IFC has made a mission of promoting up-and-coming comedians as part of the network’s growing lineup (in between the odd documentary or random indie flick from the ’90s, of course). Their poster child is Fred Armisen — along with Carrie Brownstein and their show, Portlandia — but the channel has also fostered new shows from comedians Marc Maron (whose upcoming show Maron grew out of his popular WTF podcast) and Scott Aukerman, whose Comedy Bang! Bang! show launched recently on the network. At a panel today, Armisen, Aukerman, and Maron discussed the transition from alternative comedy to television series.
Below, some highlights from the hour-long talk…
Armisen spontaneously broke out into various accents during the Q&A portion of the panel, first starting with impersonating his fellow panelists, then moving into Australian, British (London and Liverpool), Wisconsin, New York, and more. As the audience asked questions, some even requested different accents, resulting in tips on how to do a California accent in the style of his SNL sketch “The Californians.” Said Armisen, “You have to pronounce every single consonant and vowel.”
Pro tip: Podcasting is a great way to get noticed, but it’s not the only way to get a show
“The podcast changed everything for me,” Maron said. The podcast helped him create his character and avoid the pitfalls of pitching in Hollywood. “As a comic, to get a TV show every couple years you go in and pitch some version of your life,” he said. You have to prove, he joked, that “‘I’m not that guy anymore — I’m much more angry and sad!” But Aukerman warned “People shouldn’t get podcasts to get TV shows. Whatever you find interesting you should do. There’s no grand scheme of ‘IFC is picking up podcasts.’”
Amateur tip: If you ask a question, stay through the answer
When one woman started to move back to her seat during the audience questions portion, Maron (jokingly) flipped out, yelling, “You f—— up this whole panel!”
Fred Armisen’s Spanish is really that good
One audience member asked him a question in Spanish and they had a whole conversation. My Spanish isn’t great, but I think they were discussing someone’s aunt in Caracas.
For more from Maron, check out his interview with What’s Trending live at SXSW below: