William Franken is creating satire in the juvenalian tradition
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patrons

In 2009, I recorded A Clockwork White as part of my online album series Things We Did Before Reality. By this point, I had spent seven years in San Francisco, satirically rebelling against the liberal indoctrination that was part and parcel of life in the Bay Area. In common with the other episodes from this collection, all the voices are performed by myself, each appearing, sometimes up to five or more at once, in a sequence of surrealist, multi-layered, quick-change sketches. The structure of these albums, segueing continuously from vignette to vignette, owes much to “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, while their satirical bite has its influence in the works of Chris Morris, Peter Cook, and even Jonathan Swift.

What differentiates A Clockwork White from my other recorded work is that it marks my first attempt at drilling down on a single aspect of new-left hypocrisy: The corrosive academic myth of white privilege. Whereas the other albums flit seamlessly in topic, for instance, from third-wave feminism to radical Islam to climate change eschatology, the entire thirty minutes of A Clockwork White are given over to a disturbing, yet comedic, snapshot of reverse discrimination eugenics. Here, my former life as university instructor comes into play as the academic underpinnings propping up this fallacy are filtered through an absurdist and satirical lens.

I come from small town Midwestern America and, like many a fellow Trump voter and working-class Brexit supporter (I now live in the UK), find the racist narrative of white privilege perhaps the most insidious and egregious of all the postmodern liberal shibboleths. I have often remarked, in both interviews and social gatherings, that every time my rent is due, I always wish white privilege was real. “Just take it out of my privilege, please!”

Throughout my twenty-year career in comedy, my work, both recorded and live, has been favourably reviewed across both sides of the Atlantic as well as both sides of the left-right divide, from The New York Times and The Guardian to The Federalist and The Salisbury Review. Celebrities as politically diverse as Labour party loon Eddie Izzard and conservative Irish Times columnist John Augustine Waters have praised my style. Even the late Robin Williams said of me, “Will Franken is a master of illusion, a subconscious unchained.”

Yet I remain relegated to the fringes of the comedy world. Like many an outspoken conservative, I have paid for my convictions with a fair amount of slander alongside a considerable loss of opportunities.

The main difference between my satire and most of what appears on the ailing mainstream media is that I have always regarded comedy as a calling and not a business. To highlight this, I need only refer to a pro-Brexit night I recently headlined in London. After leaving the stage, an enthusiastic new fan observed, with a hint of caution in her voice, as if anticipating my disapproval at the suggestion, that what I did had a “moral dimension”.

“Absolutely,” I concurred, “all satire is moral.”
Tiers
Pledge $10 or more per month
  • Access to newly completed film Red, White and Blake
  • Access to patron-only content including articulate, multi-layered, multi-character outpourings you won't see anywhere else.
In 2009, I recorded A Clockwork White as part of my online album series Things We Did Before Reality. By this point, I had spent seven years in San Francisco, satirically rebelling against the liberal indoctrination that was part and parcel of life in the Bay Area. In common with the other episodes from this collection, all the voices are performed by myself, each appearing, sometimes up to five or more at once, in a sequence of surrealist, multi-layered, quick-change sketches. The structure of these albums, segueing continuously from vignette to vignette, owes much to “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, while their satirical bite has its influence in the works of Chris Morris, Peter Cook, and even Jonathan Swift.

What differentiates A Clockwork White from my other recorded work is that it marks my first attempt at drilling down on a single aspect of new-left hypocrisy: The corrosive academic myth of white privilege. Whereas the other albums flit seamlessly in topic, for instance, from third-wave feminism to radical Islam to climate change eschatology, the entire thirty minutes of A Clockwork White are given over to a disturbing, yet comedic, snapshot of reverse discrimination eugenics. Here, my former life as university instructor comes into play as the academic underpinnings propping up this fallacy are filtered through an absurdist and satirical lens.

I come from small town Midwestern America and, like many a fellow Trump voter and working-class Brexit supporter (I now live in the UK), find the racist narrative of white privilege perhaps the most insidious and egregious of all the postmodern liberal shibboleths. I have often remarked, in both interviews and social gatherings, that every time my rent is due, I always wish white privilege was real. “Just take it out of my privilege, please!”

Throughout my twenty-year career in comedy, my work, both recorded and live, has been favourably reviewed across both sides of the Atlantic as well as both sides of the left-right divide, from The New York Times and The Guardian to The Federalist and The Salisbury Review. Celebrities as politically diverse as Labour party loon Eddie Izzard and conservative Irish Times columnist John Augustine Waters have praised my style. Even the late Robin Williams said of me, “Will Franken is a master of illusion, a subconscious unchained.”

Yet I remain relegated to the fringes of the comedy world. Like many an outspoken conservative, I have paid for my convictions with a fair amount of slander alongside a considerable loss of opportunities.

The main difference between my satire and most of what appears on the ailing mainstream media is that I have always regarded comedy as a calling and not a business. To highlight this, I need only refer to a pro-Brexit night I recently headlined in London. After leaving the stage, an enthusiastic new fan observed, with a hint of caution in her voice, as if anticipating my disapproval at the suggestion, that what I did had a “moral dimension”.

“Absolutely,” I concurred, “all satire is moral.”

Recent posts by William Franken

Tiers
Pledge $10 or more per month
  • Access to newly completed film Red, White and Blake
  • Access to patron-only content including articulate, multi-layered, multi-character outpourings you won't see anywhere else.