AUSTIN — Good God, y’all! Austin’s infamous South by Southwest music, technology, and film festival – or conference, or whatever it is – has kicked off to a wet and gray start. As we shared with you before, SXSW has amped up their comedy programming like crazy this year, so we’ll be offering you highlights and dispatches from the Texan fray for the next week.
SXSW Comedy began with a traditional taping of Doug Benson’s Doug Loves Movies, featuring guests Greg Proops, James Adomian, Joe Lynch and Ti West. After some good-natured jabs at SXSW’s tech-oriented crowd and the shitty weather, we were fortunate to glimpse an improvised impression from Adomian. Of Greg Proops. Needless to say, it was spot on.
And, of course, we were then treated to an off-the-cuff musical duet between Adomian and Proops. I smell a cabaret act!
New this year was a taping of Greg Proops’s The Smartest Man in the World podcast, which featured the comedian riffing on the weather (again – he was really pissed about it!) and, of course, politics. Some of his material was met with more reserved contemplation than laughs, but the relative silence wasn’t because the audience didn’t find him funny. I think we were all legitimately learning new things, like what really happened at the Alamo and who ought to play the female version of Captain Ahab in a cinematic adaptation of Moby Dick (spoiler alert: it’s Kathy Bates).
The evening closed with a Comedy Bang Bang showcase hosted by Scott Aukerman. Taking the stage first was James Adomian, whose always incredible impressions were very well received by this crowd of techies and Austinites.
Proops followed with campy but caustic cynicism, some of his material jabbing at NASCAR and country music hitting close to home. The perceived duller response prompted Proops to warn us that we better hop on “the Proops satirical choo choo.” We’re onboard, buddy! All that barbecue just made us a little slow to laugh.
Closing the evening was Seth Morris, who busted out his uber cheery Bob Ducca character, a favorite on the Comedy Death Ray slash Bang Bang podcast. A fitting end to a very gray day.