The Austin Chronicle

Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest: Local Stars on the Rise

By Samantha Johnson, April 11, 2016, 12:04pm, Chron Events Blog

In the four years since its inception, Moontower Comedy Festival has become a staple in the comedic community. From April 20th-23rd, nearly 100 performers will flood our city, flexing their funny bones in various venues around Austin.

With the festival comes an onslaught of household names including living legend Martin Short, SNL veteran Maya Rudolph, and cult classic creator Kevin Smith, among many others.

However, the real spark in this year’s lineup is the influx of local talent taking the stage. And while generally we like to hide our local gems for ourselves, these guys and gals shine far too bright not to share.

Here are ten of this year’s must-see Austin comics:

1. Abby Rosenquist
Don’t let Abby’s sweet disposition fool you. Her unique brand of dark but engaging humor tackles everything from rugby to sex and has charmed audiences from Montana to Montreal. Catch her at The Velv Comedy Lounge, April 21 at 10:30pm.

2. Maggie Maye
Maggie Maye's refreshing style of humor is both charming and intelligent. Her clever takes on race and culture have garnered her a notable following in the comedy festival circuit and mentions in publications like The Huffington Post and The New York Times. Lucky for you, this sassy, smart comedian will be performing at three venues throughout the festival. View performance times here.

3. Chris Tellez
Chris’ remarkable talent for finding amusement in the macabre sets the tone for his success as a performer. His dark, droll humor is infectious and always leaves his crowds laughing. Aside from his featured performances in various comedy festivals, Chris also finds time to host Shit’s Golden, a monthly show featuring both local and touring comics. Check out this hilarious Austin comic at Speakeasy, April 23 at 8pm.

4. Ella Gale
Ella’s absurdist humor and flagrant feminist sensibilities make us proud to know she call’s Austin home. When she’s not working as an engineer, this clever comedienne performs various shows around town including her set Naughty Bits and her collaborations with Comedy Bazaar. Check out Ella’s performing times here.

5. Daniel Webb
Daniel’s exuberant energy just can’t be taught. Whether he’s talking politics or cracking gay jokes, his vivacious delivery has crowds everywhere swooning. Don’t miss this whirlwind of laughter and obscenities appearing at various venues around town. Set times here.

6. Bryan Gutmann
Bryan is a seasoned veteran in Austin’s comedy scene and it’s easy to see why. His effortless blend of charm and cynicism has earned him featured spots on Comedy Central and in comedy festivals across America. Check out Bryan April 21 at 8:30pm at The Velv Comedy Lounge.

7. Lashonda Lester
Originally from Detroit, Lashonda brings her down-to-earth attitude to the stage with hilarious observations and an unmatched level of charisma. When she’s not entertaining Austin crowds, Lashonda also produces the series Weird True Hollywood Tales. Find her performance times here.

8. M.K. Paulsen
Though he’s traveled the world, M.K. Paulsen is a tried-and-true Austin comedian. A regular on the local circuit, M.K.’s natural stage presence and whimsical outlook make him a notorious crowd pleaser...not to mention his hilarious web presence on Twitter. Check out the set times for this Austin favorite here.

9. Avery Moore
Avery’s goofy range of comedic voices is just one of the things we love about this comic. Her eccentric attitude and her hilarious habit of spontaneously bursting into song make even the most mundane of observations funny. Don’t miss Avery’s performance April 22 at 8pm at the Cap City Comedy Club.

10. Joe Hafkey
This list just wouldn’t be complete without Joe Hafkey. From politics to the apocalypse, Joe’s snarky, cynical outlook spotlight’s everything we love to hate with his classically Austin attitude. When he isn’t dominating the comedy festival circuit, Joe can be found back in ATX co-hosting his show Triplane at the Wright Bros. Brew & Brew. Catch his clever performance at The Velv Comedy Lounge, April 21 at 8:30pm.

Follow us @ChronEvents for the latest updates on this year's festival and check out the Moontower website to find the full list of this year's performers!

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