Moontower Comedy Fest Returns to Austin

By David Thomas

I enjoy the Moontower Comedy Fest. Every year I have to force myself to pry away from showcases dedicated to local comedians and see out of town comedians. When I do, I always find an act I haven’t heard before and go home with new comedians for my teenager to check out.

Always Something New

moontower-marquisHosted by Austin’s iconic Paramount Theatre, the festival runs from April 20th to April 23rd and features a cross section of the best comedians the nation and Austin has to offer. I always enjoy seeing acts like Big Jay Oakerson, Maria Bamford and Andy Kindler in same weekend. Some of these acts rarely pass through town and quite a bit of time passes between visits of those we consider regulars. Getting to see many of these acts in one weekend helps fill the gaps a bit.

Last year was particularly fun for me. I was able to see Irish comedian David O’Doherty on Pete Holmes’ podcast, You Made It Weird, and catch his stand up.  The dude is magic with a Casio keyboard. This is where Moontower Comedy Fest shines. If not for the festival, I probably wouldn’t have seen O’Dohetry live since he rarely comes to the U.S. (well, that was the case when I spoke to him last year).

More Than Stand Up

Event goers should be very excited about the line up this year. Maya Rudolph, Janeane Garofalo and Martin Short are just a few of the

Brendon Walsh brings The Bone Zone back to Austin
Brendon Walsh brings The Bone Zone back to Austin

headliners scheduled to appear. On top fo that, the SiriusXM radio show Opie with Jim Norton will be doing two shows

over the weekend. Besides Opie with Jim Norton, The Sklar Brothers and Brendon Walsh are bringing their podcasts to town. Sklarbro Country will be doing a live podcast from Speakeasy on the 22nd at 7pm. Bone Zone is podcasting from the Velv Comedy Lounge on the same day at 5pm. Sklarbro Country isn’t the only podcast Speakeasy is hosting. The dynamic duo of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are bring Jay and Silent Bob Get Old to the Moontower Comedy Fest for a badge only event on the 23rd at 5pm.

It’s cool the festival organizers have expanded into radio/podcast broadcasts. It gives fans an opportunity to see and interact with the comedians in a casual atmosphere. What many people enjoy about these formats is that they feel like they’re part of a conversation – almost like sitting on a front porch and sipping lemonade with the hosts – or something like that.

Don’t Be Overwhelmed

Maria Bamford (Credit: Moontower)
Maria Bamford (Credit: Moontower)

Moontower Comedy Festival staples return in the form of the lounge at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel where fans can have a few drinks and mingle with comedians over the weekend. At 2pm on the 23rd, the Sklar Brothers will host the annual Ping Pong Smackdown. This is always fun to watch as comedians vie for the championship while the Sklar Brothers provide color commentary.

Choosing which show, headliner or event to attend can be overwhelming for a fan. Don’t worry, we at Comedy Wham have you covered. Over the course of the next week, Valerie, Lara and I will be posting our recommendations for the Moontower Comedy Festival. Of course, these are only recommendations and are not intended to be a yellow brick road.

Details

Badges and single tickets to headlining shows are still available.  All badges come with reduced rate parking at One American Center which is just a block west of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel.  All festival information can be found on Moontower Comedy Fest’s website.

 

 

Piranha Is Cap City’s Shark Tank

Matt Bearden (Credit: KLBJ FM)
Matt Bearden (Credit: KLBJ FM)

By Lara Smith

Piranha. Is it a vicious fish found in the Amazon? Is it a series of campy horror films? Yes, and it’s also the latest genius comedy showcase creation from Austin’s legendary comedian, Matt Bearden. Slated as a “game show style-up event,” Bearden self-describes it as a “rip off” of the television show Shark Tank.

How it Works

A panel consisting of Matt Bearden and two other seasoned comedians serve as judges and investors. Previous panel members have included Chris Cubas, Mike MacRae, Brian Gaar and Johnny Hardwick. A lineup of some of the best up-and-coming comedians perform jokes that they are willing to part with… for the right price. The panel is given a budget for the night to bid on jokes they would like to purchase for their own. These are the basic mechanics of Piranha. What actually happens is an absolutely unique comedy experience.

What You Get

On top of getting several great sets from the performers, audiences are treated to cross-talk between the judges, interactions with the performers and panel, bidding wars, and a whole lot of ball-busting! What this showcase offers that others don’t, is an opportunity to see the nuances of comedy and joke writing. Bits get broken down and sometimes even reworked in front of the audience.

