Cole Stratton

From SFist

January 21, 2006
By Eve Batey

Cole Stratton isn’t just one of the founders of SF Sketchfest, which starts tomorrow. (Are you going? We are, and you should, too.)

We should have asked him what he did to attract performers from Mr. Show, The Kids in the Hall, Saturday Night Live, Stella, The State, The Daily Show, Arrested Development, and The Upright Citizens Brigade to the Fest, as well as ask him what local stars of the comedy stage Kasper Hauser, Ten West, and Prank the Dean are reallylike.

But we didn’t.

Introduce Yourself In One Sentence: Blissfully squandering potential since 1976.

Occupation: Actor, improviser, producer, writer…and retail manager. Shit.

Home Town: Okemos, Michigan. It’s about 10 minutes away from East Lansing. The only celeb from there that I know of is Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, but that’s from an unreliable source. My mom got a job at UC Davis when I was 9, so I got paroled from hail and snow. And then it was off to San Francisco for college…

How Much Time Have You Spent In The Bay Area? About ten years. I’ve been in Los Angeles for the last two, and I’m nearing automaton status. I do get to stay in SF one month a year for SFSketchest, and I usually get teary-eyed when I have to go back.

Favorite Website:, that Weebles tune site with Badgers Badgers Badgers,

Favorite Local Business: Amoeba. I mean, c’mon. It’s just not fair. A guy only has so many dollars. Cut it out, Amoeba. I hate being a music geek.

What I’m Currently Reading: This questionaire. And Big Sur by Kerouac.

Best Deal In San Francisco: Tommy’s Joint (for carnivores who don’t mind occasional gastro-olympics). They have a pickle barrel. ‘Nuff said.

Favorite Mode Of Transportation: 2000 Plymouth Neon. Dark Purple (or, according to the manufacturer, “deep amethyst.”) I call it “The Grape Space Coaster.” The nickname refuses to stick, though.

Favorite Local Hangout: Cafe Royale. Or Joxer Daly’s in West Portal, from back in the college days. And Cobb’s Comedy Club (a great place to drink with comics).

SF Has The BEST: Everything. You are spoiled rotten, San Francisco. You have Russian Hill. Zarzuela. Kick ass film and comedy fests. Just 10,000 parking spaces shy of perfection.

You’ve Never Lived In SF Until: You’ve been hit on by Don Johnson (or at least worked with, pre-2003).

Favorite Bay Area Politician Of Past Or Present: Willie “Mr. Party” Brown.

Now That Gavin Newsom Is Single, Who Are You Going To Set Him Up With? Don Johnson?

You Can Tell Someone Is A Local Here IF: They have only been to Pier 39 when Aunt/Uncle/Grandma/Cousin visits from Kalamazoo/Sandusky/the Bible Belt.

SF Would Be Soooo Much Better If Only: The film industry was there, so I didn’t have to breath smog daily.

Best Burrito: Cancun. Or Gordo.

Best Restaurant: Zarzuela. Tapas, sangria…me likey.

Best Movie Scene Filmed In Or About SF: Ok this is going to sound weird. There was this hard-boiled cop movie from the 70’s with Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern called The Laughing Policeman. And what I like about it is its pretty accurate, geographically. Most movies have car chases that conveniently take them from The Palace of Fine Arts to Coit Tower to Candlestick in less then five minutes. That drives me crazy. In that crappy teen flick Boys and Girls with Jason Biggs, one of the characters says they are going to walk from Berkeley to Mill Valley. Good luck with that. Oh, and another note: when one pulls up to their apartment in the Fillmore or the Haight, there are not multiple (let alone one) parking spots out front. F-U, H-Wood.

Best Thing To Do In The City In The Winter: Go to SF Sketchfest! (God I’m a whore). I actually like the ice rink at the Embarcadero. I use to play hockey as a kid in Michigan, and skating comes back to me the second I get on the ice.

Favorite Author To Come Out Of The Bay Area: Daniel Handler and Dashiell Hammett.

Place You Always Tell Visitors To Check Out: Why, the midnight drag-racing circuit that is 19th Avenue! Go little transformer cars, go!

Favorite Bridge In The Area: I root for the Carquinez. The Golden Gate is so conceited–yeah, you’re so pretty, we know. Take my $5 and shut up.

You Have Two Hours And $15 Bucks To Kill In SF, What Are You Going To Do? Probably see one of those Oscar-bait films playing at the Embarcadero. The language of film…is universal.

I Have Found/Sold/Bought The Following On Craigslist: Found: Roommates. Sold: Extra posters from Warfield shows. Bought: Roommates.

I Want All The SFists Out There To Know: I don’t want to harp on the thing, but SF Sketchfest has no corporate underwriting. It’s truly produced by the little guy for the little guy. And for the price of one ticket to see, say, The Rolling Stones (let’s face it…Keith died like twenty years ago and the whole thing is run by Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop), you can see half a dozen Sketchfest shows.

Question You’d Ask If You Were Doing This Interview: Why the long face?

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