From San Francisco Magazine
January 23, 2012
By Annie Tittiger
With more than 40 shows in its first three days, featuring heavy hitters like Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, and Andy Richter, the 11th annual SF Sketchfest is off and running. And last Saturday night’s Delocated Witness Protection Program Variety Show at Cobb’s Comedy Club was a prime example of the gut-busting, sometimes nauseating, but always appropriately inappropriate humor San Franciscans hold so dear.
Jon Glaser, the star of Adult Swim’s Delocated Witness Protection Program, hosted the evening in a pair of short sparkly shorts, his typical ski mask, and a pink Niners’ jersey. The host, who spoke only through a voice-altering mike, kept the energy up between acts — although the acts themselves held their own for the most part.
Highlights included Brett Gelman’s cynical survey of the San Francisco audience, conducted in order to decide if he should come back to Sketchfest next year (he will); gangly 36-year-old comedian Jessi Klein, whose monologue about her recent visit to the gynecologist segued perfectly into finding her current boyfriend’s porn stash; and David Cross, aka Tobias from Arrest Development, who improved his way through 10 minutes by critiquing Klein’s boyfriend’s lack of discretion.
The night’s real kicker was Paul Rudd. Glaser had announced that unfortunately, Rudd would not be able to perform, but newcomer “San Francisco Dave” would take his place. (Lo and behold, Rudd and Dave are one and the same.) This being Dave’s first performance, he was nervous, stopping his routine multiple times and forcing Glaser to mime in front of the audience while he did the sketch from offstage. During the breaks, Dave and Jon sat around idly chatting to calm his nerves, covering such topics as “What’s the difference between Sonoma and Napa?”
The night ended with musical guest Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie, who performed “Such Great Heights” in a ski mask using Glaser’s mike while strumming his guitar, followed by Jefferson Airplane’s “Mannequin” next to Glaser fooling around with an actual mannequin in the background. It was a great kick-start to the three-week-long comedy festival, but it’s not over yet. Here are the shows coming up that you won’t want to miss:
The Nerdist Podcast
The L.A. trio (Chris Hardwick of Web Soup, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater regular Jonah Ray, and Matt Mira, “the most humorous former funeral home employee in the known universe”) are back performing their hilarious podcast. The Regency Ballroom, 1300 Van Ness Ave., Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 p.m.
Killing My Lobster: The Best of 2011 show
San Francisco’s premiere comedy sketch group will be recapping their highlights from the past year, including sketches on how to look sexy while churning butter and how to murder on a chess board (interpret that as you will). The Eureka Theater, 215 Jackson St., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 8 p.m.
Celebrity Autobiography: The Next Chapter
Saturday Night Live alums Rachel Dratch and Laraine Newman join six other beloved comedians (including Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and veteran Fred Willard) in reciting the memoirs of celebrities such as Snooki and Justin Bieber. Marine’s Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., Friday, Feb. 3 and 4, 8 p.m.