A comedy fan’s guide to San Diego’s Comic-Con 2011

San_diego_comic-conSan Diego's Comic-Con International is a celebration of much more than comics — and you don't have to have a website named The Comic's Comic to understand that — as movies, TV shows, and more things that appeal to the comic-book crowd make their appeals to the sci-fi, fantasy and uber-nerds and geeks of the world each summer.

There's a lot to take in. Even the New York edition of Comic-Con, held in the fall, can feel overwhelming.

If you're a comedy fan, I've looked through the programming for Comic-Con International 2011 and tried to make it a bit easier for you to manage your schedule. This is an abridged look at those things of most concern to most discerning comedy fans. Even if you just want to see comedians, you'll find yourself busy enough to have to make some hard decisions.

So if you're going to San Diego Comic-Con 2011, here goes!


10 to 11 a.m., Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe — For the most serious of Bruce Campbell fans only, as he'll be talking about his character in USA's Burn Notice. Ballroom 20

11 a.m. to Noon, Bongo Comics Sneak Peek — Bongo Comics previews upcoming projects featuring The Simpsons and Futurama and a few other surprisesManaging editor Terry Delegeane and creative director Bill Morrison host the writers and artists who create the comics and books based on Matt Groening's iconic TV shows. PLUS! Join Sergio Aragon√©s as he presents his new humor monthly Sergio Aragon√©s Funnies. Room 9

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Spotlight on Dick DeBartolo – DeBartolo talks about his career at MAD magazine and writing thousands of questions for The Match GameRoom 8 

2 to 3 p.m., Napoleon Dynamite — Jon HederTina MajorinoEfren RamirezJon GriesSandy MartinDiedrich Bader and executive producer Mike Scully present never-before-seen footage of their FOX animated adaptation and a Q&A session. Room 7AB 

3 to 4 p.m., Effin with Tonight — The world premiere of former Tonight Show writer Jim Shaughnessy's reinvention of late night, Effin with Tonight starring Patrick Warburton. Panelists include Patrick Warburton, writer/creator Jim Shaughnessy, co-writer/EPJerrod Cardwell (Arsenio Hall, George Lopez), and the voice cast of Rachel Butera (The Howard Stern Show), Jay Lamont (Comedy Central standup, Def Comedy Jam), and Joe Cipriano (the voice of FOX television, CBS TV, the Emmy Awards and the Grammy Awards). Exclusive preview clips will be shown followed by a Q&A. Effin with Tonight is a Sony Crackle web series debuting in September. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

4 to 5 p.m., Archer Screening and Q&A — With series creator Adam Reed and panelists H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, Judy GreerAmber Nash and George CoeIndigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

4:30 to 5:30 p.m., MAD Men — Moderator Mark Evanier quizzes the Usual Gang of Idiots: editor John Ficarra, art director Sam Viviano, writer Dick DeBartolo and artists Sergio Aragon√©sPeter KuperTom Richmond, and Keith KnightRoom 8 

5 to 6 p.m., Beavis & Butthead — Creator Mike Judge discusses the duo's return to MTV in conversation with Johnny Knoxville. Room 6A 

6:15 to 7:30 p.m., Wilfred Screening and Q &A – Elijah Wood, Jason Gann join co-stars Fiona Gubelmann and Dorian Brown, executive producer David Zuckerman, and co-executive producer/director Randall EinhornRoom 6A 

7 to 8 p.m., Writing Movies for Fun and Profit — Meet authors Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant for an informative and irreverent Q&A. Room 5AB 

7 to 8 p.m., Penn & Teller Tell a Lie — They've been fooling people for years, and now they're going to do it on the Discovery Channel. Penn Jillette and Teller talk about their 35+-year careers, answer audience questions, and introduce their new fall series, Penn & Teller Tell a Lie. In each episode, they'll answer the big, urgent questions of the modern world, but one of them is an out-and-out lie. It's up to you to figure it out! Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

8:30 to 10 p.m., Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog‚Äî Sing along with your fellow fans at this screening of the original three acts of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog hosted by the California Browncoats, complete with callbacks! Room 6BCF 

