“Best of Austin” Winner Avery Moore Isn’t Kidding Around

"Hey man, this is for you"

Avery Moore is funny. Like, Funniest Person in Austin finalist, Austin Music Awards-hosting, "Best of Austin"-winning funny. She will be participating in Moontower Just For Laughs, saying funny things onstage. We sat down with her, hoping she would say funny things.

Austin Chronicle: Tell me a little bit about your history with Moontower.

Avery Moore: Moontower is near and dear to my heart. It's like comedy Christmas. I love the people that produce it. I love the staff at the Paramount. They're incredibly supportive and amazing. I think I've done it for eight years in a row, something like that. I'm not sure. My friend Scott [Butler] runs part of that. I think he said that I might be the comic that's done Moontower the most, which is really cool. They let me do all of my weird shtick shows, like the Joke of Painting (cohosted with Andrew Murphy), which is a show where I have the comics paint part of their set. We provide art supplies for the audience, and they paint along, like real silly stuff. And you get to see your friends from all over the country come in. Then you get to be on a festival with your heroes. You know? Last year, I did a show with Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Gould. Dana fucking Gould. I was like, "Ah. Well, you wrote The Simpsons."

AC: What does Moontower mean for the Austin comedy scene?

AM: It's a great honor to be asked to do it. Everyone wants to do Moontower. It's one of the best, and we get to have it here in our town. It's not in New York. It's not in L.A. It's in Austin, and if you just work and do open mics and get in front of the right people and write good jokes, eventually, one of those people is going to see you and give you a shot. They try to bring in new, fresh faces every year, and I think it's a great opportunity for comics that live here and maybe haven't toured a bunch to be seen by some pretty important people, but also to get to do a show with a hero of yours, and they tell [you] you're funny ... if you did a good job.

That means the world. Dan Soder last year came up to me and wanted to talk about a joke that I wrote, and I was like, "Uh. Uh." I always want to puke the whole time at Moontower. But yeah, I just love it.

“[JJ Cale] wrote a song called ‘Cocaine.’ That’s it. There’s no innuendo, no beating around the bush.” –Avery Moore

AC: If I had to say what your signature move is, it's taking a piece of pop culture that is honestly too old for you, and then squeezing the ridiculousness out of it until it's hilarious. Like where you take "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)." That bit is so, so good and so precise for people that get it. 

AM: I'm looking for like the six people that I'm like, "Hey man, this is for you. I'm going to sprinkle in and make it funny for everybody, but I'm going to get your ass." I'm just a goofy asshole, but I've just been old my whole life, and this is all I've ever wanted to do, and I've just been doing bits for my parents and their friends and then the people around me forever. I used to do an impression of Groucho Marx when I was like 7. I mean, he's my favorite guy, but that's not what a 7-year-old does. I would just do it to get attention, and I think that's what I still do it for.

But I'm not making fun of it. It's legitimately what I like. Steely Dan is my favorite band. The Eagles bit, I'm genuinely serious. Like, fuck you if you don't like the Eagles. They fucking ripped. What's wrong with you? Karen Carpenter's my hero. I'm not being facetious when I do that stuff, and I think people think it's a shtick. I'm like, "Man, it is not." Get in my car, and listen to my phone. I'm not playing games, dude. Pop music used to be earnest. This is a common trope. This isn't something I wrote or came up with, but pop musicians didn't used to be hot. They just used to be talented and goofy-looking. Goofy-looking fuckers that are superstars. And now, you've got to be Dua Lipa. Everyone lived to the extreme back then, too. [JJ Cale] wrote a song called "Cocaine." That's it. There's no innuendo, no beating around the bush. They're just like, "We party, and we fuck." People are just writing these crazy songs.

Avery Moore at Moontower Just for Laughs 2022

The Paramount Story Wranglers: Wed., April 13, 5pm at Stateside
Glow Show: Wed., April 20, 9:30pm at the Parish
Shebang Thu., April 21, 7pm, the Parish; Sat., April 23, 7pm, Antone's
The Joke of Painting: Sat., April 23, 6:30pm at Velv Comedy Lounge

Moontower Just For Laughs 2022, April 13-24. Tickets and info at moontowercomedyfest.com.

Find all our news, reviews, and interviews from the fest at austinchronicle.com/moontower-comedy-festival.

This article was updated to indicate that JJ Cale, not Eric Clapton, wrote "Cocaine."

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