SXSW Comedy: Your 2019 Lineup
Leading the laughs: Griffin, The Daily Show, and Elon Musk?
By Robert Faires,
1:17PM, Tue. Feb. 26, 2019
So, 44 comedians walk into a conference …
As the opening to a joke, it’s not too hot. But as news about SXSW 2019, it sets up loads of laughs, ’cause this year’s Comedy Festival includes Kathy Griffin, The Daily Show News Team, James Adomian, and Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.
Those are just a handful of the mirth-masters making their way to Austin March 8-17 to bring you stand-up showcases, performances, and live podcast recordings. Here are more of the highlights:
• Elon Musk Keynote: The Frightening and Awful Future of Humanity proves South By isn’t afraid to mock itself, as it provides a spoof of the typical conference keynote address from an authority/influencer/celebrity of note – in this case, Tesla Motors and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who was a speaker at SXSW 2018. This year, he’ll be impersonated by frequent SXSW Comedy MVP James Adomian (who cracked up festivalgoers last year with his Bernie Sanders Town Hall), who will unveil a new visionary project that will either save humanity or, more likely, doom it (Fri., March 8, 6pm);
• The Daily Show News Team Live brings correspondents Ronny Chieng, Michael Kosta, Dulce Sloan, Roy Wood, Jr., and Jaboukie Young-White to the Esther’s Follies stage for an evening of stand-up (Fri., March 8, 8pm);
• The New Negroes was a term in vogue during the Harlem Renaissance, used to identify African-Americans who spoke up and spoke out, telling their own stories and tearing apart outdated ideas about black people and black life. It’s also the title of a new series combining socially conscious stand-up and music that will premiere on Comedy Central this spring, and hosts Baron Vaughn and Open Mike Eagle are providing a live sneak peek as part of the fest (Sun., March 10, 10pm);
• Kathy Griffin tells the story of the joke that went terribly wrong (surely you recall the photo of her holding Trump’s head) in the new documentary Kathy Griffin: One Hell of a Story, which premieres in the SXSW 2019 Film Festival. But the hilariously outspoken comic and reality TV star will be telling more of the story in a live conversation that touches on relentless modern media coverage, harsh political divisions, and unforgiving internet culture (Mon., March 11, 8pm);
• An Evening With Todd Glass puts the popular comic with a live band that he really can’t control (Sat. & Sun., March 9 & 10, 7pm);
• Roast Battle returns for another year of no-holds-barred brawling wits presided over by host Brian Moses, DJ Coach Tea, and sideline jesters the Wave (Sat.-Mon., March 9-11, 11pm);
• Riffs and Riff Raff With Nick Thune & Friends will bring Thune together with a variety of musically inclined comics, headlined by fellow guitar-playing comedian Tim Heidecker.
Also on tap are some tried-and-true showcases that it wouldn’t be SXSW Comedy without:
• The Laugh Button Live!;
• Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s ASSSSCAT, this time featuring Broad City’s Ilana Glazer; and
• 420 With Matt Besser, with Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson.
And don’t forget the podcasts! In addition to SXSW faves such as Matt Besser’s improv4humans and Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies, you can look forward to:
• Maltin on Movies, with cinema maven Leonard Maltin interviewing a comic; and
• The Comedian’s Comedian, with UK comic Stuart Goldsmith interviewing Eugene Mirman, whose documentary It Started as a Joke is premiering at the festival, and Matt Braunger.
SXSW Comedy is open to anybody in possession of a SXSW badge or wristband. For full details and lineups, go to www.sxsw.com/comedy.
SXSW Comedy 2019 Participants
Open Mike Eagle
Paul F. Tompkins
Roy Wood Jr.
Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.