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Dan Soder, Nicole Byer, Nikki Glaser: Moontower comedy festival drops partial lineup

Moontower Just For Laughs Festival will bring Nicole Byer to the stage again. (Bells and Whistles Productions)

Austin’s Moontower Just For Laughs comedy festival organizers announced the first round of performers as it gears up to return for its second annual festival.

The festival for funnies is stepping up its game this time around, taking the festival from just four days to 12 days from April 13-24. More talent announcements will be released in the coming months.

Moontower Comedy Festival and Montreal-based international comedy producer Just For Laughs Group partnered last year and held a quick festival in September, with a shorter schedule due to pandemic postponement. This year’s festival will be the first in its true, extended format, spanning over 10 venues.

Here's the lineup:

With 20 headlining shows already scheduled at the Paramount and Stateside Theatres and more to come, Moontower Just For Laughs is bigger than ever before.

The Paramount’s star-studded lineup includes Showtime’s Billions actor and comedian Dan Soder, Emmy-nominated “Nailed It!” host Nicole Byer, “black-ish” actor Deon Cole, “fest favorite” and podcaster Marc Maron, professional Comedy Central roaster Nikki Glaser, and the four hosts of the “Not Another Dungeons and Dragons Podcast,” Brian Murphy, Emily Axford, Jake Hurwitz, and Caldwell Tanner.

“Your Mom’s House” podcaster Christina P will kick off the Stateside festival, which will also show Saturday Night Live cast members Chris Redd and James Austin Johnson. From “Chappelle’s Show,” Donnell Rawlings is scheduled to headline three shows, and Rachel Feinstein and Jessica Kirson will co-headline a show in a “rare tour de force.”

Plenty of national headliners will be hitting the clubs, like Andy Kindler, Big Jay Oakerson, Grace Kuhlenschmidt and Janelle James. Be on the lookout for the family-secret exposing one-man-show “My Dad Isn’t Danny DeVito,” by Anthony DeVito. Clubs will also host some live podcast tapings, including favorites like “Bananas” with Kurt Braunohler and Scotty Landes and “Find Your Beach” with Rosebud Baker and Andy Haynes.

Last but not least, the festival will also debut Just For Laughs’ signature show New Faces, which showcases the up-and-coming names in the industry. The show, which is a “discovery stand-up showcase,” has helped launch major comedians like Gabriel Iglesias, Ali Wong and Pete Davidson.

There’s still more to come from Moontower Just For Laughs but you can find more information and badges on sale here.


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.