada's finest exports – gets chummy with a Brooklynite, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon writer Jo Firestone, and some cherished hometown heroes: Baskets co-star Martha Kelly and Austin's funniest evangelicals, the McCuewans.
Wed., April 24, 8pm
Fallout Theater, 620 Lavaca

Sklar Brothers and Friends: Tag It!

Moontower mainstays Randy and Jason Sklar try to improve the jokes of their comic pals as they tell them. The Sklars observe from the sidelines, then suggest gags and tags for bits they've seen. Submitting themselves to this comedy crit review is a murderers' row of comics who kill: Jon Dore, Bonnie McFarlane, Andy Kindler, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Gareth Reynolds, Eliza Skinner, and Daniel Van Kirk.
Thu., April 25, 10pm
Parish, 214 E. Sixth

Stand-up on the Spot With Jeremiah Watkins

Like to see comics sweat onstage even more than they usually do? How about a show where they take to the mic without a net – that is, with no prepared material. In "Stand-up on the Spot," the audience supplies the topic and the comic has to improvise a set from there. Accepting the challenge at this year's Moontower will be Tim Dillon, Jessica Kirson, Josh Adam Meyers, Avery Pearson, Chris Redd, and Taylor Tomlinson.
Fri., April 26, 8pm
Velv Comedy Lounge, 521 E. Sixth

Would You Bang Him?

In the Moontower edition of Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos' slut-shaming game show, male comics Tim Dillon, Jon Dore, Dana Gould, and Gareth Reynolds will each have their 5-minute sets judged by the panel of Marina Franklin, Carmen Lynch, and Mary Lynn Rajskub, who will decide, based on the quality of the stand-up, whether or not they would bang the guys.
Sat., April 27, 8pm
Speakeasy, 412 Congress

On Story

If you're as keen on the craft of comedy and the biz side of show as in getting to laugh, then check out what the Austin Film Festival is hosting in Ballroom B of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel: three tapings of its acclaimed interview series On Story. You'll hear from Kids in the Hall's Kevin McDonald (Fri., April 26, 5pm), Stan Against Evil creator Dana Gould (Sat., April 27, 10am), and SNL's Sasheer Zamata (Sat., April 27, 11:30am).

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More Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival
Moontower Comedian Lauren Lapkus, Tube Raider
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The comedian and actress digs up the good, the bad, and the cheesy of pre-Y2K television in the podcast Raised by TV

Ashley Moreno, April 20, 2018

Making Tragedy Funny Again at Moontower Comedy
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Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, Moontower Comedy 2019, Martha Kelly, the McCuewans, Kevin McDonald, Sklar Brothers, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Andy Kindler, Bonnie McFarlane, Dana Gould

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