This year’s Moontower Comedy Festival had plenty of popular comedic talents grace the stage at the Paramount Theatre and Stateside Theatre. Just like any other festival, Moontower also had hilarious talents scattered through downtown Austin and at Cap Comedy. Here’s three comedians you might have missed, but should definitely plan to see in the future!
Article and photos by Kimberley Carmona
Martha Kelly is an Austin-born comedic who had quite a large audience during her show. Kelly, who portrays Martha on Zach Galifianakis’ FX comedy “Baskets,” was treated like a comedic queen. I knew who Kelly was due to the show, but I was not aware of her stand-up talents that she had been hiding from me. Kelly started the show with how she moved back to Texas with five cats in tow and how she had to have a family meeting. “A little bit of trivia,” she said as she prepared to give the punchline. “All those five animals are dead. There wasn’t any foul play.” The audience roared with laughter. Her voice is very monotone, which helped make the punchline darker and made me (and probably the audience) wonder whether they should or shouldn’t be laughing. The best part of the set? When she was reading her cat’s will and the cat asked to kill the dog as a form of a last minute Make-A-Wish. With Kelly’s awkwardness and dark sense of humor, she instead killed the audience with laughter.
Comedians must be smart when they decide to attempt jokes on politics. But Dana Gould knew what he was talking about. Gould is a comedy writer who has been featured on HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central. He is known for portraying Gex the gecko. The first thing he opens on is a joke about Bernie Sanders and a sex line for wives. Honestly, I thought he would just talk about Sanders and Clinton, but Gould did not choose a party. He’s a really smart comedian, as he found a way to connect the Bible with Donald Trump. He wasn’t all politics, though. Some of his jokes resonated as if he had wanted to be a frat boy, but failed. For instance, he talked about dicks and cocks. One joke that stood out the most, and got a lot of men and women tearing up, was about sending dick pics. “Do not send dick pics to anyone,” Gould warned. “No one wants to see it. It’s like if your girlfriend wanted to send you a photo of her feelings.” Gould did not need any photos to see that everyone in the audience agreed with him.
I wasn’t sure how to feel about Jon Rudnitsky. Right when he came onto stage, the audience could tell that he was a ball of energy. Rudnitsky, who will be SNL’s new featured cast member for the 2015-16 season, changed my previous opinion of him. He moves around and keeps the audience on their feet, which is important. He started the show with a DJ working at Chipotle impersonation, but what got me was the joke afterwards. “I’m winded. That was more work than a DJ has done.” I was intrigued by him. He went to talk about Donald Trump and how Trump made him feel like he could be president, too. The crowd was obviously really into his comedic style, impersonations and jokes. And they should have been. Rudnitsky is dramatic, charismatic and makes the audience feel like they know him. Best line? “Everyone is playing frogger, but some people just lose.” That last line made me feel like he will do well on SNL.
Brendon Walsh is that guy that everyone is friends with. You know, THAT guy. Walsh, a Philadelphia-born comedian who won the 2004 “Funniest Person in Austin,” was the guy that everyone could relate to. For example, he started his set with how living alone makes people fat. The woman behind me, who probably should not have been holding two drinks, almost lost her mind with that joke. Every single joke and story he told was something you had experienced or seen before. One joke that resonated really well, and the woman behind me almost spilled her drink with, was about how everyone “makes one friend to talk shit in the office.” After seeing his set, I could see why he won “Funniest Person in Austin.” He told the audience that no one was safe. We were not safe from his comedic chops.
She spends too much money at concerts, festivals and comedy shows. Some call her a celebrity stalker, but she considers herself a pop culture addict. She like red carpets, television, celebrity autobiographies and Netflix. You will most likely find her at Trudy’s or on her couch trying to find a channel. Check our more on her website.