• Jason Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’ is a cringeworthy delight (Review)

    Jason Bateman, of his directorial debut, Bad Words, offers this gentle caveat: “This movie isn’t for everyone.” Screened recently at Austin’s South by Southwest festival to a packed auditorium, the film does resist easy consumption. The story centers on a cynical 40-something protagonist named Guy Trilby (played by Bateman) hell bent on ascending in the ranks of a spelling bee meant for children. Thanks to a loophole, naturally, he finds

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    South By Southwest comedy, days 5 and 6: Chris Gethard gets naked, Superego gets weird (Photos)

    AUSTIN – The city of Austin is well known for its quirky eccentricity, as reflected in its mostly official motto, “Keep Austin Weird.” And South by Southwest has a tendency to exacerbate said weirdness, particularly where the comedy scene is concerned. Today, I have two examples for you. Example the first: audience members on Wednesday were treated to (quite literally— that’s a pun, it’ll be funny in a moment, I

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    South By Southwest comedy, day 4: Sinbad kills it, Jim Breuer gets real and more

    AUSTIN – To borrow the words of the great philosopher Ice Cube, today was a good day. The story kicks off on Tuesday with some serendipitous moments only possible at an event like SXSW, where the city of Austin’s innate quirkiness morphs into something produced and promoted with a glossier sheen. I wandered over to a small lot south of the Convention Center’s chaos in search of food (an enormous

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    Bill Cosby joins Instagram, the Internet rejoices (Video)

    It turns out it’s never too late to teach a funny old dog new tricks! 76-year old comedy legend Bill Cosby opened an Instagram account this week while appearing at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. He posted his first two images before going on stage in front of a very captive audience, as well as a short video! After only a few days on the popular photo sharing

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    South By Southwest comedy, day 3: Todd Barry, Iliza Shlesinger, Pete Holmes

    AUSTIN – Day 3 of South by Southwest was tightly packed with more comedy delights. Like a really, really thick sausage that kind of sprays hot juice on you when you bite into it because the casing is so strained and taut from the vast amounts of meat inside. (Side note: I haven’t had lunch yet. Too obvious?) Anyway. My Monday kicked off with a special preview screening of Billy

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    South By Southwest Comedy, day 2: Comedy Bang Bang, Fred Armisen, Sasheer Zamata

    AUSTIN – Okay, forewarning: there was too much legit Sunday night to be able to comprehensively share all of the laughs with you, dear readers, but I will do my damnedest to offer the highlights. Checked out three shows, all in a row, and lived to tell the tale. Mostly. Sunday kicked off with two back-to-back live tapings of Scott Aukerman’s Comedy Bang Bang podcast, now obviously also a series

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    SXSW Comedy, day 1: Seth Meyers reveals news on Stefon, Matt Besser leads Improv 4 Humans

    AUSTIN – South by Southwest 2014 kicked off to… rain. And cold. Apparently the polar vortex gods do not discriminate between the great white north and the usually milder environs of Texas, to the chagrin of every SX patron trying to escape winter on March 8. One of those northern escapees was Seth Meyers, who briefly left New York to participate in a panel about his new show, Late Night

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    Laughspin Podcast, episode 88: Harold Ramis, Jimmy Fallon, SXSW

    In a new episode of The Laughspin Podcast, Mike and I pay homage to Harold Ramis, who died at the age 69. The legendary comedy writer, director and actor gave us classic flicks like Animal House, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Stripes, Meatballs and the list goes on. He’ll truly be missed. On a lighter note, we also talk about Jimmy Fallon’s first week hosting The Tonight Show, the comedians heading down

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    SXSW Comedy, day 8: The Benson Interruption, Eugene Mirman and product placement!

    AUSTIN — Yesterday was the eighth and final day of SXSW’s comedy shows, and I can’t think of a better way to close this year’s proceedings than with a fabulous slew of performances on Doug Benson’s The Benson Interruption podcast. Sitting alongside Benson onstage was a surprise guest, and one of my favorites: Eugene Mirman. The duo co-interrupted stand-up sets during the first half of the show from a fairly

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    SXSW Comedy, day 7: Fogelnest Files, Doug Benson, weird YouTube videos!

    AUSTIN — Friday marked the seventh day of comedy at SXSW 2013, but don’t be fooled – we’re not taking a breather over here in Austin. Let’s do the math: weekend + final days of SXSW + St. Patrick’s Day = pure pandemonium. It’s a perfect storm of mayhem and drunkenness. So taking a break from the insanity on the streets at the SXSW Comedy venue, Esther’s Follies, was a

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    SXSW Comedy, day 6: Hannibal Buress, Hasan Minhaj, Kyle Kinane

    AUSTIN — If there was any doubt that I am now immersed in SXSW Music, it was put to rest yesterday thanks to Loud Village– an entity that encapsulates both alternative music and alternative comedy. So, in other words, the hipster dream. Loud Village offered a showcase yesterday featuring traditional stand-up, ensemble comedy, musical performances and a live DJ. As a side note, I’m unforgivably disappointed that the DJ didn’t

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    SXSW Comedy, day 5: Tenacious D, Drunk History and Ghost Ghirls!

    AUSTIN — Hoo boy, y’all. I know I’ve complained about the oddly-dressed masses who infiltrate the city for SXSW music, but I take it all back for a brief moment, because yesterday, my face was thoroughly rocked off at a kickass performance by the American heroes of Tenacious D: Jack Black and Kyle Gass. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The comedy day began with a screening and discussion of

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    SXSW Comedy, day 4: Marc Maron, Fred Armisen, Nasty Show and more!

    AUSTIN — Sweet fancy Moses, we’re halfway into SXSW! This whole week is a marathon of networking, alcohol and hearing the words “innovation” and “creative flow” so many times you’ll probably have an aneurysm, so think happy thoughts for those of us who continue powering through the madness. The fourth day began with a comedy nerd’s dream panel discussion at the Austin Convention Center: Chris Gethard, Scott Aukerman, Marc Maron

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    SXSW Comedy, Day 3: Brett Gelman, Jay Larson, Team Coco and more!

    AUSTIN — As you may have heard, Austin’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” referring to the fun eccentricities of its most colorful people and places. But the same could have been said for one of the oddest performances I can remember seeing in the past three years of covering SXSW: Brett Gelman’s Gelmania. Allow me to set the stage: Gelman stands front and center amid smoke, flashing lights, and a

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    SXSW Comedy: Day 1, feat. Greg Proops, Doug Benson, Scott Aukerman and more!

    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

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