The Austin Chronicle

Moontower 5: First Wave of Comics Announced

By Robert Faires, November 17, 2015, 10:30am, All Over Creation

The Paramount Theatre is wasting no time in building the anticipation for its fifth Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival. Rather than wait until January to announce the first wave of comics, the theatre has made a pre-Thanksgiving drop of 28 comedians lined up for 2016, and topping the list are Martin Short and Kevin Smith.

Yes, the SCTV/SNL alumnus, star of stage and screen, and author of I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend will be joining the Moontower party, as will the filmmaker responsible for Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Plans call for Smith to do a live taping of his Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcast with Jason Mewes as a special badge-only event.

Among the more than two dozen other comedians and comedy acts confirmed for Moontower 5, taking place April 20-23, are several fest faves: perennial headliner Maria Bamford; Jim Norton, co-host of Sirius XM's Opie with Jim Norton; the Sklar Brothers; Ron Funches of NBC’s Undateable Live; Andy Kindler; Beth Stelling; and James Adomian.

But Moontower doesn't simply lean on the same reliable laugh makers year after year. The team behind the festival has made a point of looking beyond the ranks of standard stand-up to comedy acts that will earn it that "… & Oddity" in its title. Contenders in 2016 look to be comedy lounge act The Lampshades, starring The Office's Kate Flannery and a porn-'stached Scott Robinson (Anchorman); MADtv alum Anjelah Johnson presenting her breakout character from that show in Bon Qui Qui’s Gold Plated Dreams Tour, based on the rap album she released this past January; English magician and America’s Got Talent finalist Piff the Magic Dragon, with his magic-performing Chihuahua Mr. Piffles; and Goddamn Comedy Jam, the event hosted by Josh Adam Meyers in which comics follow their stand-up sets by belting out covers of their favorite rock songs, karaoke-style, to live music played by house band Elemenopy.

Filling out the roster of scheduled comics are: new SNL cast member Jon Rudnitsky; Comedy Central Roast writer Jesse Joyce; the Peanut of XD Disney's Pickle and Peanut, Johnny Pemberton; Canadian comedy superstar Debra DiGiovanni; Ahmed Bharoocha; Joe DeRosa; Sean Donnelly; Jo Firestone; Matteo Lane; Annie Lederman; Joe List; Tony Rock; Brad Williams; and Jenny Zigrino.

Moontower badges are available now at a special early bird rate. To get the lowdown, call the Paramount box office at 512/474-1221 or visit

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