It’s the 2015 Sketch Fest!

Head shot of Joe Wengert
Joe Wengert is headlining Austin Sketch Fest this year (Credit: Austin Sketch Fest).

Austin Sketch Fest is celebrating its 5th anniversary, and it’s happening now. I have grown to appreciate sketch comedy. Especially when considering how much time goes into writing a show, practicing, and shifting between scenes. It’s an exercise in efficiency.

Big Talent, Two Theaters

Sketch comedy is being celebrated this week at Coldtowne Theater and Spider House Ballroom. The festival will showcase more than 40 acts from Austin, NYC, L.A., Chicago and all points in between. Headliners for the event are Brent Weinbach (Conan, Comedy Central) and Joe Wengert (Kroll Show, Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, Comedy Bang Bang!). The headliners lead a vanguard of talented out of town acts. Girls with Brown Hair, 2girls1pup, and 100% Stuff will be bringing their unique style of sketch to the theaters.

Vanessa Gonzalez doing a Pancake Demon sketch.
Vanessa Gonzalez as the lonely, depressed binge eating Pancake Demon

Local talent includes Vanessa Gonzalez, Master Pancake Theater, Bad Example and STAG! Comedy. Readers of this site will be familiar with some of those names if not, click the links. I have seen Vanessa Gonzalez perform since my featured published this winter and she only keeps getting better. I also highly recommend seeing Megan Simon. Every three months or so, she writes brand new music for her one person show and it’s rock solid.

Master Pancake Theater

STAG Comedy doing a police sketch during Out of Bounds Comedy Fest.
STAG! Comedy has been an Austin staple for several years.

For those of you brand new to Austin, and by brand new, I mean you have less than 10 plastic Rudy’s BBQ cups in your cabinet, then let me tell you about Master Pancake Theater. Imagine a couple of guys so funny, that the Alamo Drafthouse allows them to talk during movies. John Erlher has been lampooning movies with a rotating cast since the early 00’s, and nothing is sacred. Recently Kath Barbadoro has been spending time with Master Pancake Theater while they mock 50 Shades of Grey.

Just a Bit of Stand Up

Megan Simon singing to her audience.
Megan Simon is a Sketch Fest must see.

If you’re into stand up, Sketch Fest will be featuring a few local comedians too. Bryan Gutman will be recording an album from Spider House Ballroom for Sure Thing Records, Zac Brooks, Avery Moore and others will be doing sets as well. Zac Brooks is a comedian you need to see if you haven’t yet. He’s featured on the Sure Thing’s debut recording and has been everywhere in Austin.

Details

There’s still plenty of time to check out Austin Sketch Fest. Whichever venue you decide to go to, be sure to get there a bit early since parking can get tight. The Spider House Ballroom, at  2908 Fruth St, features a full bar and menu. Coldtowne Theater, at 4803-B Airport Blvd, is byob and sells snacks at the box office.

Tickets are an accessible $5-$15. Seating is limited. For ticket information, visit atxsketchfest.com

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2015 Funniest Person in Austin Week 4 Round Up

Headshot of Michael Foulk
Michael Foulk is another TNM Theater Alumni to find success at FPIA (Credit: Henry Linser).

The 2015 Funniest Person in Austin Week Four prelims ended just as strong as previous weeks. Being caught up with the Moontower Comedy Fest threw me off kilt a bit so I apologize for this last minute round up.

Sunday 4/26/15: Round 9

Lashonda Lester, Allie Amrien and Sonny Castillo moved on the the Semi-Finals in the conest. and David McQuary grabbed the alternate spot. I know Lashonda Lester and I am happy that she advanced. She’s a busy bee as well. Lashonda curates the monthly True Hollywood Tales show at the Salvage Vanguard Theater and has been featured in many showcases around town. The Detroit Diaspora participant also isn’t scared to do stand up in the valley where the paranoid wives of American oil company workers pack .38 Specials in their garter belts.

Monday 4/27/15: Round 10

Andrew Cooksey, Jon Mendoza and Allen Edwin Butt grabbed the Semi-Final spots, with Michael Foulk earning the alternate spot.  Jon Mendoza is one of those joke tellers I love to listen to. Like Cody Hustak and Ali Safar, Mendoza’s set up and delivery are clean and simple. It’s his timing and word play that makes the judges want him to move up in the competition.

Michael Foulk is another New Movement Theater alumni who’s met success in the Funniest Person in Austin competition this year. Along with Martin Urbano, Vanessa Gonzalez, Ella Gale… and you know what?  Just read my previous entries in this series. Foulk is a talented sketch performer with Bad Example and has costarred with Lisa Freidrich in the indy thriller, Meet Me There.

Tuesday 4/28/15: Round 11

Andrew Murphy, Kerri Lendo and Tafadzwa Gwaze scored those sweet Semi-Final envelopes. Cody Greenlee earned the alternate spot. Lendo is coming off a pretty successful Moontower run. She was featured on one of the Four Eyes shows at the Vuclan Gas Company and hosted for Maria Bamford at the Stateside.

Tafadzwa Gwaze is another comedian I’ve seen around town. He takes a new approach to race relations and mixes it together with a healthy dash of off beat pop culture references. I dig it and want to see him perform more.

Deets

Tonight kicks of the final week of the 2015 FPIA prelims. Ticket information can be found online at Cap City’s website or over the phone at 467-2333.

If you want to contact me here at Comedy Wham, the email is David@Comedywham.com or hit me up on twitter: @comedywham.