Texas Chainsaw Yuletide: One-Man Comedy from Standup Will Franken
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The last date listed for Texas Chainsaw Yuletide was Saturday December 18, 2010 / 10:00pm.
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When the Independent Shakespeare Company put on their first Free Shakespeare Festival in 2004, it… More
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Visit Will Franken’s website for more information and comedy videos.
Will Franken‘s strange life story is the kind that standup comedians dream of having and independent filmmakers dream of concocting—if only for the wealth of bizarre and darkly funny material there is to draw upon. Born and raised in Sedalia, Missouri, Will Franken worked as an actor, middle-school and college-level English teacher, typist, convenience store clerk, and corporate mascot for an online library before heading to California in 2002 to try his hand at comedy. Seven years later, he is celebrated as one of the most innovative performers to come out of the Bay Area in recent years. Armed with what The New York Times__ __describes as a “highly developed sense of the absurd,” and what Franken himself refers to as a "one-man American version of ’Monty Python’s Flying Circus’" he brings life’s inherent weirdness to the stage, poking fun at a broad range of cultural strongholds. “Madonna reinvents herself every year. I reinvent myself every two minutes,” says Franken. Rather than using his own real-life experiences as fodder for hacky one-liners, Franken brings the underlying absurdity of the subconscious to the fore, taking advantage of his uncanny acting ability to create a bizarre panoply of characters and one-man sketches that satirize and skewer postmodern society’s most sacred cows. Whether it’s John Milton losing to urban hipster CK-1 at the Berkeley Poetry Slam or the vicar of Westminster Abbey delivering the liturgy of “The Final Broadcast of Christianity” (along with a pre-recorded Noam Chomsky-spewing choir), Franken douses his audiences in a surreal tidal wave of psychedelic humor—so funny that audiences stop laughing only long enough to drop their jaws.
During his time in San Francisco, Franken was awarded “Best Comedian” of 2005 by the SF Weekly and “Best Alternative to Psychedelic Drugs” by the SF Bay Guardian. He recently made his television debut on BBC America’s “The World Stands Up,” a showcase of UK, American and Australian comedians. Franken has also appeared on Air America’s “Marc Maron Show”, was a finalist in the San Francisco International Comedy Competition as well as the Las Vegas Andy Kaufman Award competition, and most recently enjoyed a successful series of performances at San Francisco’s renowned SF Sketchfest and Portland, Oregon’s “Bridgetown Comedy Festival.” Franken has written and performed numerous theatrical solo shows, including Good Luck With It and Grandpa! It’s Not Fitting!, to capacity crowds in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Since 2007, Franken has resided in New York, wowing audiences on stages at the Upright Citizens’ Brigade Theatre, Ars Nova, and the Collective Unconscious. During his off-hours, he produces a highly successful and critically acclaimed audio podcast, Things We Did Before Reality, which has elicited favorable comparisons to the legendary 60s and 70s sketch albums of The Firesign Theatre. He always enjoys returning home to Northern California to bring his patently absurdist brand of humor to venues such as the Eureka Theatre, the Purple Onion and the Marsh in San Francisco or the Throckmorton in Marin.