Austin Sketch Fest

A Paul F. Tompkins primer to get you ready for his Austin Sketch Fest appearance

A Paul F. Tompkins primer to get you ready for his Austin Sketch Fest appearance

Austin Photo Set: News_Kerri_paul f tompkins_may 2012
Paul F Tompkins

Stand up comedian Paul F. Tompkins will be in town this weekend as the headliner of Austin Sketch Fest. It’s been a year since he’s come to town to perform, and tickets are going fast for his shows at the 29th Street Ballroom.

Can’t wait to see the sarcastic comedian doing what he does best? Here are five funny videos with PFT that will hold you over until Saturday. (Or comfort you if the tickets all sell out...)

Mr. Show

You might know Paul as a writer and performer for the HBO cult sketch comedy series Mr. Show. If you want to find out more about Paul’s early career and how he ended up on the legendary show, the book Mr. Show: What Happened?! The Complete Story and Episode Guide is a great read for die-hard fans.

Here’s Paul in the classic Mr. Show sketch “Lie Detector Test” from Season Three:


Paul’s had numerous albums and television specials with his endless supply of jokes. You could go back and listen to them all and you’d still hear a lot of new material this weekend. (That means this guy’s the real deal.) Here's an excerpt from his 2012 Comedy Central special where he talks about his interactions on set with Daniel Day-Lewis:

The Video Game

There have been plenty of movies made about stand-up comedians. You may have seen Punchline or Funny People. But there’s never been a video game about comedy…until now:

Best Show

Paul’s a frequent guest on the radio show Best Show on WFMU hosted by Tom Scharpling. I remember being the weirdo at work laughing hysterically while wearing headphones at my computer like a cuckoo bird when I heard Paul and Tom discover the “Gathering of the Juggalos.” Here’s Tompkins in the Scharpling-directed music video giving Ted Leo and the Pharmacists an image makeover.

Funny or Die

Finally, here’s a video I love from The Midnight Show with Tompkins as Hugh Yuse selling his used used car lot:


Austin Sketch Fest continues through Sunday night.