October 21, 2015: Doug Benson & Back to the Future Part II


The Benson Movie Interruption:
Back to the Future Part II
with Doug Benson and surprise guests

GREAT SCOTT! It’s hard to believe that we’re nearly at the day Marty McFly travels to in the smash hit middle chapter of one of the most beloved trilogies of all time. Celebrate this milestone by joining Doug Benson and surprise guests as they riff “Back To The Future Part II” live on the actual date that Marty landed in futuristic Hill Valley — October 21, 2015! Bring your hoverboards, power shoe laces, Mr. Fusion, self-drying jackets, Pepsi Perfect bottles, Food Hydrators and Jaws 19 as we go back…to the future!

Comedian Doug Benson (“Super High Me,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Doug Loves Movies” podcast) and his guests sit in the front row of the theater and riff on movies as they unfold on the screen before them. This very popular live show is a favorite at SF Sketchfest year after year where Doug’s guests have included Zach Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Scott Aukerman, Todd Barry, Michael Ian Black, Jonah Ray, Paul Scheer, Janet Varney, Tom Lennon, Chris Hardwick and more.

Wednesday, October 21st, 8pm
The Castro Theatre
$20 General Admission

Tickets on sale now!

See Wet Hot American Summer: The Live Radio Play on YouTube and Blu-Ray!

SF Sketchfest

Back in 2012, SF Sketchfest staged an unforgettable afternoon by reuniting most of the cast of David Wain’s camp comedy classic “Wet Hot American Summer” and staging the film as a live radio play at Marines’ Memorial Theatre, with the cast reprising their roles and special guest understudies filling out the rest. Now is your chance to view the entire show — it’s available as a special feature on the just released Blu-Ray of the film (available now on Amazon.com). Get it HERE

We’ve also released five clips from the show on our SF Sketchfest YouTube Channel, part of the Nerdist Alliance. See Andy (Paul Rudd) throw his tray and make out with Katie (Margeurite Moreau). Watch McKinley (Michael Ian Black) share a private moment with Ben (Marc Evan Jackson, in the role originated by Bradley Cooper). Witness Gene (Christopher Meloni) have a break through with a talking can of vegetables (Bobcat Goldthwait, stepping in for H. Jon Benjamin). Spend some time with other original campers Amy Poehler, Ken Marino, Michael Showalter, Samm Levine, Joe Lo Truglio, Molly Shannon and understudies like David Cross, Busy Philipps, Colin Hanks, Joshua Malina, John Hodgman, Andy Richter and more.

See all the YouTube clips HERE

The full cast and crew from the production:

Wet Hot American Summer: The Live Radio Play
Recorded live at SF Sketchfest
January 21, 2012 at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre

David Wain – Narrator
Michael Showalter – Coop/Alan Shemper
Marguerite Moreau – Katie
Michael Ian Black – McKinley
Paul Rudd – Andy
Christopher Meloni – Gene
Molly Shannon – Gail von Kleinenstein
Ken Marino – Victor Kulak
Joe Lo Truglio – Neil
Amy Poehler – Susie
Samm Levine – Arty

And special surprise guest understudies:
Busy Philipps – Beth (originally played by Janeane Garofalo)
David Cross – Henry Newman (originally played by David Hyde Pierce)
Joshua Malina – J.J. (originally played by Zak Orth)
Colin Hanks – Gary (originally played by A.D. Miles)
Marc Evan Jackson – Ben (originally played by Bradley Cooper)
Bruce McCulloch – Aaron (originally played by Gideon Jacobs)
Jessi Klein – Abby Bernstein (originally played by Marisa Ryan)
Gillian Jacobs – Lindsay (originally played by Elizabeth Banks)
John Hodgman – Keith – Caped Boy (originally played by Gabriel Millman)
Mark Gagliardi – Steve (originally played by Kevin Sussman)
Craig Cackowski – Mork Guy and Moose
Hal Lublin – Melvin – Medieval Kid
Annie Savage – Mallrat Girl/Cure Girl and Godspell Girl
Zandy Hartig – Nurse Nancy (originally played by Nina Hellman)
Andy Richter – Ron von Kleinenstein (originally played by Judah Friedlander)
Bobcat Goldthwait – Can of Vegetables (originally played by Jon Benjamin)

Live Music from the film performed by
Jon Dinerstein
Paul and Storm

Live Foley Artist
Scott Iseri

Original Screenplay by Michael Showalter and David Wain
Adapted for the stage and directed by The Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
Videographer – Daniel Plotnick
Produced by David Owen, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney for SF Sketchfest

15th Annual SF Sketchfest Dates Announced!


Dates Announced!

The 15th Annual SF Sketchfest will be held January 7-24, 2016. For one year only, SF Sketchfest will be held earlier than usual due to the impact on hotel and venue availability caused by the Super Bowl being held in the Bay Area in early February.

Information on applying to perform in the festival coming soon. Stay tuned!


