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SXSW Comedy Showstoppers

Laugh the hangovers away with the top 10 SXSW Comedy shows

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Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein as the bookstore owners in Portlandia
Catch Fred Armisen, left, and Carrie Brownstein in a panel discussing their hit series, Portlandia, and feminist literature. Photo courtesy of The News Tribune
comedian Hannibal Buress headshot
Get a head start on Moontower Comedy with a premiere screening of Hannibal Buress' new special before it airs. Photo courtesy of NPR.org
Austin photo: News_ryan_chris gethard interview_mar 2013_chris gethard
That's right, Chris Gethard brings the insanity of his show back to Austin with bigger dreams. Courtesy of The Chris Gethard Show
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein as the bookstore owners in Portlandia
comedian Hannibal Buress headshot
Austin photo: News_ryan_chris gethard interview_mar 2013_chris gethard

Sometimes all you can do is laugh off Austin's unfortunate fate when it comes to event weather. Luckily this week, SXSW Comedy is in full swing. Open to all badge types, here are the top SXSW Comedy showcases and panels to see. 

The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail: Sunday, March 9
Beginning as a stand-up comedy show from the back of a comic book store, and graduating to a Comedy Central series in 2014, The Meltdown not only features a great selection of visiting comics, it’s hosted by two of the best best: Johna Ray of The Nerdist Podcast and Kumail Nanjiani, who you may recognize from just about everything these days.

Upright Citizens Brigade Presents ASSSSCAT: Sunday, March 9
One of the most popular shows from the UCB Theatre, ASSSSCAT features a guest monologist who tells memories or thoughts related to the audience's suggestions. Improvisers take those stories and run with whatever ideas come to mind. With Jeffrey Tambor as the special guest, expect to hear some juicy stories — and get in line plenty early.

The Pete Holmes Show Makes it Weird Panel: Monday, March 10
Late-night talk show hosts have taken over SXSW 2014, and one who deserves attention for the recent success of his hilarious podcast is Pete Holmes. His panel will try to make it weird, but at the same time, they’ll definitely make it funny.

Doppelganger: Monday, March 10
A three-woman improv team, Doppelganger takes suggestions from the audience and creates scenes in a free-form structure. This show is worth seeing so you can enjoy Saturday Night Live cast member Sasheer Zamata.

Pretty Good Friends: Monday, March 10
Pretty Good Friends is a stand-up showcase that promises to get chaotic, throwing in film clips, music and other shenanigans whenever it damn well pleases. You can expect plenty of insanity with the duo of Todd Barry, one of the best in the business, and T.J. Miller, who stars in Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley, playing at SXSW Film.

Portlandia: Behind the Scenes with the Creators: Tuesday, March 11
Of course you can’t miss a panel that features both Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen talking about their beloved series Portlandia. The beautiful chemistry they share on screen will be evident during the panel — moderated by the equally talented, but still underrated, Matt Braunger.

The Imaginary Radio Program: Tuesday, March 11
Presented by Drennon Davis, the Imaginary Radio Program features special comedic and musical guests in a uniquely formatted show that will make you feel like you've tuned into a new radio station for each guest. 

Comedy Living Room: Tuesday, March 11
LA loves hosting comedy shows in weird places. Comedy Living Room goes on the road, featuring A-listers in intimate settings. For SXSW the show includes Adam Cayton-Holland, Karen Kilgariff and Chris Gethard.

The Chris Gethard Show: Wednesday, March 12
This year's Chris Gethard appearance at SXSW takes on a special meaning, because Comedy Central recently ordered a pilot of his bizarre public access show — what a difference a year can make.

Hannibal Buress Live from Chicago: Friday, March 14
Buress keeps moving up the ranks of top stand-up comedians, and you can see his new special before it premieres on March 29. If you miss out, you’ll just have to wait until he pops back into Austin for the Moontower Comedy Festival.

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