• South By Southwest expands their comedy reach; Janeane Garofalo calls it “a natural fit”

    Good news, comedy fans. It looks like like super music, arts and hipster festival SXSW will be expanding its comedy reach in 2012. Although the word “comedy” isn’t on the official list of arts the Austin, TX event covers – music, film, interactive is what they go with – every comedy nerd knows that SXSW boasts some of the best and unique voices in stand-up each year.

    Earlier this year, the festival hosted six nights of comedy. But next year’s fest will feature no fewer than eight consecutive nights of comedy shows, according to the November issue of SXSWorld magazine (yes, an actual print publication not available online).

    “Every year, we’ve built on the year before, and every year it’s gone gangbusters,” says Charlie Sotelo, the fest’s comedy programmer. “But I think that 2012 will be a quantum leap for comedy at SXSW.”

    We here at Laughspin sure hope so. We were there last year and we had a blast. But we’re into having an even blastier blast if that’s what they’re planning.

    “The music/comedy connection is an old story. People in bands tend to be comedy fans, and a lot of comedians wish they were in bands. So it’s a natural fit,” comedian and past SXSW performer tells the magazine, adding, “I’m a sucker for walking up Congress Street and stopping at every craft table and cupcake truck. And for seeing any off-the-beaten-path band that’s playing in a yard or a parking lot.”

    Another SXSW veteran, comedian Eugene Mirman also had a lot of great things to say about his experiences in Austin. “The crowds have been really great, really attentive and really fun,” he says. “There are always thousands of things happening at the same time, so it’s a real commitment for people to choose to sit down for several hours at a comedy show, rather than going to a bunch of rock clubs.”

    Well, we’re looking forward to making that commitment. The fest goes down from March 9 – 18. You can get more info at sxsw.com.

    Dylan P. Gadino

    Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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