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Fred Armisen and Sarah Silverman headline the laughs at SXSW Comedy in Austin

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Fred Armisen leads a panel discussion hosted by IFC at SXSW Comedy. Courtesy of Washington City Paper
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Cult public access favorite The Chris Gethard Show. Sandy Honig
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Tim and Eric join panelist Sarah Silverman. Courtesy of AV Club
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Austin photo: news_ryan_sxsw comedy lineup_feb 2013_chris gethard show
Austin photo: News_ryan_sxsw comedy lineup_feb 2013_tim and eric

There are so many events and showcases packed into the week-long festival, many SXSW visitors might forget that comedy is also a vital part of the festivities. But judging by the initial lineup of visiting talent, those who fail to attend this year’s comedy shows and panels might be missing out on the most fun, ongoing party at SXSW 2013.

Spanning March 9-16 at venues such sa Esther’s Follies, The North Door and The IFC Crossroads House, the lineup is incredibly expansive and features some of the biggest and brightest stars in comedy. Highlights include two shows from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater:an All Stars of Improv show and the Best Damn Standup featuring top talent from both coasts. UCB star Chris Gethard will also stay plenty busy, performing for both UCB shows and hosting his cult public access variety show, The Chris Gethard Show.

 Michael Cera, Tim and Eric, Sarah Silverman and Reggie Watts guide us through the world of digital media and how it actually loosens constraints on the creative process.

Other notable shows include an evening with Scott Aukerman and Reggie Watts, stars of IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang!, and Marc Maron’s preview of his upcoming IFC show Maron, a fictionalized take on his life and popular WTF podcast.

Also on tap is a show called Conspiracy Theory LIVE with Jesse Ventura, in which comedian James Adomian plays the role of former governor and wrestling legend Jesse “The Body” Ventura as he tries to uncover the biggest conspiracy theory yet. It sounds too insane to miss.

Live podcasts are expected, including but not limited to Comedy Bang! Bang!, WTF with Marc Maron, The Fogelnest Files and The Benson Interruption — because, apparently, Doug Benson loves Austin so much he never, ever wants to leave.

Three comedy panels have been announced so far, and all promise as much food for your brain as laughs for your belly. "JASH: A Comedy Platform with Full Creative Autonomy" will feature Michael Cera, Tim and Eric, Sarah Silverman and Reggie Watts as they guide us through the world of digital media and how it actually loosens constraints on the creative process.

IFC will host its own panel headed by Aukerman, Gethard, Maron and Fred Armisen as they discuss the transition of alternative comedy to television.

It’s a full plate of funny — so much so that you might think you need to pay extra and get a separate badge for all of this comedy clout. But you would be wrong. If you have a SXSW badge for other branches of the festival, you’re all set to go for your fantastic comedic voyage. 

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