SF Sketchfest: Dave Foley Presents Dead Diva, AKA “The Tribute” W/Boom Time


From The Onion

January 11, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

Dave Foley is arguably the best-known member of the Kids in the Hall clan, thanks to his subsequent role as secret Canadian Dave Nelson on NewsRadio. His elevated stature certainly isn’t contested by SF Sketchfest: In addition to attaching his name to the front of Dead Diva, AKA “The Tribute,” the star-studded comedy fest has given Foley’s co-directed musical opening-night billing. Dead Diva, featuring singers who have worked with El Vez and performed in Andy Prieboy’s White Trash Wins Lotto musical, tells the tale of four ex-bandmates who reunite following the death of their former singer.


SF Sketchfest: Doug Stanhope w/ Jacob Sirof & Sherry Sirof
The Onion

January 11, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

Doug Stanhope’s stint as co-host of The Man Show might seem a bit weird to longtime fans of his stand-up comedy: Stanhope had to tone down his usual vitriol and potty mouth for cable TV. But when he’s alone on stage, Stanhope is free to rail against George W. Bush, expound on the virtues of pornography, and generally breathe fire. All four of his area performances are part of SF Sketchfest. (Doug Stanhope will perform Jan. 13-14 at The Purple Onion, Jan. 15 at Punch Line Comedy Club, and Jan. 16 at 142 Throckmorton Theatre.


SF Sketchfest: Tinkle w/ Karla
The Onion

January 11, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

With David Cross in town for the SF Sketchfest tribute to Mr. Show, it makes sense that he’d stage a version of the variety show he puts on in New York with Todd Barry and Jon Benjamin. Since its inception, Tinkle — known for its heady jumble of short films, stand-up, and musical guests (Rogue Wave will perform on Saturday) — has seen its hosts hone their performance mettle in varied ways: Cross followed up his amazing Shut Up, You Fucking Baby! with the equally excellent It’s Not Funny and played Blue Man Group wannabe Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development; Barry sharpened new material for his quietly seething CD Falling Off The Bone; and Benjamin expertly mocked and deadpanned for his absurd children’s-program-cum-late-night-talk-show Midnight Pajama Jam. Here, the three will be joined by Mr. Show alums Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn, and Paul F. Tompkins.


SF Sketchfest: Eugene Mirman w/
Summer of Tears
The Onion

January 11, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

Eugene Mirman doesn’t play music. He doesn’t even sing (unless the high-pitched warbling of the “Marvelous Crooning Child” from his website qualifies). But Mirman has opened for Yo La Tengo, Modest Mouse, and The Shins — gigs that have attached the words “indie-rock comic” to his name. (The fact that his first stand-up disc was on Suicide Squeeze and his second will be issued by Sub Pop should ensure that the tag isn’t pulled off anytime soon.) Mirman shakes laughs out of rock crowds with his repertoire of keen stand-up and hilarious short films. In one choice film, appropriately titled “Euccch,” Mirman deadpans his way through his version of celebrity sex advice, spouting truisms like, “Women love danger. If they could, they’d just date a fire.” Eugene Mirman will also perform Jan. 15 at Punch Line Comedy Club.


SF Sketchfest Tribute: Mr. Show’s Bob Odenkirk & David Cross
The Onion

January 11, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

Though it ended in 1998, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross’ sketch-comedy series Mr. Show continues to gain momentum and fans with each passing year. Things that have stoked the fire: 2002’s Hooray For America stage tour, HBO’s release of all four seasons on DVD, a comprehensive book called Mr. Show: What Happened?!, Cross’ overwhelming success as a stand-up comedian, and the duo’s use of bobanddavid.com as a springboard for their individual homes on the Internet. Sunday’s early-afternoon Q&A with Odenkirk and Cross, hosted by Paul Gilmartin, will also include Paul F. Tompkins and Brian Posehn.


SF Sketchfest: Naked Babies w/ Somebody’s In The Doghouse (early show) & Showgirls:
The Best Movie Ever Made! Ever!
 (late show)
The Onion

January 18, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

Before he was a golf-savvy sex offender on Curb Your Enthusiasm and a senior correspondent on The Daily Show, Rob Corddry founded New York sketch and improv troupe Naked Babies with John Ross Bowie, Brian Huskey, and Seth Morris, who will reunite for two performances at the Eureka Theatre as part of SF Sketchfest. Opening the late show isShowgirls: The Best Movie Ever Made! Ever!, described as “half staged reading, half Inside The Actors Studio, and half female empowerment, Eszterhas style.”


SF Sketchfest: Aziz Ansari w/ W. Kamau Bel l & Jason Wheeler
The Onion

January 18, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

On stage and online, comedian Aziz Ansari talks a lot about music — one choice video called “Shittiest Mixtape Boombox Blast” speaks, loudly, to his ability to mine music for comedic effect. Ansari’s obsession with music affects not only his subject matter, but also the way he talks about it, with a voice halfway between nerdy confidence and hip-hop swagger. All three of the New York-based comedian’s area appearances are part of SF Sketchfest.


SF Sketchfest: The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players w/ Fempyre,
Aziz Ansari & Fred Armisen
The Onion

January 25, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

Since relocating there from Seattle, The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players has become a New York geek-scene favorite. A family trio made up of Mom, Dad, and preteen drummer Rachel, the band plays smartly goofy pop songs written around slide shows gathered from estate sales, delving into weird vacation pictures and corporate presentations with equal fervor. Father Jason Trachtenburg sings most of the songs, but Rachel runs the show with a ho-hum stage presence that couldn’t be more adorable — or more disarmingly cool. Both of the trio’s area performances are part of SF Sketchfest and will be hosted by Fred Armisen. The nervous, squirmySaturday Night Live cast member, who used to play drums with Chicago band Trenchmouth, has joined David Cross and Eugene Mirman as an indie-rock comedian of choice.


SF Sketchfest: Upright Citizens Brigade’s ASSSSCAT w/Pretty Pretty Pony
The Onion

January 25, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

ASSSSCAT, the seamless monologue-and-improv hybrid churned out each week since 1996 by the Upright Citizens Brigade and a few nimble players from shows like Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Saturday Night Live, is an acronym for Automatic Sprinkler System Shutdown Siamese Connection Alternative Television. The significance of that unwieldy moniker is unclear, but it does give an idea of what to expect during an ASSSSCAT performance: namely, incongruous references and sharp juxtapositions. UCB members Amy Poehler, Matt Besser, and Ian Roberts will be joined at SF Sketchfest by Poehler’s SNL castmates Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz (who was a founding member of UCB) as well as Arrested Development’s Will Arnett (Poehler’s husband) for two stagings of ASSSSCAT.


SF Sketchfest: Closing Night Cabaret
The Onion

January 25, 2006
By Marc Hawthorne

The 5th annual SF Sketchfest reaches the finish line on Sunday and will celebrate its comedic victory with a closing-night cabaret at the Eureka Theatre. Hosted by stand-up Sheng Wang, the evening will feature 10-20 minute sets from a variety of artists that have performed over the past two-and-a-half weeks, including local standouts Kasper Hauser, Boom Time, and Fempyre, which features Sketchfest co-founder Janet Varney. Even if none of the acts on the bill ring a bell or strike your fancy, it’s worth showing up just to high-five the organizers for putting together what is shaping up to be the comedy event of the year.

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