Comedy Speed Dating
Handicapping FFFF Comedy
Fun Fun Fun Fest's 2014 comedy roster offers a respectable, if overly male, sampling of notable alt-yuksters. Although not overflowing with marquee names, the lineup offers notable talent and distinctive voices.
Saturday 4pm Yellow stage
The biggest name here is undoubtedly Fred Armisen. Now famous for Portlandia and Saturday Night Live, the Mississippi native gave Austin a sneak preview of his comic sensibility during SXSW 1998 when he shot a series of faux interview clips that remain YouTube faves. Known more for sketch work than stand-up, Armisen's a master at seizing the moment.
W. Kamau Bell
Saturday 2:30pm Yellow stage
W. Kamau Bell balances keen political insight and sharp social consciousness with performing skills honed during years on the San Francisco stand-up scene. Although his boundary-bruising FX show Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell got canceled after two abbreviated seasons, Bell remains a most entertaining truth sayer.
Friday 12mid New Movement
Sunday 1pm Yellow stage
Representing Austin's own fertile comedy scene is reliable stand-up Chris Cubas, along with celebrated improv/sketch collective the New Movement, which has been known to turn festival grounds into an impromptu performance space.
Rob Gagnon's One Hour Comedy Festival
Sunday 12:30pm Yellow stage
One of FFF's most intriguing prospects is Rob Gagnon's One Hour Comedy Festival, which promises to pack an entire comedy fest into a single set, the host channeling such favorites as Stoner Comic and Some Asshole With a Puppet.
Friday 3:20pm Yellow stage
Friday 12mid North Door
Tireless anti-comedy warrior Neil Hamburger, the alter ego of fanzine editor, Amarillo Records founder, and Zip Code Rapists lead singer Gregg Turkington, puts on a flop-sweat-soaked act that's been provoking and perplexing indie rock audiences for over 20 years.
Sunday 4:30pm Yellow stage
Silicon Valley cast member Thomas Middleditch is a UCB veteran who's amassed acting credits in projects ranging from TV's The Office to Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as a variety of alternate personae that crop up in his stand-up act.
Saturday 11pm New Movement
Sunday 4pm Yellow stage
Pakistani-born Kumail Nanjiani remains one of the sharpest and most visible products of the booming L.A. nerd comedy community. He's had considerable success as an actor and currently co-stars on Mike Judge's HBO sitcom Silicon Valley and hosts podcasts The Indoor Kids and The X-Files Files, but it's on stand-up stages that Nanjiani's really in his element.
Saturday 12mid New Movement
Sunday 3:35pm Yellow stage
Jonah Ray co-hosts Comedy Central's The Meltdown with Kumail Nanjiani, co-hosts Chris Hardwick's influential Nerdist podcast, and recently played an über snarky record store clerk on Marc Maron's eponymous IFC sitcom. And yet, he's at his most compelling when interacting with a live audience.