Buried beneath the mountain of screenings, panels and parties that overtake SXSW is a chance to connect directly with the comedians in town for the festival. All shows and exhibitions are "can’t miss" this year, but if you want to really connect with your favorite comics, consider attending their live podcast recording.
Podcasts are now the best channels for comedians to reach out to, and find, a wider audience. The recordings allow personalities to shine through, and when done live, they create an intimate atmosphere with a group of hardcore fans or even curious listeners. As a great introduction to new talent, consider attending these SXSW Comedy podcast recordings.
Marc Maron’s WTF podcast is a great example of how something as simple as a podcast can open up new opportunities for comics looking for their big breakthrough. The show’s popularity has garnered Maron the chance at his own scripted autobiographical television series on IFC, and now an Austin audience will see what all of the buzz is about.
Maron’s in-depth and extensive interviews primarily focus on comedians and comic writers from both old and new generations. The current lineup will include an evening with filmmaker Harmony Korine, NPR host Peter Sagal, comedian Nate Bargatze and some guy named James Franco.
If you are a fan of improv comedy, then don’t make the big mistake of missing this podcast by Upright Citizens Brigade founding member Matt Besser. The show is a completely improvised affair, and Sunday’s show will take good advantage of all of the comedic talents calling Austin home for the next week, including Chris Gethard, Shannon O’Neill and Jon Gabrus.
Kevin Pollak is another actor/comedian who turned to the world of podcasting, approaching it with a special twist. Instead of interviewing guests as himself, Pollak channels the eccentric personality and staccato speech patterns of Christopher Walken. Guests are unannounced, but the evening promises a pseudo-Walken prattling on about life in Hollywood.
Jake Fogelnest is no stranger to hosting duties, having first started his own public-access television show in Manhattan at the tender age of 14. Moving between television and radio duties over the course of his career, Fogelnest struck out on his own with a podcast featuring guests and himself as they revisit some of the best pop culture moments from TV and the Internet.
Joining Fogelnest for his special taping is variety show host Chris Gethard, professional partyer Andrew WK and fellow podcaster Doug Benson.
While the frequent Austin visitor won’t record his beloved Doug Loves Movies show this time around, SXSW will at least get to enjoy The Benson Interruption. Benson invites comedians to the stage, with the threat of his constant stream-of-consciousness interruptions adding a bit of extra flair to the nights events.