(Credit: Punch! Comedy)
(Credit: Punch! Comedy)

Judges offer feedback on what jokes they love and sometimes what jokes to reject entirely. Often, members of the panel shell out large chunks of their budget just for the rights to a single phrase. You get to see behind the curtain at a part of comedy that often takes place at 3 AM in living rooms after a show. The crowd feels like it’s part of the bidding war as its cheers and shouts of suggested offers go flying around the room. It is truly one of the most energizing comedy events that Austin has to offer.

If you haven’t gotten to see an edition of Piranha, don’t worry, the showcase is coming to Moontower Comedy & Oddity Fest April 23rd 10:30 PM at The Townsend. If you can’t make it to that, follow Matt Bearden’s production company, Punch! Comedy on Facebook, Twitter, or visit its website for upcoming shows. Also, Matt Bearden hinted that there may be podcast version of Piranha coming soon. Stay tuned to Comedy Wham for updates. You can also hear Matt Bearden weekdays, 6am – 10am on 93.7 KLBJ FM’s Dudley and Bob With Matt Morning Show.

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Matt Bearden

Comedy Wham

Lara Smith

 

 

 

 

Vanessa Gonzalez Doesn’t Know Why You’re Saying That

Promo poster for Vanessa Gonzalez
Vanessa Gonzalez has a new show! (Credit: Sophia Lucido Johnson)

Vanessa Gonzalez is one of my favorite comedic personalities in this town, and she has a new one-person show.

Vanessa Gonzalez Love Sketch Comedy

About a year ago, I came across Vanessa Gonzalez somehow. I don’t remember if it was because of the The New Movement Theater, or because I did an article about the sketch show she’s on called Bad Example. Regardless of the circumstances, I was smitten by the one person show she had written named, I Don’t Know Dating, and I wrote an article about it.

I Don’t Know Dating, did well and it landed her spots at several sketch comedy festivals around the country. Since then, Gonzalez has been honing her stand-up skills as well. Recently I had her on my podcast, The Ruca and Dave Show (never mind the slimy televangelist character), and she mentioned her new one-person sketch show named, I Don’t Know Why You’re Saying That.

New Show, New Topic

You ever have people tell you things that leave you scratching your head? Maybe an old person in your family dropped some racist

CJ Hunt in character
CJ Hunt as a lighthouse keeper.

comment and you were like “I didn’t know grandma felt that way about Anasazi Indians.” Or maybe your mom, who’s currently on her fourth marriage decides to tell why moving in with your significant other is immoral. Vanessa Gonzalez decided to make comments like these the focus of I Don’t Know Why Your Saying That. She takes the wack-a-do comments, applies her charming brand of humor to them so we all can laugh at the absurdity of life .

The Salvage Vanguard Theater will host three showings of I Don’t Know Why You’re Saying That, this weekend, December 4th and 5th. Sketch vets, Roxy Castillo, CJ Hunt and James Hamilton are taking on the host duties for each of the shows. I have seen Castillo and Hunt do their sketch thing at the New Movement Theater in the past. Castillo is Gonzalez’ Bad Example cast-mate, while CJ Hunt is based out the New Orleans New Movement Theater. I was able to see him do a crazy one-person sketch show during Moontower this past year. James Hamilton is a graduate/instructor at New Orleans New Movement Theater and has performed at Moontower Comedy Fest, and the Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco Sketch Fests.

Salvage Vanguard Hosts

Roxy Castillo addresses the audience
Roxy Castillo is cast-mates with Vanessa Gonzalez

Salvage Vanguard Theater won’t be with us much longer. The owners have decided to not renew the lease. I guess gentrification affects everyone. If you have never been to this cool theater, now is your chance. I will miss the spacious theater space, and cool artwork. The theater is BYOB and even better, has free parking. I’d strongly recommend you get your tickets for I Don’t Know Why You’re Saying That. Vanessa Gonzalez’ comedy has gotten stronger since I first saw her and the Salvage Vanguard Theater is a good space to watch her and her friends perform.

Showtimes are 8pm on Friday, 12/4 and 8pm and 10m on Saturday 12/5. Tickets are available online or you can pay $10 cash at the door. That’s CASH at the door. Sorry kids, no checks or money orders.

Details

Tickets

Vanessa Gonzalez

Salvage Vanguard Theater

Late Night Basement Comes to Austin

Late Night Basement is bringing quite a bit of talent to Austin. (Credit: Late Night Basement)
Late Night Basement is bringing quite a bit of talent to Austin. (Credit: Late Night Basement)

Chris Rose is bringing his ode to late night talk shows, Late Night Basement, to Austin in conjunction with Fun Fun Fun Fest, and he’s bringing friends.

