February 2, 2010
By Brock Keeling
After checking out SF Sketchfest’s Celebrity Autobiography at Cobb’s on Saturday night — a glorious evening of comedians reading bizarre autobiographies of equally bizarre celebrities — it’s easy to see how Rachel Dratch held her own with Tina Fey, Will Farrell and Amy Poehler for years on Saturday Night Live. The former 30 Rock actress is hysterically funny. Not to mention mesmerizing on stage. Even while performing with the a taller and testosterone-rich trio of Steve Schirripa, Fred Willard and Jason Segel (replacing Neil Patrick Harris, who canceled) during a ho-hum Jonas Brothers autobiography reading, Dratch killed it as the “bonus Jonas.”
Dratch also kicked off the evening with Joan Lunden’s chirpy self-reflective tome about her days at Good Morning America. Later in the night, she read a glorious selection by Burt Reynold’s personal assistant. In describing Reynolds and Loni Anderson’s wedding, the way Dratch said “marzipan flowers” almost had urine shooting out of this reviewer’s penis. You had to be there.
Other highlights included Fred Willard (of course) reading Mr. T: The Man With the Gold : An Autobiography of Mr. T, Dayle Reyfel’s take on Marilu Henner’s take on convincing her husband to perform cunnilingus, and Maria Bamford’s fine reading of Suzanne Somers’ poem “Extra Love” (which, among other things, dictates that if one has extra love to give, one shouldn’t waste said love on dogs.)
Lowlights? Harris’ replacement and very funny How I Met Your Mother costar, Segel, seemed a wee bit fucked-up on stage. Allegedly. Drunk or high, we have no idea. But if he wasn’t mumbling his lines or winking at the audience to punctuate humor during his David Cassidy reading, he hammed it up bro-style while the other comedians read. (SNL alum Laraine Newman looked visibly unthrilled with his antics.) Segel’s pale performance, though, didn’t upset his many fangirls in the audience, shouting and yelping at his every dude-y move. (The comedy club’s version of straight-girls-on-the-dance floor-making-out-with-each-other, if you will.)
And the too topical Tiger Woods autobiography reading, while well done by Celebrity Autobiography co-founder Eugene Pack, we could have done without. It’s was a one-note bit. And, really, athletes cheating of their wives is about as surprising or titillating as homosexual Scientologists.
Over all, Celebrity Autobiography is the highlight of SF Sketchfest. And Rachel Dratch was the highlight of the night. We would’ve been content if she read them all.