Nick Offerman’s affect can make it hard to tell when he’s joking, and when he’s speaking in earnest. As such, it took a little bit of clarification on his part before he delivered some sobering statistics to Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater on Tuesday night:
In his matter-of-fact, but unequivocally caring timbre, he concluded his speech with, “These facts are deeply fucked up and deeply un-American.”
Once these stats were shared, however, the charge was to make the audience laugh. And the Ally Coalition’s South by Southwest Audible Impact awareness show did precisely that, with the talents of Offerman, Jim Gaffigan, Liza Treyger, and Sam Morril. Because the event was a collaboration between the Comedy and Music Festivals, audience members were also treated to music from Nick Thune, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom, and musician Lucy Dacus. The event also had connections to the film side of the festival; host Offerman was in town to promote his film Hearts Beat Loud, headliner Gaffigan was there to talk about his You Can Choose Your Family, while surprise addition to the lineup Bloom was in town with her film debut (and husband Dan Gregor’s directorial debut) Most Likely to Murder. Dacus, the lone non-comedian on the lineup (who admitted to not liking jokes or comedy) nevertheless held the crowd’s attention during a folksy set between comics.
The Ally Coalition, founded by music producer and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff, brings members of the fashion, entertainment, and music industries together to advocate for LGBT equality. Audible Impact is an event that recurs across the country throughout the year, often framed as benefits. The Coalition also mobilizes supporters online and conducts tours in support of partners like the Crisis Text Line.