From Austin to Brooklyn and Back

Late Night Basement is Chris Rose’s baby. The Brooklyn based, Austin native, created the show as a tribute to network late night talk shows. You know what I’m talking about and if you don’t, you may want to turn on the internet or a TV. Then again, if you’re reading this, you know about the internet… I digress.

The show has all the bells and whistles of its network big brothers, but its not in the shadow of the FCC. Which means, Rose and his team have more leeway with the jokes, quips and shenanigans.  The team’s hard work hasn’t gone unseen. Recently the website, New York Natives, wrote an article about Late Night Basement, branding it “The Funniest Show Not on Television.” New York Magazine also crowned it 2015’s “Best Comedy Show in New York.”

Chris Rose is so confident the show can carry such honorifics, he’s decided to take the show on the road with some friends. Fortunately for Austin, he’s bringing it to The New Movement Theater this Friday, November 6th, as a part of Fun Fun Fun Fest Nites. The beloved festival is taking place this weekend and Nites is an extension of Fun Fun Fun Fest taking place at a variety of venues in the downtown Austin area.

Chris Rose is Bringing Friends

Here’s a rundown of the shows guests pulled from the press release:

The Lucas Brothers have performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, been written about in Rolling Stone, and have appeared in Arrested Development and 22 Jump Street.  You can catch their animated show “Lucas Bros Moving Company” on Fox, but these Late Night Basement vets are at their best when you see them live, joking around on stage with each other.
 
Andrew Bujalski is an Austin-based filmmaker and one of the creators of ‘mumblecore.’ He’s best known for his debut movies “Funny Ha Ha” and “Mutual Appreciation”.  The director, writer, and actor is stopping by to talk about his 2015 release, “Results.”
 
Terance McDavid is an Austin-based comedian who has performed at Hell Yes Fest, Fun Fun Fun Fest, and SXSW Underground.  Terance has toured the country with ATX Comedy Hour and hosts a weekly stand-up show at The New Movement.
Chris Rose does a monologue in front of a packed house (Credit: Mindy Tucker).
Chris Rose does a monologue in front of a packed house (Credit: Mindy Tucker).
Bill Callahan is a singer/songwriter, who has recorded under the name Smog and has been a guest on the Comedy Bang Bang! podcast (Episode 258: Yoke Jams).  The Austin native currently has 15 albums under his belt and is signed to Drag City Records.

Details

You have once chance to see Late Night Basement this weekend. The show starts at 10:30 pm sharp so don’t do that Austin thing, arriving late and what not. The show is free for 18+ Fun Fun Fun Fest wristband holders. If you aren’t holding a wristband, all is not lost. They are accepting a few folks for a guest list hook-up but you need to send an email to LateNightBasement@gmail.com pretty quick.  Please note the line up is subject to change.

The New Movement Theater

 

Giulia Rozzi Returns to Austin

Combination profile picture of Giulia Rozzi and Will Miles
Rozzi and Miles team up to take on Austin (Credit: The New Movement Theater)

Giulia Rozzi is coming back to Austin. Last year she brought her one person show, Bad Bride, with her and made herself very comfortable at the New Movement Theater. This year, she left the show at home but found a comedy partner named Will Miles.

She’s Back!

The New York City based duo are set to headline the New Movement Theater on October 6th.  I mentioned in my article about Zac Brooks about how the New Movement Theater’s avant-garde approach to comedy leaves room for very creative comedy shows., so ti’s natural for Rozzi and Miles to want get to the cool little theater on 7th and Lavaca.

Giulia Rozzi is a huge fan of the story telling style of comedy. Her passion for the craft has landed her in and on a variety of media outlets, shows and programs. Here’s a a piece from the press release, “She’s [Rozzi] appeared on Tru TV’s How To Be A Grown Up, Comedy Central’s This Is Not Happening, Vh1, Chelsea Lately, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Playboy TV, and CNN. As a writer Giulia has worked on MTV’s Girl Code and Silent Library, Bravo’s Odd Mom Out and TV Land’s Younger. She has also contributed to BUST Magazine, Esquire, xoJane, Playgirl, The Huffington Post and more. She has also performed and written two solo shows: Stupid Foreigners and Bad Bride (which recently toured to London) and also co-hosts the long-running nationally touring storytelling show Stripped Stories.” Giulia Rozzi also has an ongoing web series called Seeing Other People.

