WOTA covers SXSW Film – Thank You, Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon

Writing on the Air was lucky enough to be able to cover the 2016 SXSW Film Festival that descended on Austin earlier this March.

Thank You Del

Co-host Lisa Onland sat down with the directors of three films that premiered at the festival. Following the world premiere of Thank You, Del: The Story of the Del Close Marathon, she met with documentary director Todd Bieber as well as comedians and founders of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Matt Walsh and Matt Besser.

Listen to the full interview below or on our iTunes podcast:

About the documentary:

Del Close was never a household name, but any comedy enthusiast is aware of his impact. From Bill Murray to Chris Farley to Amy Poehler, many of the most famous comedians consider him their mentor. Fifteen years after Del Close’s death, thousands of Improv students, comedy fans, actors, and successful comedians gather to celebrate the most important person in modern comedy that no one.

About the director:

Todd writes and directs – mostly comedy and documentary, or some combination of the two. He has directed series for Comedy Central, Vice, IFC, Above Average, Nerdist, Broadway Video, and College Humor. He is the former Creative Director for UCB Comedy and also worked at the Onion News Networks during their Peabody Award Winning year. One time Todd found a roll of film in Brooklyn that led him on a worldwide search for the owner. He documented his experience and TIME Magazine called it “YouTube’s Greatest Adventure” and ABC News called him a “real life international man of mystery.” His work has been prominently featured multiple times on his mom’s Facebook wall.

About Del Close:

Del Close was the driving force behind improvisational comedy in Chicago for over 30 years influencing Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, John Belushi, Chris Farley and the Upright Citizens Brigade to name a few. After Del’s passing in 1999, the UCB started the Del Close Marathon to celebrate their mentor and keep alive his name and teachings for future generations.

About Upright Citizens Brigade:

The Upright Citizens Brigade was founded and is currently owned by Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh. With two theaters in New York, two theaters in Los Angeles – including the newly opened training center and stage on Sunset Boulevard — the UCB continues to offer the best and most innovative improv and sketch comedy every day of the week on both coasts. Named “Hot Farm Team” by Rolling Stone magazine and “Best Comedy Club” by AOL, The UCB Theatre is widely recognized as home to today’s funniest actors and writers. Performers who have gained success continue to lend their talents to the theatre and accredited training centers in both New York and Los Angeles.

The Upright Citizens Brigade continues the spread of their unique brand of no-holds barred comedy to audiences across the country through UCBcomedy.com. UCBcomedy is the virtual home of all things comedy from improv, sketch and standup to pranks, jokes, podcasts, f’ed up and illegal videos and much more from the performers, teachers, students and friends who have made the Upright Citizens Brigade the leading brand of comedy in the country. For more information, visit UBC Theatre and UBC Comedy