Friday night marked the third night of Moontower Comedy Festival. Thursday night ended with a wild after party at the Esquire Lounge Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel. The place where all the comedians in the festival gather to celebrate the end of the night. There were glimpses of Godfrey, Dom Irrera, Christian Finnegan, Ari Shaffir, Helen Hong, Mary Patterson, among many others simply hangin’ out, talkin’ with fans, enjoyin’ drinks, and blowin’ off steam. The night was fine and relaxing, as the festival carried on into night 3. After a little rest and a 3PM Jimmy Johns breakfast, it was time to dive into Friday night’s escapades. Here’s how it goes…
Friday night big show lineup: The Paramount Theatre welcomes Michael Ian Black,Chelsea Peretti, Judah Friedlander, and Brendon Walsh to headline the early show, while Bill Burr is the night’s most anticipated late show headliner, as Janeane Garofalo and Brian Posehn close the night with the midnight show. Next door at The Stateside Theatre, the night begins with Chris Hardwick, and then onto a live viewing of Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, and then ending the night with the midnight story-teller, Ari Shaffir.
Other comedians tonight: Godfrey, James Adomian, Mo Mandel, Pete Holmes, Greg Fitzsimmons, Bil Dwyer, Bob Khosravi, Todd Barry, Mike MacRae, Billy D. Washington, Michael Che, Helen Hong, Dustin Ybarra, Brendon Walsh, Dom Irrera, Joe Derosa—and yes, many many more.
The first show to attend is the early show at The Paramount. Michael Ian Black wins over the audience with a joke about the Texas flag, and it was smooth sailin’ from then on out. Judah Friedlander, ‘The World Champ’ is seen again, this time on the big stage. Judah rocks the mic even better than yesterday with much higher energy, and more amusing audience participation. When discussing martial arts, he dares the crowd to answer, “Are there any other martial artists in here besides me?”
One crowd member raises their hand screaming, “WOOO!” while nearby members clap for them.
Judah cross-examines them with, “Oh yeah? What belt are you?”
“Brown belt!” the crowd member yells with pride.
Judah gives them a stoneface look and says, “You’re a brown belt… I wouldn’t even say that to yourself, let alone in front of a theater full of people who may or may not know you…”
The audience roars with laughter, including the brown belt.
The early show set the tone for the night. The anticipation had been building all week, and finally, it would be time to see Bill Burr. The line to get into this show stretched down the block and around the building for another block. Behind me were two young men in their 20s jabbering loudly and abnoxiously about nothing. It’s a long line, and a long wait. This will be painful.
Guy 1: …yeah for sure, that is an AMAZING read. I mean…just like…the REGULATION of BUSINESSES…this guy STARTED that, simply because of that whole…ya know…
Guy 2: Yeah! Totally! SO amazing and ORIGINAL. Like…you can’t even compare what the world was before that.
Guy 1: Yeah, literally…the world was SO shitty back then.
This is where I pull out my phone and do my best to zone this conversation out. After a while, their loud conversation becomes a big blur of one trying to outsmart the other.
Guy 2: …yeah every time I go to Chicago, I can just get free drinks wherever I go.
Guy 1: No way! That’s REDICULOUS! That’s like when I go to Colorado, I get free ski hookups, like ANY slopes you want!
Guy 2: That is CRAZY! I only snowboard, and only when I’m in Idaho.
Guy 1: Yeah Idaho is OKAY… But really, the best snowboarding is in Tahoe, HANDS DOWN!
The line thankfully picks up speed. Those with press passes go first—THANK GOD. Before I know it, I’m inside where it’s safe.
Bill Burr pulls off a fantastic performance. He opens with jokes about challening those who believe in ghosts, and then goes into a bit making fun of the TV show ‘Ghost Hunters’. Brilliantly thought out. Other topics include hotels, pet goats, and how they should make a ‘Evil People Hall of Fame’, suggesting that “Hitler is like the Michael Jordan of evil people.” Controversial? Completely. Funny? Absolutely.
Bill Burr left the place ecstatic. Nothing would be able to top this. The Austinites needed to chill out on something. This is where Janeane Garofalo and Brian Posehn come into play. Brian Posehn’s style is very calm, low-key, and distingustingly disturbing. Someone to bring us all back down to Earth.
Janeane Garofalo was surprisingly wonderful. Having not seen her perform stand up in quite a while, left no room for expectations. Although, the fact that she’s been around since 1985 leaves no room for underestimation. Janeane’s performance is highly intelligent, witty, and original to the core. She delivers in the moment. Her show is unique to only those who are granted the opportunity to see her.
Not only is she bright and brainy, she’s HOT! In the past, she never struck me as an amazingly attractive comedienne. She always had that ‘cool-mom-who-lets-her-kids-drink-and–party-as-long-as-it’s-safe’ look, or maybe the ‘quiet-librarian-by-day / wild-let-my-hair-down-crazy-cool-rocker-chick-by-night’ look, but not the ‘MILF’ look.
But not tonight. Tonight was a new Janeane. I still wouldn’t say she’s a MILF. She’s little and petite, looking like a hot college chick in her 80s style bright, drapy t-shirt, with short jean shorts, black thigh highs, and boots. I don’t know her age, and I don’t want to know her age, but it is safe to say that Janeane looks nothing like her age. Although she doesn’t rock the ‘MILF’ look, tonight Janeane rocked the college girl ‘study budy’ chick—hoping she’d do more to you than just quiz you over your flashcards.
The night ends wonderfully thanks to Janeane. Yet another Moontower Comedy success.
Night 3: ✓✓✓
Written by: David Gavri