SXSW Comedy Spotlight: Talk Show Hosts Chris Gethard and "Jesse Ventura"

Written by Samantha Pitchel | Thursday, Mar 7, 2013
Photo by Julia NathanPhoto by Julia Nathan

There's more to SXSW Comedy than standup - like these two events, a pair of the oddest, most original talk shows out there. 

Conspiracy Theory Live with Jesse Ventura is not exactly a live version of former wrestler / senator Jesse Ventura's paranoia-centric TV series - it's much, much better. Hosted by James Adomian (who regularly appears on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast as Ventura, Gary Busey, Huell Howser, Richard Branson, and other beloved characters), Conspiracy Theory Live is a tongue-in-cheek talk show where some of the most hardcore theorists join "The Body" to defend - or debunk - today's biggest mysteries. A serious master at adopting even the most off-the-wall personas, Adomian's take of Ventura is almost eerily pitch perfect, and the oddball guests who make up his panel promise to bring plenty of totally logical, totally plausible points to the table for your enjoyment. Catch Conspiracy Theory Live at 10:30pm on Monday, March 11 at The IFC Crossroads House.

The Chris Gethard Show has been a mainstay on the New York City alt comedy scene for years, first as a monthly show at the UCB (with occasional installments in apartments, on buses, and at Gethard's New Jersey childhood home), and now on public access and online. Every Wednesday night, TCGS serves up an unpredictable - and always amazing - hour of comedy, music, and insane stunts where you never know who's going to call in (or show up). Its eponymous host - who New York Magazine called "the Carson of cable access" - is an accomplished improviser, actor, and author, a storyteller who loves exploring the weirder side of life, and his unflinching embrace of all things awkward has earned him a dedicated fan base of proudly self-proclaimed "losers" who have helped put the show at the top of the iTunes charts. After road tripping across the country to attend Bonnaroo, establishing Sandwich Night as a new national holiday, giving a high school comedy nerd the best night of her life, and running a presidential campaign and two concurrent 12-hour election specials, the Gethard Show is back at SXSW Comedy at 10:30pm on Tuesday, March 12 at The IFC Crossroads House.

Check out the rest of the SXSW Comedy schedule.