Nicole Byer & Joe Pera at Moontower Comedy Festival.

Recapping Nicole Byer And Joe Pera At Moontower Comedy Festival 2024

Photo credit: Dusana Risovic.

There’s always an excitement in the air whenever a comedy festival rolls into town. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, there’s an infectious aura surrounding those shows that you can’t help but be swept up by. When you walk into the Paramount Theatre for Moontower Comedy Festival, however, there’s little that can prepare you for just how excited this crowd is.

Easily, it’s one of the best crowds I’ve ever seen comedy with. And we kicked off our first night there with two killer shows. What followed was a weekend full of great laughs that should give you a good indication of just what Moontower - and the Austin comedy scene - is all about.

Nicole Byer at Moontower Comedy Festival

Nicole Byer brought out a sold out crowd that was ready to laugh, and it was the perfect way to kick things off. Byer managed to feed right off of the energy in the room, and matched the enthusiasm, as you’ve probably seen before in her specials. The crowd was clearly made up of fans who were just excited to be there.

Nicole’s set ran a wide range of topics over the course of her hour onstage. The new hour featured jokes about meeting Tom Cruise, not knowing John Cena’s catchphrase, what “new fat” is, loving porn, and being single, among countless other topics.

Byer also showed off her crowd work chops, by talking to many of the people present about how they met their partners. Hint: A lot of the responses came from gay couples who met on apps. Byer noted that it’s her primary audience.

Joe Pera at Moontower Comedy Festival

To go from a comedian who is so high energy to a comedian like Joe Pera is an interesting shift. As soon as the crowd heard Pera’s distinctive voice on the speakers before the show, there was an excitement in the room. By the time he walked onstage, the crowd burst into a standing ovation. This was a crowd - like Byer’s - comprised of die-hard. The two guys I spoke with in line before the show sung his praises to me.

Unlike Byer, Pera wasn’t matching the audiences energy, or even a quarter of it. Timid and humble, this was the Joe Pera that we came to see. He is the definition of quirky. Pera ended the show by talking the audience to sleep in what has become a signature bit. Pera never succeeded in putting us to sleep. Instead, he gave us a show that the crowd would certainly recall for years to come!

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