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Keeping Moontower Weird: Inside Austin's Youngest Comedy Festival

I started my weekend by watching a grown man fit a fake vagina over a microphone. Let me explain.

The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival in Austin, Texas was in full swing this April 23-26 for its third year in a row. This festival is the place to be; not just because I do comedy and live in Austin, but because Moontower celebrates comedy as a whole, it lifts up the local Austin comedy scene, it recognizes the unique oddities that exist in the brains of comedians, and best of all — they gave every performer a Fleshlight in their welcome bag. Unfamiliar with the Fleshlight? We’ll return to that in a bit.

This comedy crusade was started three years ago by festival director, Lietza Brass, and talent bookers (as well as Capitol City Comedy Club co-owners) Margie Coyle, Rich Miller, and Colleen McGarr.

When asked what the impetus was for starting yet another festival in Austin (a place where we have festivals for everything from kites to ice cream) McGarr said, “We’ve always wanted to have a full-on comedy festival in Austin, not comedy as a side tent.”

Of course, the well-known South By Southwest (SXSW) festival is growing in its reputation for having a stellar comedy line up each year touting talents like Sarah Silverman, Scott Aukerman, and Reggie Watts. However, SXSW is also known for booking hardly any local Austin acts.

McGarr wanted to make sure that was not the case with Moontower. “It’s really important with something like a comedy festival that you have to put it in a city where there is a great local comedy scene and that there’s a very high caliber of local comedians and that they’re supported and are given tons of stage time. That’s the best way for them to grow,” explains McGarr. READ MORE