Be glad you're not inside the comedian's head at Will Franken: Third Saturday in Extraordinary Time. It's a vast movie studio lot where thousands of unrelated scenarios play out alongside each other. He guides us through this maze, finding common threads that last just long enough to transition from one set to the next. Think of a comedy troupe such as Monty Python or the Firesign Theater, then pack all those absurd characters into one brain. Franken plays them all. He's the pompous Brit interviewing Stephen Hawking on a talk show. Then he's Stephen Hawking, who uses his voice generator to deliver a rendition of the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the U.K. Then in the same voice, he's the BART station robot saying Next train for San Francisco/Colma in five minutes. He's Marlon Brando playing a 12-year-old Mexican transsexual being felt up on a first date. Then he's the absent-minded film critic who can't remember the name of that Brando film, but swears it was brilliant. He's the receptionist fielding a call from a guy who thinks he's found the man who slept with his girlfriend. Then he's the on-hold music. Then he's the receptionist's colleague who tries to help by pretending to be the other man. Just be glad Franken is your guide that mind is not a place you'd want to get lost.
Sat., Nov. 20, 8 & 10 p.m., 2010