Welcome Back, Neighbor

SNL-starry Good Neighbor to headline Austin Sketch Fest

Won't you be my Neighbor?: (l-r) Nick Rutherford, Beck Bennett, Dave McCary, and Kyle Mooney
Won't you be my Neighbor?: (l-r) Nick Rutherford, Beck Bennett, Dave McCary, and Kyle Mooney

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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin Sketch Fest
People Talk Funny at Austin Sketch Fest
People Talk Funny at Austin Sketch Fest
The annual jubilee of jokes leads off with a spoof of a Trump-Biden debate and a speech on toxic femininity

Robert Faires, Aug. 21, 2020

Austin Sketch Fest
Austin Sketch Fest
Skewering reality for the fifth year in a row – now with Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting and more

Wayne Alan Brenner, May 23, 2014

More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021


Austin Sketch Fest, Good Neighbor, Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Dave McCary, Nick Rutherford, Saturday Night Live, Michael Jastrow, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle