Rooftop Comedy and SF Sketchfest Stand-Up Showcase

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Rooftop Comedy and SF Sketchfest Stand-Up Showcase
Friday, February 1, 2013


While liberal colleges try to talk about diversity, there is something even better about an inclusive show where there is a genuine diversity of gender, race and comedy genres  (yes there are other diversities that may not have been represented, or I may not be acknowledging). Whether it was the work of host Kate Compa or the planning of Rooftop Comedy, I want to thank whoever put together this amazing lineup and talk about some of my favorite performances from January 26th’s early show.

photograph by courtney

As the sold-out crowd filtered in Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits (acoustic duo version) played some of the favorite Dead Milkmen inspired comedy songs. Was anyone else paying attention to Scooping Up Dog Shit or Poly? I’m a fan of their shtick and would have liked them to return when the audience was more settled.

Host Katie Compa started off with a regional history of her life, including the complications of being raised by feminist parents and living in an area that is populated by people who “used to be legitimate hippies, but now they all paid off their houses.” Sounds like where I live! And there were blowjob jokes, yes, many female comedians will tell blowjob jokes.

Next Compa introduced another NYC comedian, Francoise Gordon. Gordon looks like a young Sandra Bullock with a brain injury. After being hit by a car ten years ago she turned to stand up and plays with the audience’s own doubt and memory in her routine.

Kunal Arora shared his obsessions with his family, relationships, and even toilet humor. As in, giving advice to guys that to really impress a girl, a clean bathroom is what she’ll really notice.  Overall I have to say the men on this bill gave superb relationship advice.

photograph by courtney

Arora was followed by JC Coccoli of Los Angeles plays the Valley Girl well earning her a spot as a commentator on VH1’s Best Week Ever. I commend her for her pacing and presentation,  but wasn’t entirely in agreement on her opinions of redheads or cojoined twins.

So we got more serious with Phoebe Robinson who blogs at (that’s Black Daria, get it?). She presented her take on interracial relationships (she’s in one!), black hair and being cis (did I note that right? Did she say “cis” because people in San Francisco would understand?)

After Robinson we’re back to the white men, and Derek Sheen from Seattle was a favorite of mine, we got the truth about gout, hypocritical Christians, and how terrific it would be if the anti-pot commercials from the 80s were brought back and remade for states where marijuana has been legalized.

photograph by courtney

Of all the comedians that night, I have to say the most impressive was Kate Berlant. Her existential absurdity played well in the small theater, in the relationship between audience and performer and even the audience’s choice of seating patterns. She slipped into characters seamlessly, a flighty girl one minute and back to a beat poet the next.

Closing out the night was Ian Karmel from Portland (and yes, he has been on Portlandia). In a slightly rushed set to get the 10PM show ready, he did remind me of a mistake I have made so many times I am still laughing when I think about his advice, when you move to a new neighborhood, you better pick a drunk 7-11 and a sober 7-11. Truer words have never been spoken.

Rooftop Comedy has additional Sketchfest Stand-Up Showcases at StageWerx on February 2nd at 8 & 10 PM and Febraury 9th at 8 & 10 PM

Ian Karmel at Rooftop Comedy and SF Sketchfest Stand-Up Showcase/Cobb’s Comedy Club, San Francisco (01/26/13)

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