Listen to Austin 360 Radio

'Black Monday' SXSW 2021 Q&A panel stacked with laughs from Paul Scheer, Don Cheadle and more

Omar L. Gallaga
Special to the American-Statesman
The cast and crew of "Black Monday" participated in a special Q&A panel on March 16 as part of SXSW Online.

The pop culture and entertainment side of South by Southwest's online event got a strong start on several fronts, including a stacked and lively panel with cast members and writers of Showtime's underappreciated comedy "Black Monday."

The online panel, which clocked it at a swift 28 minutes, was moderated by Janelle James, an actress and writer on the show, and featured comedy aces Don Cheadle, Casey Wilson, Andrew Rannells and Paul Scheer, as well as series showrunners.

"Black Monday," which takes place about 30 years ago and is themed around the stock market crash of October 1987, is returning for a third season, and the series creators revealed that it will focus on what happens when its striving, scheming characters get exactly what they want (or what they think they want).

What happened at SXSW 2021 on Day 1? Stacey Abrams shouts out 'Supernatural', more

While one of the show's stars, Regina Hall, wasn't present, she was represented by a virtual background shoutout from Scheer, who frequently had his co-presenters in hysterics with his wisecracks about James' braising meatballs and face filters. "I am not a pig," Scheer said at one point, with his face covered in virtual pig gear. At the end of the panel, he made a plea for vaccines, "because we can't wear masks" while shooting.

The show writers spoke about working under COVID-19 conditions, which required the writers' room to create virtually. "Writing is miserable," co-creator David Caspe said, while Jordan Cahan sarcastically explained, "We only hire COVID deniers" to work on the show.

More:What you need to know about SXSW Online 2021

It was an energetic, silly presentation perfectly in tune with Showtime's acidic satire of a show.