South By Southwest, the wide-ranging media festival held in Austin, TX in March, has announced its planned live comedy podcast tapings for 2012. In addition to several returning podcasts, the festival is expanding its Comedy lineup to eight live podcast recordings. SXSW Comedy will be held continuously from March 10 - 17 this year.
In 2011, SXSW Comedy included official podcast tapings for the first time. Several are returning in 2012, including the popular "WTF with Marc Maron," "Doug Loves Movies" with Doug Benson, and "Comedy Bang! Bang!," Scott Aukerman's variety show style podcast which went by the title "Comedy Death-Ray" in 2011.
Joining them will be live tapings of "You Made It Weird" with Pete Holmes, "The Smartest Man In The World" with Greg Proops," "Sklarbro Country" with Jason and Randy Sklar, "Who Charted?" with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack, and "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show," hosted by the veteran actor and comedian. Holmes, Kremer and Pollak appeared as part of the Comedy programming in 2011, but not as podcast hosts.
Most of the announced podcasts typically showcase anywhere between two to five comedians per episode, with one host. Maron has confirmed on recent episodes of "WTF" that his guest for the SXSW taping will be actor Jeffrey Tambor, perhaps best known for his work on "Arrested Development" and "The Larry Sanders Show."
Due to the nature of South By Southwest, where a high number of well-known filmmakers, actors, musicians and other artists are concentrated in Austin for the Interactive, Film and Music portions of SXSW, it's expected that several celebrities outside of the comedy world will appear as podcast guests.
As SXSW's Interactive portion of the festival is perhaps the foremost annual gathering of the technologically-minded in America, the burgeoning field of comedy podcasting seems like a natural presence during the Comedy programming. Since last year, the medium has exploded in popularity. Largely due to their accessibility and relative ease to produce, two major podcast networks -- the Funny Or Die partnered Earwolf and geek-friendly Nerdist -- have risen as centers of the growing medium. The first ever Los Angeles Podcast Festival, planned to exclusively host episodes of popular comedy podcasts, is slated for October in Santa Monica, CA.
The full lineup for SXSW Comedy will be announced in the coming weeks at sxsw.com/comedy. As always, lineups are tentative to change.
Photo of Marc Maron taken at SXSW 2011 by Cassie Wright.