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2011

10 to 11 a.m., Conversations with Sid and Marty Krofft: A Look at the Past, Present and Future‚Äî Sid and Marty Krofft changed Saturday mornings forever when the sibling puppeteers unleashed colorful characters like H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund & the Sea Monsters on a generation of sugary-cereal-fueled kids growing up in the 1970s and '80s. Join Sid and Marty for a look back at what they have achieved, then take a look to the future with their new partnerships with Vivendi Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation. Room 23ABC 

10 to 11 a.m., DC: Mad about MAD — Join MAD magazine editor John Ficarra, art director Sam Viviano and Spy vs. Spy artist Peter Kuper, along with MAD series producers Kevin Shinick and Mark Marek, for a sizzle reel from season one, a sneak peek at season two, and a Q&A. MAD airs Mondays at 8:30 ET/PT on Cartoon Network. Room 25ABC 

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Adult Swim: The Venture Bros. — Show creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer will screen an early premiere of The Venture Bros. Special — From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy – a 15-minute documentary-style animated special (premiering August 28 on Adult Swim), discuss their original series, and answer questions. Panel features James Urbaniak (Dr. Venture). Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., The Big Bang Theory Screening and Q&A — A special screening and Q&A. Executive producers Chuck LorreBill Prady and Steve Molaro join stars Johnny GaleckiJim ParsonsKaley CuocoSimon HelbergKunal NayyarMayim Bialik, and Melissa Rauch for a fun and lively discussion. Ballroom 20 

12:45 to 1:15 p.m., Adult Swim: Pilots/New Shows/Additional Sundry Topics‚Äî Mike Lazzo (senior vice president, programming and production for Adult Swim), Keith Crofford (vice president of production for Adult Swim), and Nick Weidenfeld (vice president, comedy development for both Cartoon Network and Adult Swim) preview and discuss new Adult Swim programming. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Adult Swim: Childrens' Hospital ‚Äî See a never-before-screened episode of Children's Hospital and hear from Rob Corddry and Jon Stern, joined by Malin AkermanLake BellErinn HayesRob Huebel and Megan Mullally. The panel will close with a sneak peek at Adult Swim's newest live-action comedy, NTSF:SD:SUV::, featuring creator/star Paul ScheerIndigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

2:30 to 3:15 p.m., Adult Swim: Black Dynamite ‚Äî Executive producer Carl Jones and director Scott Sanders appear, in addition to writer and star Michael Jai White, voice actors Tommy Davidson and Kym Whitley, and writer/voice actor Byron Minns, all of whom also starred in the live-action feature film. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

3 to 4 p.m., Bob's Burgers ‚Äî Bob's Burgers creator/executive producer Loren Bouchard, executive producer Jim Dauterive, and cast members H. Jon BenjaminJohn RobertsDan MintzEugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal entertain animation fans with hilarious never-before-seen footage from season two, followed by a Q&A. Room 23ABC 

3:30 to 4:15 p.m., Adult Swim: Robot Chicken ‚Äî Seth GreenMatthew Senreich and Tom Root discuss the popular Adult Swim series. Moderated by Keith Crofford, vice president of production, Adult Swim. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

4 to 5 p.m., Comedy Central: Ugly Americans ‚Äî Dan Powell (executive producer), Aaron Augenblick (director of animation), Devin Clark (producer and series creator), and the voice talents behind Mark (Matt Oberg), Leonard (Randy Pearlstein), Randall (Kurt Metzger), and Lt. Grimes (Larry Murphy) take you behind the scenes of season two. Featuring a live, in-character surprise table read, a sneak peak at an upcoming episode, a Q&A, and a look at the highly anticipated downloadable game Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon, coming to Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network in August. Room 23ABC 

4 to 6:30 p.m., Amid Sony's movie preview presentations for the Ghost Rider sequel, Spider-Man and Total Recall reboots, is a look at 30 Minutes or Less, from Ruben Fleischer. Stars in attendance to include Aziz Ansari and Nick SwardsonHall H 

