Moontower Review: Unhinged

You don't have to be on Congress to strike comedy gold at Moontower

Eddie Pepitone
Eddie Pepitone (Courtesy of Paul Bartunek)

While bigger stuff was going down at the Paramount and Stateside theatres on Thursday, a comedy showcase called “Unhinged” was demonstrating how Moontower’s selling points need not be confined to Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, and wildly popular comedians of their ilk (you know, people with TV shows and immortal bits about KFC Famous Bowls).

Taking place at the Parish on Dirty Sixth, Unhinged not only trotted out a bevy of the industry’s stars of tomorrow, but it also wielded some established star-power of its own via show emcee and elder statesman Eddie Pepitone (aka “the Bitter Buddha”). To boot, Mr. World Champion himself, 30 Rock’s Judah Friedlander ambled onstage with trademark hat on head and some good-natured Canada-bashing that he needed to get off his chest. Oddly enough, Friedlander’s exceptional wit and ostensibly spontaneous turns of phrase clash with his cultivated and time-tested aesthetic of backwoods illiterate. But certainly the paradox is the point.

The evening’s slate of funny young-ish things included Kate Berlant, Erica Rhodes, Mike Lawrence, Arlington Mitra, Randy Liedtke, Guy Branum, Simon Amstel, Rachel Feinstein (a former Last Comic Standing finalist), and former Austin-based comic Doug Mellard. Perhaps the most unique of the bunch was Branum: big, white as alabaster Dutch Boy paint, and so very awesomely gay. The big, teddy bear-ish fella knows how to command a stage, and the result is rather foreboding and disarming all at once.

Pepitone, though, was a terrific and steady interlude between each comic. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of taking in his bleating, and oftentimes indignant lunacy, you’re missing out. Hopefully one day he’ll get some time on the Paramount stage during a Moontower not so far, far away.

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Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, Unhinged, Eddie Pepitone, Erica Rhodes, Guy Branum, Rachel Feinstein, Doug Mellard, Moontower Comedy 2015

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