Welcome Back, Neighbor
SNL-starry Good Neighbor to headline Austin Sketch Fest
By Robert Faires,
3:50PM, Wed. Jan. 28, 2015
The mirth-making masterminds of Austin Sketch Fest may already consider the 2015 edition of the scripted-comedy celebration to be their "Lucky 7th." That's because they've scored a major group to headline: Good Neighbor, the popular troupe whose members all work now for Saturday Night Live.
The best-known faces of Good Neighbor belong to SNL featured players Beck Bennett (Mr. Patterson, aka the boss with the body of a baby) and Kyle Mooney (lame stand-up Bruce Chandling), but the troupe's success relies just as heavily on performer Nick Rutherford, who joined the SNL writing staff with Season 40, and filmmaker Dave McCary, who's been directing the digital shorts for the series, many of which are the surreal concoctions of the Good Neighbor guys. Indeed, it was the videos created by the group that really made Good Neighbor's rep and earned it a deal with Comedy Central for its very own show. (Development on the show stalled when McCary, Mooney, and Bennett were hired for Saturday Night Live.)
This won't be the group's first time in Austin, though if you caught them on that initial visit, you're among an elite few. It was the same year the four guys formed Good Neighbor, and they were here to perform in the 2007 Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. Sketch Fest Executive Producer Michael Jastroch remembers them booking "a secret show at ColdTowne after the fest" and "only 10 people showed up." But he insists that small audience was treated to "a stunningly great show."
It's safe to say that a few more folks caught their most recent visit since it was during last year's South by Southwest. But local comedy fans will no doubt find it easier to see the troupe live and in person at this festival, especially since Sketch Fest organizers are offering two Good Neighbor shows during the fest, which is set for May 19-24.
And attention, all you sketch comedy purveyors out there: If you'd like to appear at the same festival as Good Neighbor, Sketch Fest is still accepting submissions. But don't delay: The deadline is Sunday, Feb. 1. Go here for more information.