Who should you see at Moontower Just For Laughs Austin comedy festival?
Let the laughter bloom. The recently rebranded Moontower Just For Laughs Austin is sliding back into its usual springtime space, fresh off of a September event that marked its pandemic return.
Moontower last year announced its partnership with Canadian live comedy company Just For Laughs. This year's expanded festival runs April 13-24 and will bring some of the biggest comedians and podcasts to Austin.
Here are just a few comics whom we think are worth seeing. (Hey, it's a big lineup.)
'The Bald and the Beautiful' with Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamo
The most famous American drag queens not named RuPaul or Mrs. Doubtfire — well, they're Top 10, easy — bring their absolutely unhinged podcast to the Paramount Theatre. If you can't catch their sold-out ACL Live touring show, it's either this or watch reruns of their "UNHhhh" web series at home. (7 p.m. April 13 at Paramount)
Joel Kim Booster
We caught this comic at Moontower in 2019 and have to say, his ruminations on being hot and stupid are so smart and so funny. See Booster before his movie "Fire Island" comes out this summer. (Multiple shows April 14 and 16)
You're watching "Abbott Elementary," right? OK, just checking. The ABC sitcom's ensemble is phenomenal, but James' Principal Ava is the scene-stealer of 2022. Need more proof? Watch her set on Netflix's "The Standups" post-haste. (Multiple shows April 21-23)
The University of Texas alum and former runner-up for Funniest Person In Austin is the city's latest Local Guy Who Made It Big, scoring a featured spot on "Saturday Night Live." Consider your attendance to one of his shows to be a homecoming parade. (7 p.m. April 21 at Stateside; 10:30 p.m. April 21 at the Hideout; 10 p.m. April 23 at the Creek and the Cave)
Speaking of familiar faces: Texas-born and L.A.-based Paulsen is no stranger to Austin (we're fans), so it's fitting that he would return to record his comedy album here. (8 and 10:30 p.m. April 23 at Cap City Comedy Club)
Man, there's a real Austin-to-L.A. comedian bleed. Locals know Webb from his years on the city's stages and from a viral photo of him fist-bumping Barack Obama when Webb worked at Franklin Barbecue. I've never laughed more than hearing him tell a childhood story on the North Door stage a few years back. Webb was just here opening up for Margaret Cho, and we're happy for any chance to watch the master work. (Multiple shows April 14 and 16)
We first heard Ms. Fabulous on Nicole Byer's "Why Won't You Date Me" podcast and were instantly hooked. The "America's Got Talent" star also used to be a lawyer, which does not sound funny, but trust us. (7 p.m. April 21 at Parish; 9 p.m. April 22 at Parish; 7 p.m. April 23 at Antone's)
You’ve seen Buteau stealing scenes in "Always Be My Maybe" and "Marry Me" (as an assistant to Ali Wong and Jennifer Lopez, respectively, in those movies) and hanging out in the subway with Gina Rodriguez in "Someone Great." We caught up with Buteau on the phone ahead of Moontower, and trust us, you're going to want to make time to see her while she's in town. (9:30 p.m. April 22 at Paramount.)
Jimmy O. Yang
He's got ruminations on dating while Asian, representation in Hollywood and growing up. You know him from "Silicon Valley," "Crazy Rich Asians" and Netflix's "Love Hard" and "Space Force." (7 p.m. April 16 at Paramount)
You may not recognize Kuhlenschmidt at Moontower, because she'll likely be more than inch away from you. Her viral internet videos often feature her face up close and personal in the camera. She was recently in the fifth season of "Search Party." (7:30 p.m. April 21 at Fallout Theatre)
Oh, yes, we've got another native Texan. Cohen grew up in Houston and moved to New York City after college. Her comedy sets are a whole show, complete with sparkly outfits and musical theater. (Multiple shows April 20-23)