Sign outside the New Movement Theater
All Comedy is welcome at The new Movement Theater

As for Will Miles, he’s also been a busy bee. Originally from Chicago, Miles has been performing stand up since 2005. Within that time he’s toured with… well, just read his part of the press release, “He’s appeared on Tru TV’s Friends Of The People and the Fusion Network. He has been featured on Hannibal Buress’ My Name Is Hannibal tour and has worked with such acts as Aries Spears, Felipe Esparza, Eric Andre, Jerrod Carmichael, and Bill Bellamy. Currently he hosts the wildly popular Comedy At The Knitting Factory show every Sunday in Brooklyn.”

Get to the New Movement

The show at the New Movement Theater isn’t the only thing Rozzi has going on. She’s teaching storyteller classes at the New Movement Theater on Wednesday the 7th. The two hour class is designed to teach people to twist their life stories into humorous barbs which will make the student the toast of any party. The last part isn’t guaranteed. By the way, she’s rumored to be performing somewhere else in town, but it’s top secret.

So there you have it, two possible opportunities to see Giulia Rozzi do her stand-up thing and one opportunity to learn how she does it.

The New Movement Show starts at 7pm and tickets are $10.00 online or $12.00 at the door.

The Story Tellers Class starts at 6:30pm and costs $50.00. There is a 10 person limit for this workshop.

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Zac Brooks is Headlining the Velv

Zac Brooks holds a cat in his promotion poster.
Zac Brooks loves cats (Credit: Facebook)

I have a few lady friends who are huge fans of Zac Brooks. When he’s performing at shows like Sure Thing, they tend to get a bit warm. This weekend, Mario DiGiorgio may want to adjust the air conditioning at the Velv Comedy Lounge when Brooks headlines the venue.

Austin and Success

2 1/2 years after he started doing stand up, Brooks left his hometown of Houston and set up shop in Austin. While you won’t find him at gas stations asking for gas money to in order to get back to Clutch City, you will find him around town, working open mics, performing in showcases and fine tuning his jokes. Shows like Punch! and Sure Thing have benefited from his act. Brooks has been featured on the Sure Thing Records debut album along with a plethora of local comedians.

Since his move to Austin, Zac Brooks career has escalated quickly. In his words, ” Since then I’ve performed at Fun Fun Fun Fest, Austin Sketch Fest, and Moontower Comedy Festival. I also host a monthly show at TNM called “Peep Show” which is half stand up and half comedic commentary on vintage pornography.”

This is what I like about many of Austin’s comedians. They don’t limit themselves to only stand up. They have podcasts, short films, and other projects that expand their comfort zones and expand their skill sets. The New Movement Theater and its avant-garde approach to comedy is the perfect petri dish for such projects.

Headlining the Velv

The Velv is an old school comedy club located next door to Esther’s Follies on 6th and Red River in downtown Austin. Over the years its been a proving ground for local comedians. Since taking over as manager and booker, Mario DiGiorgio has maintained a delicate balance of keeping the traditions founded at the Velv and modernizing it. He’s done and exemplary job of it.

Inside picture of the Velv Comedy Lounge
DiGiorgio has worked hard renovating the Velv (credit: facebook).

Zac Brooks twill have three shows between Friday, 9/25 and Saturday, 9/26. He won’t do it alone.  Mario DiGiorgio has lined up an a rock solid host who just happens to be named Rob Gagnon and feature acts that will jive with Brooks like peanut butter to jelly on bread with no crust and a cold glass of milk.  Rob Gagnon has been featured on this site several times. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him perform sketch and stand up and he been consistently entertaining.

The shows are at 9pm on Friday; and 9pm and 11pm on Saturday. Ticket prices are $10. If you’re a fan of Zac Brooks, this is a good time to see him. If you’ve never seen him perform before, read my previous sentence.

Details

The Velv Comedy Lounge

Zac Brooks

Follow on Twitter: @comedywham

 

 

Go See Chris Castles in His Treehouse

Headshot of a windblown Chris Castles
Chris Castles hosts In The Treehouse (Credit: www.twitter.com)

Chris Castles has a show. He has a show and you should go.

Okay, that’s enough of the Seussian rhyming now so let’s get to brass tacks. Chris Castles and I have been vaguely crossing paths via Facebook groups for sometime now. I finally was fortunate enough to see his stand up during the 2015 Funniest Person in Austin Contest and I should have made the effort to see him perform sooner.

From Oregon to Austin

Castles journey to our humble comedy Mecca, Austin, has been a circuitous one. Born in California and raised in Oregon, Chris Castles grew up with his dad watching Three Stooges reruns and his mom laughing at Eddie Murphy’s stand-up. That, dear listeners is probably one of the most eclectic comedy backgrounds I’ve come across. When he was 14 years old. Castles started playing in garage bands. After several years of  living the life of a struggling musician, he performed at his first open mic at a place called Harvey’s Comedy Club in March, 2008.

