Recovery Comedy is proud to present Will Franken

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. 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 has enjoyed successful runs at San Francisco's renowned SF Sketchfest, Portland, Oregon's "BridgetownComedy Festival", and Montreal's prestigious "Just For Laughs" 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 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 bringing his patently absurdist brand of humor to audiences starved for a little taste of the different.

"To call Will Franken's performances "comedy"is limiting. His shapeshifting multipersona performances bring to mind the Salvador Dal’ quote "I don't take drugs; I am drugs. "When Franken embodies one character after another - accent, mannerisms, and all - the effect is of an overdriven multimedia device. He deconstructs all manner of assumptions; just as The Onion parodies journalism, Franken satirizes performance's tropes. His material may offend some, but he even deconstructs the feeling of being offended and posits it as ex post facto reaction rather than innate response. Franken is a prolific writer whose never-ending stream of new material and depth of reference shows up the laziness of other performers who spend their time polishing the delivery of the same tired routines. While LSD may not be legal, so far Franken is. "


Read Will's Interview


All rights reserved, 2011. Recovery Comedy.