Moontower Just For Laughs Austin, the two-week comedy festival that takes over 10+ venues in Austin every year, has been called “an embarrassment of comedy riches” by previous badge holders for a reason: their fest experience centers fans and artists alike while serving up a colossal, expertly curated lineup that balances huge stars, cult favorites, comics to watch, cast panels, and top Austin talent. In addition, a number of performances will be presented in both English and Spanish.
Last year, Austin’s Moontower Comedy Festival—produced by the Paramount Theatre—and Montreal’s Just For Laughs combined forces to grow what was previously a four-day fest into a two-week extravaganza. The 11th year of the festival takes place April 12-23, 2023 and sees some beloved fest favorites returning and a whole lot of new, hilarious talent.
As previously announced, international comedy superstar, Trevor Noah, will be performing four shows at the Bass Concert Hall from April 20-23, 2023; with a limited amount of premium tickets being held exclusively for purchase by festival badge holders.
This first talent reveal also includes more than 20 Paramount and Stateside headlining shows, with more still to come. Among those making their Paramount debuts are Chris Distefano, whose Brooklyn-born edge and nice-guy charm won over fans of MTV’s Girl Code/Guy Code series before releasing specials on both Comedy Central and Netflix; and Chelcie Lynn, the self-described “majestic internet phenomenon,” who brings her 2 Fingers & a 12 Pack Tour to the fest. Also appearing at the Paramount for the first time are Nimesh Patel, comedian and Emmy-nominated writer whose self-released special “Jokes to Get You Through Quarantine” has garnered a million views; and Giggly Squad, hosted by Hannah Berner and Paige DeSorbo, a live podcast where two besties make fun of everything, including themselves, as they discuss pop culture, fashion trends, and expose their personal lives.
Returning to the Paramount with a brand new show is Seth Meyers, Emmy Award-winning writer and host of “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” as well as Felipe Esparza, winner of 2010’s Best Comic Standing, host of the What’s Up Fool? Podcast, and star of three successful stand-up specials on Netflix and HBO; and Vir Das, India’s biggest stand-up comedian and Bollywood star who has crossed over to become a global comedy sensation.
Returning to headline the Stateside Theatre are Brad Wiliams, Maria Bamford, Robert Kelly, and Preacher Lawson, most known from his turn on America’s Got Talent, as well as a fest debut by Kenny Sebastian, who rose to prominence on YouTube before releasing specials on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Rounding out the Stateside headliners is Mexico City’s Carlos Ballarta, who will perform two intimate shows in Spanish as the festival continues to grow their Spanish language programming.
As longtime fest-goers know, comedy magic happens in the clubs, where intimate venues feature national headliners like Dana Gould, Jon Rudnitsky, Punkie Johnson, Adam Ray, and Moses Storm’s Perfect Cult, an immersive, interactive comedy show that invites audience members to participate in the formation of a one-night-only cult. Additionally, Moontower Just For Laughs Austin will feature Zach Zucker’s Stamptown, his raunchy, chaotic, award-winning variety show in both English and Spanish, as well as all four of Saturday Night Live’s newest cast members: Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker, who cut his teeth in the Austin comedy scene before moving to New York.
“As we continue our quest of building the ultimate comedy event in Austin, our partnership with Just For Laughs adds more diversity, variety and fun for our comedy fans,” says Lietza Brass, Moontower Just For Laughs Austin Festival Director. “Together we bring a large and exciting roster centered on the brightest comedy stars of today from the U.S., Texas, and abroad. We’re proud to expand our program of presenting shows in Spanish in 2023. We truly have something to please everyone’s taste.”
Christine Melko-Ross, Vice President of Operations & Business Affairs, Just For Laughs added, “We are excited to continue to expand the Moontower Just For Laughs Austin brand and footprint by curating a diverse line-up of international and U.S. stars and headliners while shining a spotlight on some of the best comedians and podcasts from around the world.”
New badges this year allow fest-goers to build their own experience. Each “Club Badge” gets you into all club shows—that’s TONS of star-studded showcases, stand-up, podcasts, screenings, panels, and more—plus nightly parties and lounges during the 4-day comedy binge from April 19-22, while giving you early access to purchase tickets to headliner shows in the largest venues, including Paramount, State and Bass Concert Hall with superstar Trevor Noah. Fans can upgrade their Club Badge to a Club Plus or Club Premium for even earlier access to headliner presales for the best seats in the house and other perks like skip-the-line entry to club shows.
A “Bestie Bundle” option is the best value: buy two or more badges to get $25 off every badge. Bestie Bundles also ensure you can sit next to your fest friends when purchasing tickets during headliner presales.
Additional performers and events will be added to the Moontower 2023 lineup in the coming months, including more headliners, podcasts, and a variety of comics playing club shows at Moontower venues throughout Austin.
Moontower Just For Laughs Austin comedy festival badges are on sale now and available for purchase at moontowercomedyfest.com. You can also purchase badges at the Paramount Theatre box office or by calling 512-474-1221.