The Washington Post

By Marc Fisher

A RARE DOSE OF IRONY

Over on the stronger talk station, Chip Franklin has made the successful transition from stand-up comic to talk show host. His talk show surprises and occasionally even informs. Franklin has found a happy medium between the political talk that cynical radio executives believe doesn’t appeal to a broad enough audience and the so called hot talk that rouses the rabble with salacious blather about sex, money, and the petty jealousies of daily life. Franklin adds a rare dose of irony to a medium that rarely trusts it’s audience to get the joke.

The Washington Post

A Comic Walks In

By Eric Brace
Washington Post Staff Writer

What’s your first reaction when you hear a comedian start an anecdote with, “Swear to God, true story”? You don’t believe him, right? It’s just a setup for a punch line, right? That’s the problem with holding a conversation with Chip Franklin, local comedian and radio talk-show host. Nearly every story (and Franklin has stories) is launched with: “This is true. Really.”

If they’re all true, then Franklin is living the comedian’s dream, stumbling over material for his stand-up act at every turn, like so many banana peels strewn across his life’s path. “One of my kids is in the second grade,” he says. “We’re talking about prime numbers, for crissakes.”

“True story. Then he asks ‘Is infinity an even or an odd number?’ My wife looks at me and says, ‘Help!’ So I go on about how it all depends on whether you subscribe to the big bang theory of the creation of the universe and if you believe the universe is contracting, and that ultimately we’re returning to some kind of oneness, and you could say one is an odd number (though technically I know it’s not). I thought it was a pretty good answer, trying to give him a little information and at the same time get him a little confused so he won’t ask dad any more tough ones, and I say, ‘Any more questions?’ and he goes, ‘Yeah. What’s a condom?’”

In one form or another, that story (true? who knows?) will surely end up in his stand-up routine, which artfully blends scenes from his daily life with brief surreal snapshots: “I majored in philosophy. I got out of school and got a job with a philosophy company. We didn’t have a product, but we knew why.” When I say that sounds very Steven Wright-esque, Franklin admits it. “Oh sure, he’s a big influence.” Franklin is as much a fan of comedians as he is a comedian himself. “Bill Hicks is a master at turning it around at the end. Here’s one of his: ‘I remember on the school playground one day, this kid comes up to me and says, “My dad can beat up your dad.” [pause] “Yeah, how much would that cost?’” I love that one.”

He tosses one out with a similar structure: “I have great sympathy for animal rights activists. I used to work with animals. [pause] For two years I was a chef.” Franklin happily jabs anything remotely PC, even though he’s clearly a sensitive modern man underneath his cynical comedian’s skin. “It’s just that you can find such easy targets in the whole political correctness arena,” Franklin says. “There’s so much hypocrisy, it’s almost too easy.”

You can hear Franklin tilting at PC windmills and much more every weekday on WBAL-AM (630) from 9 to 12, steady work that he got in late 1996 after the program director caught his stand-up act one night. “It’s the perfect gig for me,” says the 42-year-old Franklin, a local boy who grew up in Northern Virginia. “I’ve never had a real job before, and here’s one where I can shoot my mouth off, play whatever kind of bumper music I want [the songs going in and out of commercial breaks], and talk to famous people. The weirdest day was when I got to talk to Larry Flynt, [Sen.] John Warner and Debbie Gibson all within a couple of hours. That was a great day.”

Franklin’s stand-up act is one of the best in town (though definitely not for kids), and if you can’t get tickets to his nearly sold-out show Saturday at the Barns of Wolf Trap (703/938-2404), keep an eye on the schedule of the Improv (202/296-7008). Franklin headlines there a few times a year and will probably return there in May or June. Keep tabs on Franklin’s career by clicking onto his Web site www.chipfranklin.com.

San Diego Weekly Reader

Chip’s act kept us in stitches! – Josh Board, Jan 2008

Franklin nips at your conscience like a ratty dog, sits on your chest like a purring feline. A combination not to be trusted lying down.

Chip is funny!

One of the Best… Chip tilts the PC windmills.

Incredibly Funny! Our Audiences love him.

Artfully blends scenes from his daily life with brief surreal snapshots.

Franklin brings a sense of irony to a medium that rarely trusts it’s audience to get the joke.

The perfect college comedian.

Chip’s the real thing!

Our pick for the funniest.

He’s a politically incorrect t-shirt in a room full of tuxedos.

A surgical wit.

Superb, practically peerless.

Chip’s a hoot.