As time went by, Chris Castles started an open mic in his comedy starved hometown of Eugene, OR. This lasted several years, and throughout his tenure, he’d bring in comics from Portland. Kind of like how showcase curators from Killeen bring in comics from Austin. Things took a turn when, in 2012, he started working on a documentary. Castles tells me, ” I produced and filmed a documentary about my friend comedian Andy Andrist confronting his childhood molester, along with director Paul Provenza, and comedian Doug Stanhope.” He loved the creative atmosphere in Austin and decided to stay. “Everything I dreamed I would get to be apart of in Austin, is happening. It’s a huge scene filled with creative people from amazing backgrounds, with different skills and talents. I feel at home here.”

Building a Treehouse

The tree in Austin Java on Barton Springs.
The tree in Austin Java on Barton Springs (Credit: TripAdvisor user Cedar880)

In the two years he’s lived in Austin, Castles has made waves. His set at FPIA was creative and refreshing. Two and half months ago he was approached by the management of the Austin Java on Barton Springs Rd. They wanted him to host a weekly showcase. He accepted and has grown In the Treehouse into a go-to event for Friday nights.

The room holds roughly 60-80 people, which is similar to the Austin Java on 12th and Lamar. Better yet, there’s a cool tree growing in the middle of the place. So it’s literally like a treehouse. How cool is that?  I grew up in South Texas so the biggest tree we had in our yard was a mesquite tree. You can’t build a treehouse in a mesquite tree. I was always jealous of that kid in Home Alone because he had a sweet treehouse. Now?  Now all of us have access to a treehouse that not only has beer and food, but also live stand-up comedy in it every Friday at 8pm.

One last thing, don’t do the Austin thing and try to show up late. In the Treehouse runs out seats and free parking pretty fast.

Details:

Chris Castles

Austin Java

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Aaron Brooks Does Austin

Head shot of Aaron Brooks
Brooks is an established member of the Austin Comedy scene (Credit: Skippy Leland Photography).

Aaron Brooks has jokes and he’s telling around town.

St. Louis to Austin

Early on Aaron Brooks was a fan of stand-up comedy. He drew his influences from the likes of George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor whose story telling style of comedy hit him in the right spot. In December, 2009, he got on stage for the first time at Comedy Etc., a comedy club in a hotel known for having a T.G.I Friday’s in it.

After getting his feet wet in the St. Louis Comedy scene,  Brooks had a moment of clarity. He knew that in order to grow his burgeoning comedy career, he had to  beat feet to greener pastures and better opportunities. He moved to Austin.which has been a stopping point for wayward jokesters for some time now.  Venues like Cap City Comedy Club, The Velv Comedy Lounge, a creative and welcoming environment has fostered a healthy comedy scene where performers can find a show almost every night of the week.

Hard Work Pays Off

Aaron Brooks and Danny Palumbo have unicorn horns on their heads.
Brooks & Palumbo co-host Jazz Cigarette (Credit: Erin Holsonbach).

Since the move, Brooks has been featured on key showcases like Punch!, and Sure Thing. He’s performed at The Velv Comedy Lounge and Cap City Comedy Club. He’s been a part of comedy festivals and has participated in the Funniest Person in Austin contest. Currently, Aaron Brooks can be found co-hosting the standing room only Jazz Cigarette Show with Danny Palumbo at The Spider House Ballroom. He also does a pretty good dead Elvis impersonation.

Brooks’ hard work has paid off. Over the next couple weeks, he’ll be rocking a series of shows around town. Brooks is one of those comedians who is able to grab your attention, hold it, and take you for a ride. You can hop on that church van of comedy by catching one of these show:

The Velveeta Room shows will be a good time. The venue is on 6th and Red River, rocks a full bar and has a  cool vibe to it.

There’s Plenty of Aaron to Go Around

Poster promoting Aaron Brooks' upcoming schedule.
Aaron Brooks’ upcoming schedule

Aaron Brooks will be performing the shows at The New Movement Theater and Velveeta Room with Sara June. I had the opportunity to see her host for Matt Bearden a couple of weeks ago and she was solid. The pairing of June and Brooks is like Aaron Franklin and bbq or peanut butter and jelly. Well, you get it.

Ticket information can be found on each venue’s website. For more information about Aaron Brooks and his podcast, Stay Wonderful, visit his website.

You can follow Comedy Wham on Twitter: @ComedyWham

 

 

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

Don’t for get to follow @ComedyWham

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.