SXSW Comedy: Your 2015 Lineup
Schumer, Harmon, Bell, and SNL lead this year's laugh-makers
By Robert Faires,
2:30PM, Mon. Feb. 23, 2015
Laugh lovers who have been holding their breaths waiting to hear who'll be at SXSW Comedy this year can exhale. The 2015 lineup is out and includes Amy Schumer, Upright Citizens Brigade, W. Kamau Bell, Dan Harmon, and more Saturday Night Live writers and players than you can shake Don Pardo at.
Comedy Central star Schumer will be in town with Judd Apatow to screen a work-in-progress cut of his new film Trainwreck for SXSW Film, but they're not ignoring the festival's Comedy track. They'll drop by An Above Average Evening With the Upright Citizens Brigade, featuring Matt Besser, a co-founder of the powerhouse comedy group; SNL writers Mike O'Brien and Tim Robinson. (Sun., March 14, 4pm, Esther's Follies)
That's just the tip of the iceberg for UCB's presentations this year. You can also look forward to another round of its improv spectacular ASSSSCAT, led by co-founders Besser and Matt Walsh and artistic director Shannon O'Neill (Sat., March 14, 8pm, Esther's Follies); The George Lucas Talk Show (Sun., March 15, 7pm, The Hideout); improv superstars Wild Horses (Mon., March 16, 9pm, The Hideout), and tapings of the podcasts improv4humans, with Besser and Walsh (Sun., March 15, 6pm, Esther's Follies) and The Hooray Show, starring SNL alum Horatio Sanz (Sun., March 15, 9pm, The Hideout).
And speaking of Sanz, he'll be headlining an all-star cast in a live script reading of the pilot episode for The Embassy, a long-aborning sitcom from James Adomian and Scott Aukerman that was passed over by IFC and is as yet unproduced. (Consider this a sort of "world premiere" for the show.) (Sat., March 15, 8pm, Esther's Follies)
And Sanz is far from alone in representing the SNL tribe this year. There are the aforementioned O'Brien and Robinson, and current cast members Vanessa Bayer and Jay Pharoah will be taking part in An Above Average Talent Show Benefiting The Ally Coalition – that's Above Average as in the digital arm of Broadway Video and an online network for comedy where many SNL cast members and alumni present content. The variety show, which will raise funds for OutYouth Austin, will also feature Adomian and comedian Eliot Glazer of the podcast Haunting Renditions. (Mon., March 16, 9:30pm, Brazos Hall)
Online content is big business these days, which is why comedian Bill Burr and The Daily Show's Al Madrigal will be getting their own panel, Owning Your Work: The Future of All Things Comedy, which will explore the unique business model of their by-artist/for-artist podcast network, production hub, and comedy collective, All Things Comedy. (Mon., March 16, 3:30pm) The panel will be followed by a live recording of their flagship podcast All Things Comedy. (Mon., March 16, 6pm, Esther's Follies)
Oh yeah, podcasts. As usual, there will be podcasts aplenty in addition to the ones already named: Community creator Dan Harmon will record another episode of Harmontown (Sat., March 14, 7pm, Brazos Hall); Doug Benson will tape two episodes of Doug Loves Movies (Mon., March 16, 7:30pm, Brazos Hall; Sat., March 21, 7:30pm, Stateside); Comedy Bang! Bang! with the aforementioned Aukerman will be taping twice (Sat., March 14, 6pm; Sun., March 15, 4pm, both at Esther's Follies); and Adomian provides another shot of Conspiracy Theory Live with Jesse Ventura (Mon., March 16, 11:30pm, The Hideout).
Comedy Central will host back-to-back live editions of two of its shows: What’s Your Fucking Deal?! with Jay Oakerson, a crowdwork challenge where the only rule is “no material allowed” (Tue., March 17, 8pm, Esther's Follies); and This Is Not Happening, in which comics tell true stories. Here, Ari Shaffir will host Adam Cayton-Holland, Oakerson, Andrew Santino, Nick Thune, and SNL performer Sasheer Zamata. (Tue., March 17, 10pm, Esther's Follies)
And last but far from least, festival favorite Bell is charged with hosting Live at SXSW Comedy, the first comedy special that SXSW is recording, with two live broadcast tapings, one featuring Nate Bargatze, The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac, and Jon Huck (Sun., March 15, 8pm, The North Door), and a second with Matt Braunger, Todd Glass, Mark Normand, Iliza Shlesinger, and Beth Stelling (Sun., March 15, 10pm, The North Door).
SXSW Comedy runs March 14-21 and is open to anybody in possession of a SXSW badge or wristband. See sxsw.com for the full schedule.
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