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Will Franken

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Will Franken is San Francisco’s underground comedy sensation. He was selected “Best Comedian” by the SF Weekly of 2005. Popular social networking site named him one of the top 25 people to watch nationwide. The SF Chronicle writes that he’s “destined” to be counted among San Francisco’s many comedic legends.

In his time in San Francisco, Franken built a reputation as one of the most original comedic performers the city has seen, with a style at once highly literate and brazenly absurd, darkly satiric and refreshingly playful. Audiences saw that there was something different about Franken, whose sharp wit and lightening-fast character changes had more in common with British sketch comedy than with contemporary standup.

In August of 2005, Franken’s debut solo performance “Good Luck With It” at the New York International Fringe Festival received rave reviews. Among them was The New York Times which cited him for his “erudite wit and highly developed sense of the absurd.” The show, which presented a collection of diverse characters from news anchors to preachers and counselors, blended cultural observations with timely dialogue. The show enjoyed a long run at The Marsh Theater in San Francisco.

Some have called Franken the front man of a “new wave” of edgy comedy in the Bay Area, but others recognize that Franken’s ability to transcend the current trends toward cleverness, irony and wry observations on pop culture give him a timeless edge over the brand of comedy that typically travels under the name “edgy.”

Celebrated for his mastery of the dramatic and absurd, Will Franken demonstrates the mind of a literary genius throughout his stand-up routines. His illusive, spontaneous style of humor extends from bizarre to dark, and captivates audiences with hilarious brilliance and educated wit.

Rather than using his own real-life experiences to tell strange stories or as fodder for one-liners, Franken brings the inherent weirdness of life to the stage, taking advantage of his uncanny acting ability to create a hodgepodge of impersonations--from voicemail systems to phone conversations to a fast-paced recreation of an entire TV show--so surreal and funny that audiences stop laughing only long enough to drop their jaws. Described as a "Human television set," Franken switches seamlessly from character to character, lampooning right- and left-wing politics (and culture) alike.

For Franken, comedy isn’t just about making people laugh, nor is it just about getting people to think—it’s about delving into his subconscious and giving voice to the bizarre characters and surreal scenarios discovered there.

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