SF Sketchfest 2015
Jakub Mosur

The last day of SF Sketchfest 2015 kicked off with beloved childrens’ book writer Mo Willems and a group of comedians game for silliness! To introduce his cast Willems said, “Parents, you have done your job right if your kids don’t know a single person on this stage!” Grown ups in the crowd (parents, librarians, teachers and comedy-fans who tweeted they didn’t realize it was a children’s show) cheered as he introduced Scott Adsit, John Cho, Janeane Garofalo, John Hodgman, Kate Micucci, Busy Philipps, Kevin Pollak and Kristen Schaal. The Marines Memorial filled with glee as the actors leant their voices to the stories, the real Trixie joined the stage, and everybody was given paper and pencils and a lesson in how to draw The Pigeon.

After story time, Scott Adsit hopped over to Verdi Club, where he joined host Matt Besser and comedians Colton Dunn and Lauren Lapkus for an afternoon performance of the improve comedy podcast improv4humans. A bevy of topics were riffed, including: abandonment of a newborn by their parents, an all-foreigners house party, the humiliation of parents describing sex to their children, parties after Sunday church service and the afterlife. At one point, Besser called out an audience member who indicated on Twitter they would blow kisses at Lauren Lapkus during the show. This became a running bit when Lapkus caught the blown kiss and put it in a plastic cup which was then flipped over and placed on a table, to which everyone on stage proceed to incorporate in various sketches.

At Cobb’s, SF Sketchfest presented the first public screening of upcoming Comedy Central series “Another Period,” a show chronicling the misadventures of a fictional wealthy Newport family at the turn of the century. Cocreators Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindholme and cast member Moshe Kasher projected a big family tree to introduce the quirky family members and help, and talked about how much fun they had naming each outrageous character. After providing a bit of background on the show, they screened episodes 5 and 8 to a howling audience. Afterwards, cast members Paget Brewster, Moshe Kasher, Armen Weitzman and Jason Ritter joined for a Q&A revealed which moments of the episodes were based on research (a seventeen course dinner party for the family dogs) versus writers’ ideas (a cape made of puppies) and what it’s like to kiss Christina Hendricks. The first questioner of the Q&A asked, “I know this may be a stupid question, but was the dog in episode 8 the dog in “Mike & Molly?” Unbelievably, Kasher confirmed it was, and the dog spotter went home with a bottle of Cocaine Wine, signed by the cast. The colorful series is sure to cause a commotion when it airs on Comedy Central.

The 30th anniversary of “Better Off Dead” reunited writer/director Savage Steve Holland with original cast members original actors Curtis Armstrong (Charles De Mar), Diane Franklin (Monique), Amanda Wyss (Beth) and Kim Darby (Jenny). Guest understudies on Heder, Kevin Pollak, Paul F. Tompkins, Eddie Pepitone, Steve Agee, Annie Savage, Paul Brittain, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney joined the table read. They read the first draft of the script, quite different from the final 1985 version, but with much recognizable dialogue from the cult classic: the audience demanded their two dollars along with the performers. The reunion lovefest continued backstage as cast members and understudies autographed each others’ special commemorative posters made for the live read. (See the story and photos on Entertainment Weekly: link to our press page for the EW story.)

The Eureka closed out the last night of SF Sketchfest with improv featuring “Key and Peele” writers Colton Dunn, Phil August Jackson, Charlie Sanders, Rich Talarico and special guest Ian Roberts. The show kicked off with sketch comedy from Wendigo from Magnet Theater in NYC. Wendigo blended multimedia into their sketch comedy, with music and video clips bookending sketches parodying “The Bachelor” and imagining what an actual friend zone could look like.

The Key and Peele writing team dove right in, asking for suggestions from the audience and picking some perfect ones from this local San Francisco crowd – “LSD” and “bike safety.” The improv scenes showed the writers’ versatility, moving between physical comedy and dry humor while playing a huge variety of offbeat characters. Audience favorites included an extended scene about a horrible TV show called “Saboteur” running six seasons (but no movie) and ruining one network completely. Dunn delivered the very meta punchline that the whole show was meant as a sabotage from a rival network. Other scenes parodied everything from Supreme Court Justices to picky eaters ordering at a deli to, of all things, fans of water-skiing. The writers had a blast playing off the crowd in a show that was fast-paced, witty, and hilarious!

And at Verdi Club, Janeane Garofalo hosted international standup comedians Wil Anderson, Dan Clark, Maeve Higgins, Matt Kirshen and Daniel Sloss at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival International Spotlight. Garofalo set a high bar at the start of the night, with her unique, intimate delivery, hopping off the stage to perform from the crowd. One by one, each of the comedians nailed their material, the short sets leaving the audience eager for more. These are all names we’re bound to hear much more in the coming years.

Thank you to our performers, sponsors, founders, staff, volunteers and most of all our audiences for coming back year after year and making this festival so much fun.

Visit Facebook and Instagram and check out #sfsketchfest for more photos and recaps from the fest!

Thanks to Nadee Gunasena, Matt Zagariello and Morgan Davis for writing contributions.


We are very sad to share that due to inclement weather, Christopher Lloyd is unable to appear at the 30th anniversary screening of “Back to the Future” at the Castro Theatre tonight. Mr. Lloyd tried valiantly to get here but multiple flights that he was booked on were canceled. If you purchased a ticket in advance, you will be refunded in full—and we still invite you to attend tonight’s screening at 9:30pm. Thanks for your understanding.

Walkup patrons: We will still show the film on the big screen at The Castro. And there’s still a DeLorean out front. Tickets only $10.