Braunohler: Cut-up puts absurdist spin on gameshow format

10 Comics to Watch 2012 - Kurt Braunohler

While his new gig as host of IFC’s mock-gameshow “Bunk” has brought Kurt Braunohler increased visibility, the indefatigable comic still insists on getting his face out there any way he can.

“I’m performing every night,” he says. Whether he’s working the clubs of his hometown New York (with or without longtime professional partner Kristen Schaal) or going on tour with “Comedy Bang! Bang!” next month, Braunohler takes every opportunity to share his slightly bizarre brand of humor with audiences.

Although he started doing improv in 1998, Braunohler first branched out into standup just five years ago. In the time since, he has played everywhere from Bonnaroo to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and worked on multiple projects for the stage, television and online (he hosts the hilariously misinformed nature series “World Wild of Animals” on FunnyOrDie.com).

But nothing has boosted his profile quite like “Bunk.” The project developed out of a failed gameshow idea, which inspired the frustrated comic to ditch the pretense of making the program an actual competition. He took from that experience “all of the funniest ideas” and decided “not to worry about making it legally a gameshow.”

Still, Braunohler’s heart remains in standup, where he’s made his mark with a series of bizarre sketches that have become viral hits, including a celebrated round of riffing on Craigs-list’s “missed connections” section — a bit that will be featured in his upcoming appearance on “John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show,” a wacky sample of a still burgeoning standup career.

P.O.V.: “I would say it’s high-energy and absurdist with a mix of personal storytelling,” he says of his style.
Influences: Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Eugene Mirman
Reps: Avalon