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Meet Your IFC @ SXSW Hosts: Comedian Chris Gethard and Yeasayer’s Chris Keating

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas, it’s SXSW. That’s right the annual music, film, and interactive conference that takes Austin, Texas by storm each year is gearing up to do it all over again. You know we’re going to be there bringing you the best film interviews and music performances and even introducing you to the guys who fill the pipes and tubes of the internet. Check out the IFC Crossroads House schedule here and make sure to write down the change of address. This year we’re staking out Vice Bar in the heart of the action at 302 East 6th Street. You’ll want to make a note of it because we’re have an incredible line up including Youth Lagoon, Built to Spill, Citizen Cope, Delta Spirit and a DJ set by Andy Rourke of The Smiths.

As anyone who has been to (or witnessed via live stream) SXSW, the volume of incredible acts, must-see bands, need-to-know start-ups, and buzzed about films is nothing short of awe-inspiring verging on overwhelming. Because we care, we want you to know that we would never leave you unsupervised and alone to face the massive the SXSW schedule. Nope, we are providing you (free of charge!) the best tour guides around to make sure you find the best that SXSW has to offer. So who are these hosts with the mosts? Leading you through the Film and Interactive portions of the conference is comedian Chris Gethard who you may recognize as the co-host of our Spirit Awards live chat. Taking your hand for the music portion is none other than Chris Keating of the indie darling band Yeasayer who put on one of the most buzzed about performances of last year’s SXSW. Don’t say we never did nothing for you.

Chris and Chris took some time out of their busy schedules making people laugh and dance respectively to answer some very important questions about SXSW.

Ten Questions for Chris Gethard:

Who has the best tacos in Austin?

I don’t know who has the best tacos in Austin! I will find out while I’m in town. I can say that in my time passing through Austin in the past, I’ve found out that Threadgill’s has the best chicken fried pork chop. Pretty psyched to try that one again.

What is your favorite doughnut from Gourdough’s? (If you haven’t been there, you are doing Austin wrong and I will take you when we are down there.)

Apparently I am doing Austin wrong. Please take me when I am down there.

What films and panels are you most excited to see?

I am watching a lot of films as part of my duties for IFC, and was super psyched to get an advanced copy of Nelson George’s documentary on Magic Johnson. I’m a big NBA fan and loved it. Being that I’m already throttling through a bunch of flicks for the job, any films I manage to watch on top of that while in town will be icing on the cake and what not. I just want to get down there and hit the ground running, which is probably a really bad plan, but that’s my goal – stumble into as much cool stuff as possible while in Texas.

How many times have you been to SXSW?

This will be my first time at SXSW. I’ve been to Austin a few times before and always found it to be one of my favorite places in America – the only city I can imagine living in besides New York. And that was without SXSW. I can’t imagine how fun this town is going to be with all this nonsense going on.

What is your current favorite Tumblr?

My friend Jake Fogelnest, who is a DJ at Sirius radio thsese days, runs a very entertaining tumblr. Most of it consists of his views and recollections on pop culture, plus him getting into dozens of fights with teenage followers of his. I dig that. I respect it.

You’re hosting the interactive portion of SXSW for IFC, what does your browser history look like? Would you let your mom see it?

I would absolutely not let me mom look at my browser history. That’s an insane question. I barely want to look at it myself. It’s got a lot of NBA blogs, comedy nerd websites, Google searches of myself, and all the other stuff you would expect. Yes, even some of that stuff.

What was the last movie you saw?

Project X. My girlfriend was convinced it was going to be good. I was unconvinced. I remain unconvinced.

Breakfast tacos, yes or no?

Breakfast tacos? Maybe. Breakfast burritos? Hell to the yes.

Did you get Kraftwerk tickets?

Nope. This year I will unfortunately not get to ride the Autobahn.

Who are you excited to meet at the IFC house?
Anyone who will talk to me. I am a shy, nerdy dude and I’m psyched and flattered to be a part of things.


Ten Questions for Chris Keating:

Who has the best tacos in Austin?

I like Torchys. The one in the trailer park.

How many doughnuts can you eat in one sitting?

How many doughnuts can I eat in one sitting? Who am I, Rush Limbaugh? One Doughnut is plenty.

What bands are you most excited to see?

The ones that the blogospere agrees are “hip” and “new” and “the next big thing”

How many times have you been to SXSW?

This is lucky #4

Is Yeasayer playing shows this year? If so, how many?

We are playing 9 shows, each day, in every aisle of whole foods.

Are you a Fred or a Carrie?

I’m a Cred Farrie

Are you the father of Snooki’s baby?

I use 2 condoms when fornicating with anyone from The Jersey Shore

Breakfast tacos, yes or no?

Eh…. Whatever.

Did you get Kraftwerk tickets?

No. Stop rubbing it in.

Who are you excited to meet at the IFC house?
The Boss.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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