December 12, 2011
By Jake Kroeger
Producers of the 11th Annual SF Sketchfest posted their line-up, which reads more like a comedy nerd’s “bucket list” than a real line-up for something that will actually be happening in several weeks. For starters, Sketchfest will host Eddie Izzard, the original founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade, The Paul F. Tompkins Show, Pretty Good Friends with Eugene Mirman, Meltdown with Jonah Ray & Kumail Nanjiani, WTF and Marc Maron, Stella, Kelly Carlin: A Carlin Home Companion, the Nerdist podcast, The Smartest Man in the World with Greg Proops, Set List: The Improvised Stand-Up Show, Harmontown with Dan Harmon and Jeff Davis, and the Seven Man Sweater featuring Bob Odenkirk and the Birthday Boys.
But there’s more, making the SF Sketchfest possibly one of the most misleading festival names ever. Nearly every aspect of comedy, save for memes, is represented here and, consequently, is probably the best representation of how brilliant of an art form comedy can become.
Reggie Watts will be doing an entire residency at the fest; that means something different every night. That isn’t all that surprising that Watts, a master of musical improv would switch it up every time on stage, but he’ll be playing aside Garfunkel & Oates one night, doing jazz with pianist Robert Glasper on another and scoring a silent film on the final night of his residency. This is what humor researchers need to be watching and studying for Watts’ vast range in artistry coupled with his undeniable charisma making for unforgettable and hilarious performances.
There are also several things on the bill that sound amazing though it’s slightly a mystery as what it will entail. For instance, there will be a live “radio play” of Wet Hot American Summer with Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Ken Marino, Paul Rudd, and more. On another night, Jon Benjamin Has a Van will have a live version of the Comedy Central sketch variety show, now nominated for a Writers’ Guild award. There’s a show that’s simply titled “An Evening with Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney-Silver” which should prove to have a fair share of Reno 911! hijinks and more. Whatever any of this ends up actually being, it’s sure to be hysterical.
Lastly, there are several things that are being especially highlighted that don’t necessarily have the notoriety of everything else previously mentioned here. There’s an entire showcase of the “next wave of comedy stars” that’s incredibly legit with Ron Funches, Pete Holmes, Kyle Kinane, Morgan Murphy and more. Drennon Davis’ amazing comedic live radio program (note: not just a podcast with sketches) Imaginary Radio also falls under this category of not as famous as everyone else, but needs to be seen. It’s literally a live show spanning AM/FM and all the ridiculous channels in between. I could keep going on with other people that are on the line-up, but not attached to any specific show like the hilarious Andres Du Bouchet, but, though it may prove impossible, the SF Sketchfest makes it really hard to not want to see everything.
You can check out the entire lineup and schedule of events at the fest’s official site. Tickets are on sale now.