4:30 to 5 p.m., Adult Swim: Eagleheart ‚Äî Chris Elliott discusses his first lead television role since the cult favorite Get a Life. Panelists include Brett Gelman and Maria Thayer, plus executive producers Michael KomanAndrew Weinberg, and Jason WolinerIndigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

6:45 to 7:45 p.m., RiffTrax Live ‚Äî Michael J. NelsonKevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett perform another live, riff to a classic short! Join the riffers for fun, laughs, and the latest news about their upcoming Jack the Giant Killer live show, a one-night event playing in select movie theaters nationwide in August. Room 6DE 

7:30 to 8:30 p.m., Death Valley ‚Äî MTV brings the unique marriage of horror and comedy together with this new series. Join cast Caity LotzTania RaymondeBryan CallenBryce JohnsonTexas Battle, and Charlie Sanders, along with showrunner/executive producer Eric Weinberg, director Drew Daywalt, executive producer/director Austin Reading, executive producer Julie Kellman Reading, and co-executive producer Spider One, in a discussion about the challenges of bringing the comedy and horror genres together. Fans will get an exclusive first look at an upcoming episode. Q&A session to follow. Room 5AB 

9 to 10 p.m., Worst Cartoons Ever ‚Äî Jerry Beck once again compiles a new selection of the most terribly written, ugliest drawn, and unintentionally funniest animated films ever made. Room 6BCF

9:30 to 10:30 p.m., Sony Pictures Entertainment's Crackle.com: Issues ‚Äî Josh CookeMatt Oates and Greg Grunberg discuss their uncensored series from Crackle.com, which follows a disgruntled psychologist (Cooke), who has to deal with the bizarre neuroses and psychoses of his unique clientele — animated superheroes. Created by Cooke and Oates, featuring Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family), Seth Green (Family Guy), Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie), Ron Livingston (Office Space), Greg Grunberg (Heroes) and Rob Riggle (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) as the superhero voices. Join Josh, Matt and Greg for a discussion and Q&A. Room 7AB 


10 to 10:45 a.m., Chuck Screening and Q&A ‚Äî Chuck's farewell panel to celebrate its fifth and final season. Executive producer and co-creator Chris Fedak, along with series stars Zachary LeviYvonne StrahovskiJoshua GomezRyan McPartlinMark Christopher LawrenceVik SahayScott Krinsky, Sarah Lancaster and Adam Baldwin (Serenity), offer a Q&A and video presentation. Ballroom 20 

12:15 to 1 p.m., Futurama ‚Äî Onstage will be creator/executive producer Matt Groening, executive producer David X. Cohen, and stars Billy West (Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), and Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, Calculon, Morbo). Get a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage of Futurama reincarnated as Japanese anime, along with a thrilling preview of this summer's new season on Comedy Central. Moderated by Bill MorrisonBallroom 20 

1 to 2 p.m., Remembering Harvey Pekar ‚Äî The legendary Harvey Pekar died in July 2010, leaving behind a huge legacy of work with a veritable who's who list of comics collaborators on his American Splendor and graphic novels. Joyce Brabner and Danielle Batone join editor Charles Kochman and moderator Jeff Newelt to talk about Harvey's life and comics career. This is an open invitation to anyone whoever worked with Harvey or cared about him to come and share their memories. Room 7AB 

1 to 1:45 p.m. The Simpsons ‚Äî Get insight into the daily doings of this series from creator Matt Groening, showrunner Al Jean, co-executive producer Rob Lazebnik, co-executive producer Matt Warburton, supervising producer Mike Anderson, and producer/panel moderator Tom GammillBallroom 20 

1 to 2 p.m. Community ‚Äî Joel McHaleChevy ChaseDonald GloverYvette Nicole BrownDanny PudiGillian JacobsAlison Brie, and Ken Jeong, and executive producers Dan HarmonJoe RussoAnthony RussoNeil GoldmanGarrett Donovan and Russ Krasnoff – come together for a discussion and Q&A session about what's in store for viewers this fall. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

