Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Fun Fun Fun Fest's Yellow Stage: Comedy highlights

Michael Corcoran

Are you ready to hear some Mitt Romney rants this weekend? How about jokes on Lance Armstrong’s situation? Since Fun Fun Fun Fest’s growing comedy presence will take place on the Yellow Stage a few days before the presidential election, those topics will be unavoidable.

Anyone who’s attended FFF knows it’s not a normal music fest. There are monster skate ramps, cannons that shoot tacos into the crowd, punk rock wrestling and a Weird Al Yankovic cover band, among other things you won’t find at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. In its seventh year, F4 has cultivated a quirky mindset that accepts youth culture entertainment in many forms besides music.

The comedy stage mixes such nationally known talents as cult superhero David Cross, Wyatt Cenac of “The Daily Show,” Eugene Mirman, Doug Benson and Hannibal Buress with top local comics Duncan Carson, Chris Cubas, Doug Mellard and Ramin Nazer.

F4 founder Graham Williams books most of the acts on Ol’ Yeller. “There is a whole network of edgy, more indie-minded comics happening right now,” he said of the synergy between yucks and rock. “They cross over in their fanbase with a lot of Fun Fun Fun Fest bands, even often sharing the same record labels.” Cross and Mirman, for instance, have both released two albums on the venerable Sub Pop.

“It’s definitely about picking the right kind of comedians,” Williams says. Mainstream won’t work. “Like, we’d never have Jeff Dunham or Carlos Mencia.” Just as certain bands fit better in an outdoor, general admission, party situation than Bass Concert Hall, there are some comedians who feed off the energy of a festival.

“Low energy, high concept stuff is difficult to execute,” said Austin improv comic Chris Trew, who will be the emcee on Friday. There’s nothing mellow about Yellow, where comics go with the flow or are eaten alive. “That’s why we have things like Air Sex Championships and Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contests in addition to amazing standup comedians like Hannibal Buress.” You might remember Trew from “America’s Got Talent” this year, when he had the rare distinction of offending judge Howard Stern with his air sex routine.

Trew’s performance troupe the New Movement has roamed the fields for four Funfests, with dozens of comedians staging flash mob-type pieces. Part circus, part variety show, but with live music the focus, Fun Fun Fun strives to be just that, by all means necessary.

Yellow Stage notables