Will Franken was brought up to believe that a person needed
only two things to get by in life: A human form and the means by which
to operate that human form; i.e., life itself. By the time he was born,
he already had those two things he needed to get by in life. A body and a
life. "You've got to have life to get by in life", so says the song. Is
that a song? Okay, I'm done with this paragraph.
A brilliant and hilarious youngster with a penchant for psychedelic
drugs, Franken (me) fled his native Sedalia, Missouri, after receiving a
Masters in Literature (with a focus on Restoration and 18th Century
British) to seek his (my) fame and fortune in New York City. Instead, he
found bagels and the Mets. The Mets had fame and fortune already; but
that wasn't enough for Franken, who wanted his own.
Franken's Big Apple existence was marked by highs and lows, from
nailing a lucrative gig as the mascot of online library Questia, (look
up "Question Marquis" on YouTube) to teaching social studies and English
at a middle school in Harlem. He was a fixture in New York’s Greenwich
Village’s alternative theatre scene and spent his last years in that
metropolis doing voiceover and on-camera work for such products as
Heineken, Sprint, and Volkswagen.
Franken came to San Francisco from New York by way of North Carolina
-- continuously running from himself in the middle of the night, lest he
be run over. He was embraced by the San Francisco people of San
Francisco as one of their own San Francisco people of San Francisco.
This paid off immensely as he quickly built a solid reputation as one of
San Francisco's most original comedic acts. San Francisco.
San Francisco. He established himself as a cult figure and, instead
of making his fans and followers kill themselves, he elected to let them
live and was consequently selected “Best Comedian” by SF Weekly and “Best Alternative to Psychedelic Drugs” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Tribe.net named him one of the Top 25 People to Watch Nationwide. His solo show Good Luck With It debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival to rave reviews by such local, small-town newspapers as the New York Times, and ran at San Francisco’s Marsh Theater, alongside other one-man opuses such as Grandpa! It's Not Fitting!,
which subsequently had runs in Los Angeles and New York at the Upright
Citizen's Brigade Theatre. He's a prolific writer, always preferring to
switch things up every chance he gets -- approaching comedy from a
theatrical point of view instead of the tired, old. . .form. . .uh. . .
. . .what else?
Oh yeah, in 2007, Franken made his television debut on BBC America's
"The World Stands Up". A devout Anglophile, it was a dream come true for
the 33-year old child prodigy. He went to Abbey Road and the Churchill
Museum and. . .what else? Oh yeah, he taped a television show for BBC
Then his wife left him.
In late 2007, Franken’s east coast fan base was thrilled to learn
that he had re-relocated to New York City. After consecutive sold-out
one-man shows at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Franken continued
to wow audiences and increase his legion of fans. Franken has appeared
at HBO's Comedy Festival in Las Vegas as well as Just For Laughs in
Montreal. Last summer, Scott and Kevin from "The Kids In The Hall" were
in the front row for one of his performances and they really dug it. It
was another dream come true for the 37-year old child prodigy who began
life with only a body and a means by which to operate that body. He
lives in San Francisco now being that it's a sanctuary city and he fears
deportation to Missouri.
In his downtime, Franken produces episodes of his
critically-acclaimed podcast series (more like comedy albums, really),
"Things We Did Before Reality."
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