Satire icon “Weird Al” Yankovic and theater-filling stand-up comedians Tiffany Haddish, Mike Birbiglia, Tig Notaro and Jo Koy are among the headliners for the seventh annual Moontower Comedy Festival, which kicks off April 18.
More than 100 comedians and 11 podcasts will take part in the festival, with shows at the Paramount and Stateside theaters, Cap City Comedy Club and several other venues.
While Yankovic is best known for his song parodies (“Amish Paradise,” “Fat”), he will be performing at the Paramount as part of “The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” – a stripped-down, no-frills production that has been advertised as a no-song-parodies tour scheduled to run through June. As Yankovic put it on Facebook: “We’re going to be performing almost exclusively originals (i.e. not parodies). The deep cuts and obscure tracks. The songs that were never hits. The ones you barely remember.” (Some of us would like to hear “Midnight Star” and “Mr. Popeil,” please.)
This is Haddish’s first time at Moontower, and her Paramount show is already sold out. She was just in Austin at South by Southwest for the premiere of her new half-hour comedy with Tracy Morgan, “The Last O.G.” She also starred in the popular 2017 comedy “Girls Trip,” appeared in “Keanu” alongside “Get Out” director Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key and is increasingly well-known for wearing the same Alexander McQueen dress to various functions (who can blame her).
Birbiglia, Koy, Notaro and the Comedy Resistance — featuring David Cross, Maria Bamford, Ted Leo and more — round out the Paramount shows.
Headliners over at Stateside include Preacher Lawson, Moontower frequent flyer Janeane Garofalo, Ali Siddiq, Nikki Glaser, Ryan Hamilton and Colin Quinn.
But it’s the at the club level wherein lies Moontower’s beating heart, with sets (sometimes more than one) from Alonzo Bodden, Dana Gould, Erin Foley, Jackie Kashian, Judah Friedlander, Laurie Kilmartin, Ophira Eisenberg (of “Ask Me Another” fame), the impossibly dry Todd Barry and quite literally dozens more, including a healthy contingent of Austin-based stand-ups such as Chris Cubas and Brian Garr.
In recent years, live podcast recordings have become a huge part of Moontower. The etiquette-focused “Shmanners” podcast with Travis and Teresa McElroy is recording at Stateside. Also look for tapings of “All Fantasy Everything” with Ian Karmel, “View From the Cheap Seats” with the Sklar Brothers, “The Bonfire” with Big Jay Oakerson and Dan Soder, “Raised by TV” with Lauren Lapkus and Jon Gabrus, “The Jackie and Laurie Show” with Kashian and Kilmartin, and more.
There are also a few events that aren’t live stand-up. Moontower will screen the Season Two premiere of Showtime’s stand-up drama “I’m Dying Up Here” on April 20 at the Alamo Ritz. The Paramount Story Wranglers will present stories written by real Austin elementary school students, performing them onstage in a musical sketch-comedy variety show. And look for former Kid in the Hall Scott Thompson’s “Après Le Deluge: The Buddy Cole Monologues.”