The sweaty crowd settled in loose line formation rose from their seats on the ground and roared with applause as "Broad City" stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer stepped from their black SUVs and made their way inside the Zach Theatre, turning to smile and wave at the anticipatory throng of badge holders.
The music portion of SXSW doesn't get into full swing until later this week, but the arrival of the vulnerable and hilarious duo had the vibe of rock stars showing up before a show.
SXSW Film director Janet Pierson took the stage before the screenings of the final three episodes and recounted how in early years at the fest (she took the helm in 2009), the festival had started integrating season premieres of serial television. So, while showing the final episodes of a comedy series was a little out of the ordinary for the fest, it was a no-brainer.
Calling the show a "cultural juggernaut," Pierson said, "We can't pass up the opportunity to break our own rules."
The love continued to pour out from fans following the screening of the final three episodes of the Comedy Central show that will soon come to its series conclusion. While we, and everyone in the audience were sworn to secrecy regarding plot points, just know that the trio of shows is as touching and hilarious as you would expect from the creative team that first rose to prominence with their web series.
The enthusiasm and love from the crowd had an obvious effect on the duo, as they took the stage following the screenings for a conversation.
"I feel really privileged to have had this experience," Glazer said, as Jacobson admitted to fighting back tears. "How much you care is wild. This experience has been divine."
The New Yorkers only finished editing the final episode on Monday, so they said they still felt very much wrapped up in the experience. They also acknowledged that it was time for the show to come to its logical conclusion.
"It would be strangling to hold onto this beautiful spontaneous world," Glazer said.
Both acknowledged that the growth of the characters, who are informed in deep and sometimes vague ways by the creators' own personal lives, had led the show to its natural end. The wrapping of the show has also helped the women put the work and its meaning into perspective.
"Now that the end is on the horizon, I am seeing it as art and not just this personal therapy vehicle," Glazer said to laughs.
The final three episodes of "Broad City" air on Comedy Central Thursday, March 21 and March 28.