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If you're a fan of comedy, you've probably been tirelessly crossing off the days till SF Sketchfest. Starting today, January 24 through February 10, the city will host some of the industry's funniest people. I get most of my comedy fix via podcasts, so I'm freaking the eff out over the idea of seeing all of my favorite performers and shows live. 

There are so many amazing events in this year's Sketchfest, I did my best to narrow it down to my top 10 picks.


Paul F. Thompkins and Friends Real and Fake

Friday January 25, The Verdi Club, 8 p.m.
Guests: Steve Agee, Kevin McDonald, and Mary Lynne Rajskub

Paul F. Thompkins has been hilarious long before he was known for his impressions on "Comedy Bang Bang," but it was there that he was given a platform to develop those fun and often unpredictable characters. "Comedy Bang Bang" (formerly "Comedy Death Ray") is a live show, a podcast, and a show on IFC. In addition to his many appearances on "Comedy Bang Bang," Paul also has two of his own podcasts, the “The Pod F. Tompcast” and "The Dead Authors Podcast," which are both a mixture of real guests, friends, and characters. This is sure to be a hilarious evening filled with fantastic impressions and comedy genius. I just hope Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber shows up, that lofty bastard.


“Bullseye with Jesse Thorn”

Saturday January 26, Punch Line Comedy Club, 4 p.m.
Guests: Steve Agee, Erin Foley, Peter Hartlaub, Roman Mars, and Boots Riley of The Coup

“Bullseye with Jesse Thorn” is one of my absolute favorite podcasts. I fell in love with Jesse Thorn on “Jordon, Jesse, Go!” however “Bullseye” combines Jesse’s excellent comedic timing and wit with an interview style that inspires me to go out and put a microphone in someone’s face. One of his guests at the show is Roman Mars from “99% Invisible,” a fantastic San Francisco podcast exploring the odd, obscure, and abnormal.


An Afternoon with Pinky and the Brain

Sunday January 27, Eureka Theatre, 4 p.m.
With Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen

I can only imagine the frustration over the fact that, despite their best efforts, Pinky and the Brain have yet to take over the world. A world often heard and not seen, we will finally get to visualize the complex genius that is Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen (the voices of the mousey duo) and I'm sure they will not disappoint. If this isn’t enough of a Nickelodeon throwback, be sure to check out The Adventures of Pete and Pete 20th Anniversary Reunion at ­­­the Marine’s Memorial Theatre on Friday, January 25, at 8pm.

SF Sketchfest Comedy Nightlife

Thursday January 31, California Academy of Sciences, 6 p.m.

This night promises to be one of the funniest evenings of Sketchfest, mostly thanks to the shear number of people performing. I can’t even list them all, there are so many greats, but some of my favorites include Chris Hardwick, Tig Notaro, Greg Proops, and Kumail Nanjiani. Go party with awesome comedians, albino alligators, and the living roof.

The Meltdown with Kumail Nanjiani and Jonah Ray

Friday, February 1, Cobb’s Comedy Club, 10:30 p.m.
Guests: Jon Dore, Bobcat Goldthwait, Pete Holmes, and Brent Weinbach

Kumail and Jonah recreate the popular show at LA's Meltdown Comics with some of comedy’s heavy hitters.


SEX a.k.a Wieners and Boobs

Friday February 8, Marine’s Memorial Theatre, 8 p.m.

After watching the trailer for SEX a.k.a Wieners and Boobs I was mildly confused. But that's often what The State veterans Michael Showalter, Joe Lo Truglio, and David Wain want from their audience – complete and utter confusion mixed with riotous laughter and maybe some mild disgust for good measure.

Uptown Showdown Debates

Friday February 8, The Verdi Club, 10:30 p.m.
Guests: Maria Bamford, Michael Ian Black, Janeane Garofalo, Dave Hill, Arden Myrin, Michael Showalter, and moderator Gabe Liedman

A classic and never-ending debate of the Eighties vs. the Nineties with a rock star lineup of debaters. I’m currently shaking my fist because I didn’t buy tickets soon enough. Guh.


Fancy Meeting You Here: A Comedic Walking Tour with Dave Hill, Carl Arnheiter, and Friends

Saturday February 9, Asian Art Museum, 11 a.m.

I don’t know much about this event but the concept had me incredibly intrigued. Essentially, funny guys Dave Hill and Carl Arnheiter lead you on a docent style tour of the Asian Art Museum. After successful runs in New York and London, Dave and Carl bring their opinions to SF. I'm sure their commentary on the intricacies on the spectacular batik textiles of Java will certainly be enlightening.

Party Down with Party Down

Saturday, February 9th, Cobb’s Comedy Club 4 p.m.
Guests: Ryan Hansen, Ken Marino, Adam Scott, Martin Starr, and moderator Paul Scheer

If you haven't seen the hilarious but now defunct show Party Down, please find a way to catch up and I promise you won't be disappointed. The series follows a cast of characters, who while trying to secure acting dreams in Hollywood, supplement their income as caterers. Quite the cast of misfits, each job assignment always brings an interesting experience. In preparation for the Party Down movie (!) the gang gets back together. I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind will be if Ronald Wayne Donald (Ken Marino) is still sporting that sweet flat top.


The Benson Interruption: Twilight Saturday

February 9, The Castro Theatre, 4:20 p.m.
Guests: TBD

I lasted about 20 minutes into the first Twilight before I had enough. Maybe hilarious, stoner comedian Doug Benson’s "Movie Interruption" will be able to make it more tolerable and that magical *cough* time of afternoon.

*Note* I did want to include Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Leiberum's amazing tribute band "Princess," who do epic renditions of famous Prince songs, but the show at Yoshi's sold out so quickly I didn't even get my hopes up. They will be performing two shows at Yoshi's San Francisco on February 8th, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Good luck, and let the scalped ticket search begin.