Date: 3:30 p.m., Tuesday
The gist: Chris D’Elia, Brent Morin, Ron Funches and RIck Glassman bantered and answered moderator and audience questions about their beginnings in comedy, careers, joke-writing processes and NBC sitcom “Undateable.”
Takeaways: Comedy is funny. Watching people talk about comedy? Not so much. Constant references to the group’s standup showcase at Esther’s Follies Sunday night just made me wish I’d have been there instead of here. I’m not sure I was the only one. The panel was decidedly low-key and low-energy. D’Elia sunk so deep into his comfy chair that, for much of the panel, I couldn’t see his face.
Some takeaways that might be of interest to SXSW Interactive stragglers:The Internet has made it easier for comics to get out there. In the ’90s, D’Elia said, you had to do standup for 20 years before you got well-known enough. “Now you see a guy on a show and you’re like, is that the guy from Tinder?” But ultimately, D’Elia feels that social media has hurt standup. For one thing, people who are not really good get noticed and then think they should do standup, he said. Also, he noted how comics have to cut their teeth and break new material in clubs and there are always people taping and putting that stuff online — material that hasn’t been perfected and isn’t yet ready for wide public viewing.Funches said that social media can be a great tool if it is used well. “It cuts out the middleman,” he said. “I can speak directly to people who enjoy me. That’s what I like about Twitter, those people have to choose to follow you.”
The cast talked about their propensity to crack up during “Undateable” tapings, and their desire to make their fellow actors break.
Funches said he especially enjoys it. He described making another cast member lose his composure with this thought: “I think, I did so good with that joke that I made you ruin this million dollar production.”
The cast is slated to do a live episode of the sitcom this season. It should be interesting to see what a cast so used to wasting time and improvising on set does when they’re under the time gun of live TV.
Session hashtag: #SXSWComedy