AUSTIN — If the theme of day one of Fun Fun Fun Fest was Johnny Marr, the theme of day two was probably… pot.
I wandered into the comedy tent early yesterday afternoon to find it already oppressively hot, steamy and full of wafting marijuana smoke. For those of you who are not in town to attend the fest, rest assured that the comedy tent (and its general lack of ventilation) means all of its patrons are coerced into hotboxing for the duration of the shows. Good recipe for a comedy show, I guess.
Parks and Rec fixture Jenny Slate noted the pervasiveness of the “chill herb” after she took the stage before launching into a series of almost-too-far stories about her life growing up in Massachusetts. Very few topics were off limits to Slate: as an example, she explained that she’d like to be able to spray when orgasming “like how Newman gets it in Jurassic Park.”
Doug Benson similarly noted the conditions of the tent as he welcomed us to “the sweat lodge” (I perhaps would have gone with “Amazon rainforest”; sweat lodges don’t have pot). Benson offered a series of riffs on movies and weed — no surprise there — while deftly catering to the Austinite audience with a shout-out to Tito’s Vodka and a brief take-down of our stodgy neighbor-to-the-north Williamson County. No fun there, said Doug. Truer words were never spoken.
Strangely, Benson was slated to be onstage during and past 4:20 pm, which prompted several folks on Twitter to ask if that was some kind of mistake (for the uninitiated, homeboy likes to take a puff at 4:20 on the daily). He was not thwarted, however: dude nabbed a vaporizer pen from an audience member and took a lengthy drag as the bell tolled.
The momentum of the day continued with an absolutely bumpin’ set of funk, disco and slow jams from Craig Robinson and a crew of musicians. The audience was treated to a set of greatest hits from the past 40 years, including “Gonna Fly Now” (and, side note, this is the song that Craig wants to walk down the aisle to during his nuptials, which is perhaps the best idea I’ve ever heard) and “I Will Survive.” He also offered a tasty morsel of advice for anyone in a band: if you want to get white people to sing, play the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These).” I don’t get the impression that too many of the skinny indie weirdos playing Fun Fun Fun Fest will be rocking that jam, but they ignore Craig at their own peril.
At this point, our faces had thoroughly been rocked. But the night was not over. Headliners Kyle Gass and Jack Black — Tenacious D — took the stage and delivered a high energy barrage of favorites like “Roadie,” “Tribute” and — obviously — “Fuck Her Gently.” By this point, the tent had reached a critical mass of people, pot, sweat, rock, and good vibes, so it was probably for the best that the comedy tent shut down for the day so folks could go grab a few bags of Doritos.
The third and final day of Fun Fun Fun Fest is now upon us. After a night of very restful sleep, I’m ready, y’all. Come at me.
All photos by Carrie Andersen