South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals (March 16-20, 2021) unveiled the SXSW Comedy Festival lineup as part of the 2021 Online event. The Comedy Festival will be a unique experience celebrating some of the finest comedy clubs across the country.
When traditional comedy clubs fell dormant last year, it drove what little stand-up remained to less than ideal environments and reminded us how just a handful of clubs across the country supports the entire community from open mic-er to famous headliner.
SXSW Comedy invited some of the most lauded comedy venues from around the country to present live shows from their home stages, most for the first time in nearly a year. Each club curated an impressive lineup of regulars, excited to be back on a real stage for a live audience and the result is a fascinating comedy time capsule.
The efforts each club made to safely assemble a small audience reveals an enthusiasm to resume comedy, and a hope that in the months ahead we can safely return to gathering and laughing together again.
Acme Comedy Co. (Minneapolis)
Acme Comedy Company’s respect for the art of stand-up is reflected in every aspect of the club, making the intimate room a favorite among comedians. For over 30 years, it has been a linchpin of the fruitful Minneapolis comedy scene. Their SXSW lineup returns local standouts to Acme’s hallowed stage.
Comedians: Chloe Radcliffe, Greg Coleman, Mike Earley, Shannan Paul, Tommy Ryman
Dynasty Typewriter (Los Angeles)
Dynasty Typewriter has quickly become known for carefully curated, enchanting comedy experiences. Their socially distant audience consisted of one of the owners, his parents, and a collection of adoring puppets. It’s perfectly normal.
Comedians: Beth Stelling, Billy Wayne Davis, Daniel Webb, Joel Kim Booster, Kimberly Clark, Reggie Watts
Gotham Comedy Club (New York City)
Often featured in numerous film and television productions, Gotham Comedy Club is one of New York’s most popular stand-up destinations. For 25 years their coveted stage has hosted national acts, and fostered generations of young comedians into comedy heavyweights who still consider the club a home today.
Comedians: Erin Jackson, Matthew Broussard, Monroe Martin, Nathan Macintosh, Ophira Eisenberg
The Improv has been an American comedy institution for over 50 years and has grown into a national network of 25 clubs. Since opening in 1975, the Hollywood Improv has hosted virtually every comedy great. For the first time in nearly a year, the club presents a lineup of favorites from the most recognizable comedy stage in the country.
Comedians: Chris Porter, Donnell Rawlings, J.F. Harris, Lara Beitz, Pete Lee, Orlando Leyba
Laughing Skull Lounge (Atlanta)
The Laughing Skull Lounge is a hub of the Atlanta comedy scene. It provides a prominent stage for locals to share with touring headliners, and as home to The Laughing Skull Comedy Festival it’s brought well-deserved industry attention to one of the most robust comedy scenes in the country.
Comedians: Clayton English, Ian Aber, Katie Hughes, Lace Larrabee, Shaunak Godkhindi
The Stand NYC
The Stand NYC opened in 2012 with the idea of creating an elevated comedy experience and soon became a favorite hangout of the city’s hottest up and coming comedians. The Stand invited some of those comics, and a small audience, to swab up for a welcome step back onto the stage.
Comedians: Dan Soder, Derek Gaines, Emma Willmann, Ian Lara, Rosebud Baker, Sam Jay, Shane Gillis
Zanies Comedy Club (Chicago)
The third oldest comedy club in the country, Zanies has been at the heart of Chicago comedy for over 40 years. They’ve nurtured the early careers of comedy legends, some of today’s biggest stars, and the next generation of greats to emerge from the area’s legendary comedy scene.
Comedians: Calvin Evans, Correy Bell, Em Brown, Matty Ryan, Sarah Perry
SXSW Comedy presents Bring Back Laughs. Last summer Rebecca Trent, owner/operator of The Creek & The Cave comedy clubhouse in Queens, teamed up with SNL’s Michael Che to put on comedy shows in a parking lot using the bed of a pick-up truck as a makeshift stage. Those shows inspired a two-day comedy fundraiser. This special presentation features select performances from that weekend. (Carmen Lynch, Janeane Garofalo, Lucas Brothers, Myq Kaplan, Nore Davis, Rojo Perez, Roy Wood Jr., Tone Bell, Victor Varnado.)
The 2021 Online Comedy Festival will also include quarantine versions of SXSW Comedy’s longest running shows. The hit game-show podcast Doug Loves Movieshosted by Doug Benson, Watch and listen as Doug and friends (Arden Myrin, Jerry Trainor, Rob Benedict) sit down and discuss his first love: movies! And Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) cofounder, Matt Besser, brings the largest cast of players yet to SXSW for the improv4humans podcast. Matt brought his talents to Earwolf with a fully improvised weekly podcast featuring the best improvisers in the universe.
Experience SXSW Online Music Festival with streaming available via web, mobile, and the SXSW Online Connected TV app (Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku®, Samsung Smart TV, and Android TV). Select Music Festival Showcases, Conference Sessions and Special Event programming will be available at SXSW Online XR on VRChat. Virtual Cinema programming will be available on the VRrOOm store.
In addition to the Comedy Festival performances, passholders also have access to the full range of content available during SXSW Online including Conference Keynotes, Featured Speakers, Mentor Sessions, Networking Meet Ups, Film Festival Screenings, Music Festival Showcases, Online Exhibitions and Professional Development. Previously announced for 2021 are Keynotes by Willie Nelson andStacey Abrams and Featured Speakers including Queen Latifah, Chiquis, Mark Mothersbaugh, Wyclef Jean, Andrew Bird, Mary J. Blige, Carole King, Demi Lovato, Lenzo Yoon and more. SXSW Online has opened to passholders who may get a head start on networking. For more information on everything SXSW Online has to offer, please visit sxsw.com.