Moontower 2018 Day 2 Recap

Words and Photos by Dany Recio

Moontower Comedy 2018

You can read Dany’s coverage of Moontower day one here.

Day two really upped the ante. There were so many more people there for the festival, plus all the usual Friday night debauchery. The raucous added to the energy and I think tonight has been my favorite night. There’s only one day left of the festival. So if you still haven’t been to at least one show. Like you still have time but hurry up.

As promised I watched three whole shows. It all started with Todd Barry, who performed a lot of material from his Netflix special. So if you haven’t seen it, it was awesome. And if you had seen it, it was awesome but again. Hometown hero Vanessa Gonzalez really got the show going, though. She used to live here but now she’s in LA livin’ that California dream.

Vanessa Gonzalez Moontower Comedy Austin

Vanessa Gonzalez wants to know if you see those blue squares too

The feature comic was Luke Null, who is finishing up his first year as a performer on SNL and no he can’t get you tickets The feature comic goes between the host and the headliner, or as I like to call them, the bologna. Null didn’t perform stand up but instead sang funny songs. Null played the guitar and is a surprisingly good singer. The moment I saw him I thought of you guys; I was like “I bet the casual Austin-listener of local music would appreciate some non-local musical comedy.”

The real star of the show, however, was the volunteer that made sure both my friend and this lovely couple could bring their pizza into the show. Seriously, shout out to the Moontower staff; they get it, folks. But back to the headliner, Todd Barry.

Barry is so good at what he does that he devoted some of the set to just crowdwork and it was really funny. I don’t know that he’s a clean comic “per se” but I will “se” that if you’re trying to connect with your parents or show them comedy it should be him or Kevin Hart [ed. note: Dany was immediately fired after making this atrocious pun].

Todd Barry Moontower Comedy Austin

Todd Barry can’t believe Dany just put him in a sentence with Kevin Hart

After Todd Barry I went to The Velveeta Room for Jessimae Peluso’s Seven Deadly Sins show. That’s when the night got crazy. The Seven Deadly Sins show is where Jessimae brings a box of stuff that represents each of the seven deadly sins and the comic reaches in and grabs one of the items and does a set about the sin it represents.

Basically, it was going great. The comics were telling stories and yukkin’ off-the-cuff, it was awesome. Then Jeremy Watkins took the stage and he had greed which was just some dollars in a jar- and to be fair it was an impossible jar to get things out of- he tried for ten minutes to get every single dollar out. It was hilarious until the end when he broke the jar open on stage, I mean he shattered glass everywhere. Pat Dean (manager and bartender of the Velveeta Room, have you heard of him?) was not too excited about it. But this is the certain level of chaos you accept when you come in to one of these alternative comedy shows: you never know what you’re going to get.

Jeremy Watkins Moontower Austin

Jeremy Watkins living the American dream by chugging dollar bills

The last show I saw WYFD?! (What’s Your F***ng Deal?!). For this show, Big Jay Oakerson does a bunch of crowd work and then brings out four comics whose whole set is just crowd work. Honestly, I wish I could share more about what they said and did at the show but this is a family website and let’s just say this is definitely the bluest comedy show I had seen all week. I didn’t feel comfortable taking photos because I felt like I would’ve easily been picked on by the comics. They couldn’t have ignored the guy walking around taking photos, I basically would have painted a target on my back. If you’re not actively trying to be a “reporter” at one of the shows I highly recommend going, it is definitely fun to watch and participate in.

When all this is over, I’ll be lost. I’ve devoted the last three nights of my life to this then I’ll have to move on. Today is my bon voyage, an adieu, a farewell statement, if you will. Then I’ll move to a small town in Nebraska and change my hair and reinvent myself. I’ll say I’m over it but I’ll still call Moontower periodically, just to “check-in.” They’ll tell me they’re doing great and I’ll say, “Same.” We all know though, Moontower will be missing me, even if it doesn’t want to say it.