April is *maybe* the best month for comedy in all of central Texas—maybe even in all of the Magnited States of America. It’s the height of the Funniest Person in Austin contest with more than 200 people competing, and if you haven’t gone to an FPIA show, you are robbing yourself of witnessing the incredible talent brewing throughout the capitol city.
This weekend, Austin hosted the Moontower Comedy Festival, and many of the nation’s best comedic talents came to Texas to perform (and enjoy some tacos and barbeque). Moontower is in its third year, and it is a force to be reckoned with. Let’s put aside all of the ridiculous things I did to embarrass myself and focus on the amazingness of the comedy that was available this week.
Bar 141 presented my monthly Hot Mess Comedy Show on Friday, and I had the pleasure of co-hosting with Michael Monsour. He is a hard-working and very funny young man, and it was a wonderful experience to banter with him on a stage covered in toilet paper. During Hot Mess, Zac Brooks and Ben Cholok won the hearts of San Marvelous. Zac utilized the dance club’s fog machine to enhance his mash-up about his attempt to join the mile-high club, and Ben celebrated the fact that everyone was smoking indoors. He wooed the crowd immediately with “This feels like freedom. This feels like America in here.”
Later that night at the Paramount, Marc Maron regulated on two women during his anger-rant bit about “contempathy” as they carried on a conversation about their day. He said “don’t do that in front of me! You’re on the second row!!!” One of the ladies retorted, “You don’t know about my day!” (I know! Can you believe people feel like it’s okay to discuss their day at the front of a comedy show? WTF!)
On Saturday, KTSW 89.9 FM Radio hosted Mr. Fest in multiple venues in downtown San Marcos. Free live music was abundantly available for all ages. As a performer in the Mr. Fest comedy show, I had the pleasure of seeing Aaron McDavis share his PSA analysis nerd humor with a packed house before America’s outdoor apparel enthusiast, Jake Sharon arrived to the stage without his vest! Lashonda Lester closed the show with “real talk” of stoner conspiracies, wrangling wrestlers, and assurance that all bad things are probably worse in Detroit.
After Mr. Fest, it was the last day for the Moontower Festival, so I made my way back up to Austin and enjoyed 3 more comedy shows. With eleven venues, there was so much comedy!!! Katie Pengra owned the stage at The Velv with her cutesy and cutting charm, and then I was able to see Jackie Kashian for the very first time. As she quipped about being married to an introvert, I held on to her every word. Throughout her entire set, I felt my inner girl jump up and down and yell “squeeee!” I also enjoyed Billy D. Washington and his immediate discussion of the Donald Sterling recording and pondering whether he thought of his team as the “LA KKKlippers.” #toosoon?
After the three Moontower shows, I met Laurie Kilmartin and realized how much of a comedy crush I had on her. Laurie is my new #WCW. She was stunning, and I thanked her for everything she has done in her work to help moms like me feel better about ourselves. I acted like a total star-struck goon when I said, “Thank you for empowering me and giving me the courage to be a Sh*tty Mom.”
Moontower and Mr. Fest were both hilariously incredible.
Gosh, there was so much comedy. So much really, really good comedy.
I loved every one-liner, story, and bit of it.
Kelly Stone is a sexual health educator and college lecturer who likes to think of her stand-up comedy as “edutainment”. She began performing in 2006 at an open mic in Philadelphia and has been hooked on comedy ever since. She hosts the monthly Hot Mess Comedy Show at Bar 141 in San Marcos, speaks to various universities on many different topics, watches Project Runway, and is still trying to figure out how to keep her boys from smearing Greek yogurt on the furniture.
Follow her on twitter: @funnykelly or help stop her kids when they are trying to run across a busy street. There’s safety in numbers.
Tuesday, April 29, Funniest Person In Austin Prelims, 8:00, Cap City Comedy, $6/2 Cans
Wednesday, April 30, San Marcos Game Night, 8:30 pm, Triple Crown, Free
Friday, May 2, Neverending Comedy Contest, 10:00 pm, New Movement Theater, $5
May 8-11, Women in Comedy Festival, Boston
Wednesday, May 14, San Marcos Game Night, 8:30 pm. Triple crown, Free