The SXSW 2014 lineup is getting busier by the week, but you can keep your musicians, scientists, and political activists beaming in via satellite. All of the cool kids will be checking out the real party over at SXSW Comedy.
As the ice and sleet recedes comes the first announcement of the funny people hosting panels at SXSW, and it seems that the 2014 festival will be taken over by late-night TV hosts.
SXSW Comedy announced that former SNL head writer and the man tapped to take over the reins of Late Night on NBC, Seth Meyers will give lucky panelgoers a peek at the new show after he takes the place of Jimmy Fallon on February 24. Joining Meyers will be the show's producer Mike Shoemaker and head writer Alex Baze. The panel's star power even extends to its moderator, with actress and nerd dream girl Olivia Munn guiding the panel.
Also joining on the late-night fun is Pete Holmes, host of The Pete Holmes Show on TBS, which began airing in the fall of 2013. Holmes broke into the late-night block after years of working as a comedian, actor, cartoonist and host of the popular podcast You Made It Weird With Pete Holmes.
Meyers and Holmes join other late-night hosts appearing at SXSW, including Andy Cohen of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, who will broadcast from Austin for a week during the festival. Hopefully SXSW Comedy will demonstrate how the late-night talk show genre is as relevant and funny as it's ever been.
Scripted television and comedy acting will still get plenty of representation, though. A cult comedy hit on IFC that isn’t afraid to get a little bizarre, Portlandia will have its own special panel in the other city that keeps it weird. Stars and writers Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein will lead the panel with director Jonathan Krisel. They will not only be discussing crafting alt-comedy but are promising to give us a taste of new material. Equally funny guy Matt Braunger will moderate.
Finally, actor Jeffrey Tambor will lead another edition of his classic acting workshops, in which he guides a pair of young, up-and-coming actors on stage through the process of bringing a script to life. It’s an insightful panel that teaches about Tambor's method of acting and, as we saw at last year’s workshop, is also funny in its own right.
The comedy fest will have plenty more to announce in the coming weeks, including a lineup of stand-up acts, podcasters and more. Don’t forget that all comedy shows are open and available to all badgeholders during the festival, because everyone will need a good laugh during the insanity of SXSW.