Your intrepid reporter found herself in the comedy tent of Fun Fun Fun Fest yesterday for a final day of madness. The tent was still steamy and weed-filled from Saturday’s performances — these included Jenny Slate, Doug Benson, Craig Robinson and Tenacious D — but no matter. She soldiered onward and delivers this dispatch today no worse for the wear.
I found my way into the tent halfway through a performance called “The Air Sex Championship,” which I would describe to you, but it’s pretty much what it sounds like. So, you know, there you go. That happened. Former Austinite Doug Mellard followed said Air Sex Championship with material on life as a stand-up on the road, which, for Mellard, involved accidentally having a meal at a BBQ joint in the Carolinas that was run by the KKK. The Yelp review? “Racism, subpar. Four stars.”
Rest assured that Mellard did not simply offer traditional jokes and stories. In the spirit of the music festival, much of his material was delivered while crowd-surfing — no joke — and he even reenacted this final scene from Crocodile Dundee by walking on top of the audience to find his lover. That’s some trust, y’all.
From there, the day took a turn into the hypersexual and did not let up until the crowds dispersed two hours later. Perhaps folks were riled up from the Air Sex Championship? I don’t know. In any case, singing comic Bridget Everett took the stage next, donning a bedazzled dress that she regularly pulled up (or straight up removed) to dance up on audience members. The climax of said performance — yeah, I said it — resulted in a young gent form the audience receiving a personal lap dance onstage amid cheers. I find performances like that unnerving — whenever audience participation becomes a possibility, I pray to whatever God exists that I will not be noticed — but the crowd absolutely dug it.
Rob Delaney continued the sexualized comedy momentum with polished material on his marriage — sleeping with other women is like wanting to be an astronaut, said Delaney, probably awesome but too much effort — his current book tour (hey y’all, side note, Rob Delaney has a new book out), masturbation (well, okay, “jerking off”), his sobriety and having children.
Sex-infused comedy aside, though, I found myself most tickled by Delaney’s takedown of smarmy architects. Obnoxious folks, that lot, because they say smug things like, “I choreograph space for people to exist in.” Guys, they totally do say shit like that. It’s absurd.
By this point, the raunchy-train was moving full-steam ahead. And who was to get off at the next stop —bear with me, I dig metaphors and this is all I got — but Sarah Silverman testing a boatload of new material. Never one to shy away from any topic, she immediately launched into a discussion of her porn “search words” (which, again, I don’t need to explain).
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Sarah Silverman set without some pointed critiques of the horrifying political system we’ve somehow ended up with. She earned the good favor of the crowd (as if she didn’t have it already) with a shout-out to rising Texan star Wendy Davis before a shrewd takedown of the ridiculousness that has become the national abortion debate, yielding a slew of applause and hollers from the crowd.
From there, Silverman moved effortlessly between jokes on disparate subjects, from a recent gynecological visit to a hangout with Kanye West to her affinity for the chill herb that is marijuana. She was still work-shopping her set — so she said — but the crowd’s energy resulted in applause and cheers after nearly every punch line. Even Silverman was surprised: the vibe was chaotic, she said, but the audience was “the best crowd.” Well, sure, we were pretty great. Nary a heckler in the bunch on all three days of comedy in that accidentally hotboxed tent. I’d say that’s an open-and-shut case for the legalization of marijuana.
All photos by Carrie Andersen