SF Sketchfest Day 18: Shakes the Clown revisited!


Julie Brown, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tom Kenny and Dan Spencer onstage at Cobb’s Comedy Club for “Shakes the Clown” Live, 2/9/14.  Photo by Dan Dion.

Bobcat Goldthwait and original cast members Julie Brown, Tom Kenny, Florence Henderson and Dan Spencer joined a fantastic comedic ensemble (including Laraine Newman, Kevin Pollak, Rick Overton and many more) at the live reading of Goldthwait’s cult classic comedy “Shakes The Clown” on the closing day of the 13th Annual SF Sketchfest. Bobcat was overwhelmed by the enormous response from the packed crowd, and added an impromptu Q&A at the end of the program.

SF Sketchfest Day 17: Nerds assemble!


Larry B. Scott, Chris Hardwick, Robert Carradine, Timothy Busfield, Andrew Cassese, Brian Tochi, Curtis Armstrong and Julia Montgomery backstage at the Castro Theatre for the Revenge of the Nerds 30th Anniversary celebration, 2/8/14.  Photo by Jakub Mosur.

SF Sketchfest celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the 80s campus cult comedy “Revenge of the Nerds” by reuniting seven original cast members – Curtis Armstrong (“Dudley ‘Booger’ Dawson”), Timothy Busfield (“Arnold Poindexter”), Robert Carradine (“Lewis Skolnick”), Brian Tochi (“Toshiro Takashi”), Andrew Cassese (“Harold Wormser”), Larry B. Scott (“Lamar Latrell”) and Julia Montgomery (“Betty Childs”). The spirited conversation, led by The Nerdist Podcast and Nerds-afficionado Chris Hardwick, included lots of hilarious tidbits chronicling their casting, deleted sequences (a whole trip to Vegas was axed from the film) and the sound used to make Booger’s tremendous belches (it involves a camel — we’ll say no more). A standing ovation and a chant of “NERDS! NERDS! NERDS!” rang out as they took the stage, and as the exited before a screening of beloved film.

SF Sketchfest Day 16: Theme Park make for unusual Rockettes


Michael Hitchcock, John Michael Higgins, Rachel Dratch and Ian Brennan form a kickline in Theme Park Improv at the Brava Theater, 2/7/14.  Photo by Tommy Lau.

Theme Park — consisting of Ian Brennan (co-creator of “Glee”), Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), John Michael Higgins (“A Mighty Wind”), Michael Hitchcock (“Best in Show”), Jessica Makinson (“Halfway Home”), and SF Sketchfest co-founders Cole Stratton and Janet Varney — took to the Brava Theatre stage for two sets of lively improvisation. Aided by stories from guest monologist Kevin Pollak (“The Usual Suspects”), their free-flowing bits included a Carnegie-Hall ghost, Aquaman and his unusual talents, a militaristic first grade class, low-stakes prank shows, and (as seen here) a band of misfits somehow initiated into the Rockettes.

SF Sketchfest Day 15: SF Sketchfest Honors Alan Arkin on February 6th



Alan Arkin chats with Kevin Pollak before the screening of the “The In-Laws” at it’s 35th anniversary at the 13th annual SF Sketchfest at the Castro Theatre on Thursday February 6, 2014. Photo by Jakub Mosur

Alan Arkin & Kevin Pollak spoke for over an hour, treating fans to delicious tidbits and impersonations, diving into Arkin’s career, and their past work toghether. Arkin shared about the old days, when he was asked to come to Chicago: “I didn’t think of myself as particularly funny when I got the job. I thought, ‘Ok, I’ll go to Chicago and I’ll work for a hundred dollars for the rest if my life… but then, instead of it being the end of everything, it was the beginning.” They discussed how to choose work, and how to keep a balance between life and ‘making the donuts,’ and the inability to turn down a great script. (On Little Miss Sunshine: “I read the first ten pages and it was all pain. Then I started laughing and I kept laughing for the next hundred pages.”) They introduced “The In-Laws” by talking about how the project started. Arkin saw actor Peter Falk on a talks how and had an instinct they’d work well together. That was it – he recalled that he’d read Blazing Saddles and thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever read, called Andrew Bergman and said, “write a relationship where Peter drives me nuts!’ “Two months later, he came back with an almost perfect script” The delighted Castro crowd rose for a standing ovation when Arkin appeared, and when he exited the stage.

SF Sketchfest Day 14: Polish Dancing, Myth Busting and Puzzles at NPR’s Ask Me Another



The audience watches NPR’s Ask Me Another recording with Ophira Eisenberg, Jonathan Coulton, Art Chung and special guests Danny Pudi, Adam Savage, and Farhad Manjoo at the 13th annual SF Sketchfest at the Castro Theatre on Wednesday February 5, 2014. Photo credit: Jakub Mosur

Much fun was had at NPR’s Ask Me Another with special guests MythBusters’s Adam Savage & Danny Pudi Thursday, February 6 at the Castro Theatre. Adam Savage hosted a round of mythbusting trvia, and Danny Pudi tried to avoid being typecast any further (he reveled he’s played five different characters named Sanjay), by showing off his Polish dancing and singing talent. Danny contributed to some Mythbusting of his own, sharing his teenage explorations in starting fires. (A bush can burn: confirmed; stop, drop and roll works efficiently: busted.) Hosts Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton created San Francisco centric puzzles, and one could hear audience members in the Castro whispering the answers, straining not to shout them out. After local puzzlers went head to head, Danny presented the winner, crossword aficionado Tyler Hinman, with a Polish and Indian flags.