2 to 2:35 p.m., Family Guy ‚Äî Alex BorsteinSeth GreenAdam West, and executive producers Mark HentemannSteve Callaghan, and Kara Vallow present a sneak peek at the new episode Stewie Goes for a Drive, featuring voice guest star Ryan Reynolds, followed by a Q&A session. Ballroom 20 

2:15 to 3:15 p.m., IndieVest Pictures: Knights of Badassdom ‚Äî In this humorous fantasy adventure from IndieVest Pictures, Joe (Ryan Kwanten) is a heavy metal rocker who's just gone through a painful breakup with his girlfriend, Beth (Margarita Levieva). His concerned roommates (Steve Zahn, Peter Dinklage) kidnap him to their LARP (Live Action Role Playing) gathering, where he enters a realm of fantasy escapism in which pretend knights, elves, and barbarians clash with foam weaponry on a mock battlefield. When Joe's "sorcerer" roommate (Zahn) inadvertently summons a deadly succubus that takes Beth's seductive form, bloody reality crashes down on their fantasy world. Once LARPers start to turn up dead, the make-believe wizards and warriors must become the real-life heroes they have been pretending to be in order to conquer the evil that has been unleashed. The panel will include a Comic-Con exclusive trailer and a discussion/Q&A with stars Ryan Kwanten (HBO's True Blood, Red Hill), Peter Dinklage (HBO's Game of Thrones, Station Agent), Steve Zahn, pending availability (HBO's Trem√©, Saving Silverman), Summer Glau (Firefly, Serenity, The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Danny Pudi (NBC's Community), Jimmi Simpson, pending availability (A&E'sBreakout Kings, Date Night), Margarita Levieva (The Lincoln Lawyer, Adventureland). and director Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2). Knights of Badassdom will be released in Spring 2012. Hall H 

2:35 to 3:15 p.m, American Dad ‚Äî Catch a preview of the Season 7 premiere of American Dad, featuring guest star Cee-Lo Green as a singing hot tub, followed by a Q&A with cast members Wendy SchaalScott GrimesRachael MacFarlane, and Dee Bradley Baker and executive producers Mike BarkerMatt Weitzman, and Kara VallowBallroom 20 

5:45 to 7:30 p.m., An Early Evening with Kevin Smith ‚Äî Kevin Smith takes to the Hall H stage for his annual Q&A. Hall H 

6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Good Vibes ‚Äî MTV's new animated comedy includes voice cast members Adam BrodyAlan TudykOlivia ThirlbyJake Busey and Tony Hale. They join executive producer and creator David Gordon Green, and executive producers Tom Brady, Brad Ableson and Mike Clements to discuss their new series and give fans an exclusive first look at an upcoming episode. Room 24ABC 

SUNDAY, JULY 24, 2011

11 a.m. to Noon, Allen Gregory ‚Äî Creator/executive producer and star Jonah Hill, showrunner David Goodman, and creators/executive producers Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul, along with a voice cast including French Stewart and Nat Faxon, present a sneak peek at FOX's new animated series that tells the story of the most pretentious 7-year-old of our time. Exclusive preview of Allen Gregory animation will be followed by a fan Q&A session. Room 25ABC 

11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Cartoon Voices II ‚Äî Panel full of amazing folks who provide voices for animation. This one has Bill Farmer (Goofy), Laraine Newman (The Goode Family), Jason Marsden (The Fairly OddParents), Gregg Berger (The Garfield Show), Vanessa Marshall (The Avengers), and maybe a surprise or two. They'll be questioned by moderators Mark Evanier and Earl KressRoom 6A 

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. One-on-One with Nathan Fillion – Enough said. Room 6BCF 

1:45 to 2:45 p.m., The Cleveland Show — The cast and executive producers offer a look at The Cleveland Show's parody of Die Hard, followed by a discussion with Mike HenrySanaa LathanKevin Michael RichardsonReagan GomezRich Appel, andKara VallowHall H 

2:45 to 3:30 p.m., It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Join Rob McElhenney,Glenn HowertonCharlie DayKaitlin Olson, and Danny DeVito for a Q&A panel session. Hall H

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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