SXSW Comedy Short Cuts: See What We’re Seeing in Austin!

Austin Texas is absolutely exploding with South By Southwest in full swing and we’ve got a crew checking out all the great comedy happening around the city. We’ll have plenty of coverage letting you know what you missed and some daily short cuts keeping you up to date. Our SXSW correspondents Marty Younge and Amma Marfo are updating us daily on the best of everything in SXSW comedy. Wish you were here!


Our SXSW correspondents Marty Younge and Amma Marfo are on the Ground is Austin ready to cover all the next now next at SXSW. Thanks for the welcome pack!

“I draw Donald trump in short pants” Long time New Yorker Cartoonist Liza Donnelly kicked off SXSW with a session about her process of political satire and the importance of examination and disruption of our own creative processed to push humour forward.

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement introduce What We Do in the Shadows a T.V episodic developed from their 2014 cult class mockumentary by the same name that will debut on Fx network later this year.


“8 of my departments heads are women I am three of them” Pamela Adlon held a intimate heartfelt talk about her pain and process touching on everything from why her father is her muse to what she covered in her 8 page letter to Yoko Ono that let her use Mother in the Better things soundtrack.

Open Mike Eagle headlined Thune and friends at SXSW comedy He is a performer blurring the lines of comedy and music Which fit this show perfectly. Eagles performed not funny music but music that had a satirical edge and a comedic audience would resonate with. A song entitled Brand new money was magical and took the audience on a journey to a place where all the things we desire most are edible. “I bought a rolly so I could eat the stones I’m popping little bitty bottles cause I drink colonge” SXSW is a festival that banks it’s rep on being a place to see up and comers before they explode there was a pap-able feeling. That eagle has a conciseness and star power that is unparalleled.

Tim Heidecker and Nick Thune on stage during the “Thune and Friends” show at SXSW comedy hosted by Thune it parodied the long running T.V show Austin city limits and had Thune effortless sliding from host to performer. Thune played the hits (Jokes that have been in his set for years) and made a few Jams on the spot( riffing about the overly technical cutting edge image and attitudes of festival attendees) Heidecker was a surprise Guest on the show and performed 2 songs solo after an impromptu duet with Thune that encapsulated the low key deadpan Absurdity that made Heidecker such a Online comedy crossover mega star

One of the most memorable performances of the festival was Johnny Pemberton taking the stage and parodying the famed SXSW music showcases that would begin days later. He regaled the audiences about he had been born on the floor of the fame L.A rock club the viper room and he was attending SXSW to promote his new oat milk venture. It was a seamless satire The audience was unsure about what was going on Until he performed a hilarious rendition of songs from a star is born and talked about how “brad and lady were the coolest when I met them at a hiawaska retreat.”

“When you make a comedy it’s nice to hear a theatre laugh” Harmony Korine and Matthew McConaughey share moment during the Q and A after the world premiere of The Beach Bum a comedy about the life and Times of Moon Dog a Widower who must write finish his mangum opus despite obstacles from all sides.


“We held each other accountable for Honesty It was like we could never Be imposters in front of each other so we could never Be imposters infront of you” Ilana Glazer on the foundation of her creative relationship with Abbi Jacobson after the final three episodes of Broad City Screened at The Zach Theatre as part of the SXSW film festival. Truly the end of a Era the first of final three episodes debut on Comedy Central March 14th.

It’s Roast Battle time.  There’s no four horseman, but there is the hype crew.  Congratulations to winners Jerron Horton.and Kim Condon!!

“ I know that girl had her phone plugged in and it was messing up the tech she was 22 and didn’t give a fuck” – Willie Hunter.

“Places like this is where roast battles were born”- Brian Moses on the at the Hideout in Austin during SXSW.

“ I just save it for the stage” – Jeremiah Watkins

“We out here and that’s what’s important” – Jamar Neighbours.


“I never thought this would happen I thought the photo was going to be on gay blogs for two days” Kathy Griffin redhead rising was the most special and intimate show  of the SXSW comedy programming Griffin who had already sold out a keynote at the Austin convention center. Took the stage at at Esther’s follies a 300 seat venue for in a intimate heartfelt conversation about how  a picture that depicted her holding the decapitated head  of Trump. Had devastating impact on her life and career. Her journey to rebuild stronger from the peices and how it has strengthen her beliefs that it is the duty of the comedian to always push boundaries and speak truth to power” It was a moving testament to personal resilience and that the witch hunt still very much exists.  — From Kathy Griffin event with Stuart Goldsmith of the Comedian’s Comedy Podcast.


“ I moved out the day the Drug moved in” Jennifer Lee Pryor ( Widow of Richard Pryor) was tear-full as she addressed the Crowd after the documentary screening of I am Richard Pryor at the SXSW film festival. The Documentary was a heartfelt yet unflinching look at Pryor and who he was for better and for worse and why. The documentary featured Tiffany Haddish and the panel post screening was brilliantly moderated by Baron Vaughn two comedians who say that Pryors dedication to the truth of experience in his work has had an indelible mark on their own.”

“I am Irish and Puerto rican I am glad I am not gay because that’s way too many parades to go to.”  Ricky Velez brought his infectious New York energy to Texas when he closed out the early show on the last day of the festival. His respect for the art of standup is so evident from the moment he walks on stage he reads the room and makes every moment count. Decidedly more mainstream and center in style then most of the SXSW comedy lineup he was a refreshing representation of the New York scene.


“I am a professional humoredian.”  Doug Benson made a special appearance on the Early show on March 12th during the SXSW comedy festival. His ease with the crowd goes beyond his persona as a stoner comic His set did a great job engaging the audience at SXSW that does infact differ from one of a pure comedy festival the audience at SXSW just likes comedy enough to choose it as a thing to do in the evening. Rather then buy a whole pass dedicated to it like a festival audience. Yet the like minded people meeting at the comedy shows at SXSW proved different kinds of people like the same comedy. Once again the infallible bond of laughter is elusive but real.

“He is a nice young man I am raising a good boy” Beth Stelling joked about her relationship with Gavin Matts who had a project with Comedy Central dropping during  her time away at  the SXSW comedy festival Stelling is a comic who has the quite enviable talent of being able to adapt with authentic conviction to a room. Most comics have a roster of material that ranges from clean to dirty but rather then it feel like a different voice Stelling’s milder material just feels like the same sentiment in a different volume. A truly entertaining talent.


Charlie Sotelo producer of SXSW comedy backstage at Esther’s Follies Sotelo worked Tirelessly to ensemble great lineups every night. They truly had something for every kind of comedic taste. Sotelo also cultivated a great vibe on stage and off at Esther’s During SXSW  the Green room was a true Oasis for comedy people in the Sensory overload of SXSW. We highly anticipate Mr. Sotelo’s work next year.


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