(Left to right) T.J. Miller,Kate Berlant, Emily Hill and David O’Doherty are guests on the Pete Holmes podcast, “You Made It Weird,” taped at the Google Fiber stage as part of Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival Saturday night. Credit: Omar L. Gallaga/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival has gotten large enough that missing a headliner show can often be a blessing in disguise.

I was determined to see Maria Bamford Saturday evening at Stateside at the Paramount, but the show had already filled up by the time arrived and my festival badge wasn’t going to get me in. It was heartbreaking; going into the festival, she was my biggest highlight next to John Mulaney, but I tried to be Zen about it. I saw her last year, I got to interview her on the phone and she was delightful, and I got to see her at the Thursday night “Dr. Katz” performance. Yes, it stung a bit, but I would live.

So on the advice of a very helpful Moontower staffer outside of Stateside, I made my way down to the Google Fiber space at around 7 p.m. to catch the Pete Holmes “You Made It Weird” podcast recording.

I’m not a regular listener to the podcast, but the episodes I’ve heard have been funny, fresh and thoroughly honest (though they often top out at 2 hours or longer). The recording at the Google Fiber space was no different. The guests included Emily Heller, Kate Berlant and, at the very tail end, headliner co-host T.J. Miller, a longtime friend of Holmes.

There were great, rambling stories about IUDs, psychics, shoplifting and Dubai, but for me the highlight was David O’Doherty, a ridiculously talented Irish keyboardist, now bearded, who says he’s often confused for Chris O’Dowd. O’Doherty performed a song about having short legs that was one of my favorite moments of the entire festival. (The version he performed had a few differences from the video below.)


The episode should be up on Nerdist sometime soon.

I headed over to Vulcan Gas Company for a little while before I needed to head to Paramount Theatre for the late John Mulaney show.

Ophira Eisenberg performs at Vulcan Gas Company Saturday night as part of Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival. Credit: Omar L. Gallaga / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Comedian Eddie Pepitone performs at Vulcan Gas Company as part of Moontower Comedy and Oddity festival Saturday night. Credit: Omar L. Gallaga / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

They were short sets, but I was lucky enough to catch host Matt Bearden, and comics Ophira Eisenberg (from NPR’s “Ask Me Another”) who told the nerdiest triangle joke I’ve ever heard (I still laughed) and the great Eddie Pepitone, who railed angrily against social media and Spotify and ended up stopping his set short when a huge audience applause break provided the perfect exit.

Great stuff and a perfect lead-in to the excellent John Mulaney late show where I also became a fan of openers Simon Amstell, a brilliant British comedian to watch and Austin’s John Ramsey.