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John Cleese Kicks Off SXSW Comedy Festival 2022 Lineup

South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals has unveiled the initial SXSW Comedy Festival lineup as part of the 2022 SXSW Festival.

For the first time since 2019, between March 11-20 2022, the SXSW Comedy Festival will be back in full swing with a slate of in-person stand-up showcases, podcast tapings, improv performances, conversations, and more.

The festival will kick off on Friday, March 11 with a discussion led by comedian John Cleese. As the most outspoken member of the vanguard Monty Python comedy troupe, Cleese has been contributing his signature silliness to comedy, film, and television for over 50 years.

A panel of up-and-coming comedians join the comedy icon for an informal conversation to discuss his groundbreaking, often provocative career and working in comedy today.

The following night, Cleese and daughter Camilla will take the stage for a variety hour of comedy and chat. Equal parts familial love and cantankerous banter, their onstage dynamic is a special blend that only a father-daughter duo can provide.

In honour of the comedic institutions that have persevered over the years, the festival has partnered with a handful of influential comedy venues and presenters to celebrate the return to live comedy events.

SXSW has partnered with various comedy venues to reflect and celebrate their vital cultural importance. A renowned launching pad for New York’s funniest, Gotham Comedy Club will return to the festival with a lineup of comedians from their famous stage.

The Stand NYC, a fixture of the local scene, will join the festival with Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane’s comedy game show Would You Bang Him? as well as their first in-person SXSW showcase.

The Creek & The Cave fostered a huge wave of comedy and have recently relocated to Austin. In their first year as an official SXSW venue they’ll showcase a selection of their favourite NY standups.

SXSW will also host A Night at The Comedy Store, the kickoff celebration for the 50th anniversary of L.A’s iconic venue. A roster of Comedy Store regulars will pay homage to the enduring legacy of the storied stage they call home.

This year’s festival will feature a live recording of the Comedy Store Podcast, as well a weekend of the anything-goes battle of wits: Roast Battle. Host Brian Moses, DJ Coach Tea, and dynamic hype crew The Wave (Willie Hunter, Jamar Neighbors) will be joined by guest judges who will preside over three rowdy nights of unpredictable trash-talk.

Upright Citizen’s Brigade (UCB) cofounder, Matt Besser, returns with another slate of shows. He’ll lead UCB’s popular ASSSSCAT, featuring true tales from celebrity guests and inspired scenes from some of today’s most skilled performers.

UCB favourites Anthony Atamanuik (The President Show), John Gemberling (Broad City), and Danielle Schneider (Hacks, Bitch Sesh) will join in the fun.

Besser will also present perhaps the most star-studded show of the festival, Neil Young’s Covid Hootenanny. Neil Young (Besser) banters and bickers with a who’s who of “celebrity” guests invited to express their opinions on everything covid in this once-in-a-lifetime concert event.

Another jam session of sorts, Nick Thune is back with Riffs and Riff-Raff, a mixed bag of weirdness, complete with outlandish characters, nonsensical lyrics, and improvised songs.

Adult Swim will debut a sneak peak of the second season of Three Busy Debras, the eccentric satire series created by Mitra Jouhari, Sandy Honig, and Alyssa Stonoha. The trio will perform live with friends of the show Anthony Atamanuik, Francesca D’Uva, and Ikechukwu Ufomadu.

The schedule also features a slate of live podcast recordings. Doug Benson will record his hit game-show, Doug Loves Movies, as well as his new show Wide World of Dougs with Doug Mellard.

Stuart Goldsmith will return with live editions of his podcast, The Comedian’s Comedian. This time around he’ll talk with Jim Gaffigan, Dulce Sloan, and Eddie Pepitone.

Matt Besser’s improv4humans, a stalwart of the improv comedy scene, will also return to the SXSW stage for multiple performances. The shows will feature a talented roster of improvisers, with one recording featuring musical guest ME REX.

Rosebud Baker and Andy Haynes started their podcast Find Your Beach on the first day of quarantine and now the newlyweds bring it to SXSW for their first live recording.


The 2022 SXSW Comedy Festival Participants:

Alyssa Stonoha • Andy Haynes • Anthony Atamanuik • Blair Socci • Bonnie McFarlane • Bruce McCulloch • Byron Bowers • Camilla Cleese • Danielle Schneider • Doug Benson • Dulcé Sloan • Eddie Pepitone • Eleanor Kerrigan • Emma Willman • Ian Lara • Jessica Michelle Singleton • Jim Gaffigan • Joe DeRosa • John Cleese • John Gemberling • Jon Daly • Kiry Shabazz • Liza Treyger • Logan Guntzelman • Marina Franklin • Mary Lynn Rajskub • Matt Besser • Matthew Broussard • Mike Lawrence • Mike Yard • Mitra Jouhari • Nick Thune • Punkie Johnson • Rich Vos • Ricky Velez • Rosebud Baker • Sandy Honig • Scott Thompson • Sean Patton • Shane Torres • Stuart Goldsmith • Vanessa Gonzalez • Yamaneika Saunders, plus some surprise guests.


2022 SXSW Comedy Festival Special Programs Featuring:

Adult Swim Presents Three Busy Debras • ASSSSCAT • The Comedian’s Comedian • A Night at the Comedy Store • Comedy with the Cleeses • The Creek & The Cave • Doug Loves Movies • Find Your Beach • Gotham Comedy Club • improv4humans • Matt Besser’s 420 Show • Roast Battle • The Stand NYC • Wide World of Dougs • Would You Bang Him?

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