San Francisco, CA December 10, 2013 – SF Sketchfest will celebrate the 13th annual San Francisco Comedy Festival January 23 through February 9, 2014 with more than 200 shows by top comedic talents in over 20 venues throughout the city. SF Sketchfest kicks off on January 23 with two big events at the historic Castro Theater: a 10th Anniversary screening of cult classic film Napoleon Dynamite with a live appearance by star Jon Heder, followed by a special SF Sketchfest Tribute featuring clips, conversation and songs with comedy rock gurus Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass).
SF Sketchfest 2014 also features in-person tributes to iconic actor Alan Arkin, and rising sketch comedy stars Key & Peele (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele); a salute to Bay Area comedy legends Coyle & Sharpe; spotlights on film and television favorites including Enlightened with Laura Dern, Luke Wilson, Mike White and more in person, Revenge of the Nerds 30th Anniversary Cast Reunion, Top Secret! 30th Anniversary with Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, Cabin Boy 20th Anniversary with Chris Elliott and Adam Resnick, Inside Amy Schumer with Amy Schumer, special panels with the casts of Futurama and The Venture Brothers; live versions of popular radio programs Wits with John Moe and NPR’s Ask Me Another; appearances by comedians and actors such as Pamela Adlon, Eric Andre, Todd Barry, Doug Benson, Michael Ian Black, Dan Castellaneta, Rob Corddry, Andrew Daly, Rachel Dratch, Dave Foley, Brett Gelman, Chris Gethard, Jon Glaser, Bobcat Goldthwait, Gilbert Gottfried, Dana Gould, Chris Hardwick, Tim Heidecker, Simon Helberg, Florence Henderson, Phil Hendrie, Michael Hitchcock, Joel Hodgson, Rob Huebel, Jen Kirkman, David Koechner, Natasha Leggero, Thomas Lennon, Kevin McDonald, Mike McDonald, Adam McKay, Laraine Newman, Jimmy Pardo, Kevin Pollak, Paul Scheer, Michael Showalter, Jenny Slate, Stephen Tobolowsky, Paul F. Tompkins, David Wain, Fred Willard, The Upright Citizens Brigade, the w00tstock founders; and musical performances by The Girls with Alison Brie, Bridget Everett, Nellie McKay, Rhett Miller, Megan Mullally’s band Nancy and Beth, Matt Nathanson, Loudon Wainwright III, The Watkins Family Hour, and Maya Rudolph’s Prince cover-band Princess; plus many more.
The complete show schedule for SF Sketchfest 2014 will be available on Friday, December 13 at www.sfsketchfest.com. Tickets range from $10 to $50 and go on sale at 10:00am PST on Sunday, December 15 and available for purchase at www.sfsketchfest.com.
Venues include: The Brava Theater Center, The Brava Studio Theater, The California Academy of Sciences, Cartoon Art Museum, The Castro Theatre, Cinecave at Lost Weekend Video, Cobb’s Comedy Club, The Dark Room, The Eureka Theatre, The Independent, Kanbar Hall at JCCSF, Marines’ Memorial Theatre, Mezzanine, The Punch Line Comedy Club, Rickshaw Stop, The Rite Spot Café, Roxie Theater, Stage Werx, Verdi Club and Yoshi’s San Francisco.
BIG EVENTS AND TRIBUTES
The Festival will present an SF Sketchfest Tribute to esteemed Academy Award-winning actor Alan Arkin, who will sit down for a conversation with comedian and actor Kevin Pollak and introduce a special 35th anniversary screening of The In-Laws on February 6. Arkin will also lead an intimate two-day improvisation workshop called Crossing The Chasm From Theater To Life on February 8 and 9.
Comedy rock gurus Tenacious D, otherwise known as Jack Black and Kyle Gass, will receive an SF Sketchfest Tribute on January 23, the opening night of the festival, in a special evening of clips, conversation and songs.
Also on opening night, January 23, the festival kicks off with a 10th Anniversary screening of Napoleon Dynamite, with the titular star Jon Heder in person.
On January 25 the festival will present the SF Sketchfest Tribute to rising sketch comedy writer/performers and stars of their own Comedy Central series, Key & Peele, also known as Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
The festival will honor the much-loved HBO series Enlightened in Becoming Enlightened with a live panel and discussion on February 2 with co-creator/star Laura Dern, co-creator/writer Mike White, producer David Bernad, and actors Luke Wilson, Timm Sharp, Sarah Burns and Jason Mantzoukas.
A special salute will be presented to highly influential Bay Area legends Coyle & Sharpe. A panel of comedians will pay homage to surviving member Mal Sharpe, who will appear in person and share clips from his archive on February 9.
The festival continues its tradition of presenting special anniversaries and reunions with some of the funniest comedies from the silver screen.
The 30th Anniversary of the beloved classic college comedy Revenge of the Nerds will be screened and celebrated on February 8 with stars Robert Carradine (“Lewis Skolnick”), Curtis Armstrong (“Dudley ‘Booger’ Dawson”), Brian Tochi (“Toshiro Takashi”), Andrew Cassese (“Harold Wormser”), Larry B. Scott (“Lamar Latrell”) and Julia Montgomery (“Betty Childs”), with moderator Chris Hardwick from the Nerdist Podcast.
The 30th Anniversary of the hilarious spy parody Top Secret! on February 8 welcomes writer-directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker (also known for Airplane! and the Naked Gun series) for a screening and conversation with comedian Thomas Lennon.
20 years have gone by since Chris Elliott and Adam Resnick unleashed Cabin Boy on the world and it has since become a much-quoted and much-loved classic. Elliott and Resnick will be on hand for a screening and conversation at a date to be announced.
Joel Hodgson, creator of the celebrated televisions series “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” brings his new one-man show, “Riffing Myself” to the festival on February 7, opening up about his own life and the beginnings of his career in comedy. Fans will then have the opportunity to meet and talk with Joel in person after the show.
Everyone’s favorite comedy interrupter Doug Benson returns with The Benson Movie Interruption to interrupt Twilight: New Moon with his surprise comedian friends on February 8.
Back at the festival on January 25-26 is Totally Looped, the show where top improvisers provide dialogue to film clips they have never seen, with a cast that includes Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson), Rick Overton, and Key & Peele’s Keegan-Michael Key.
Rounding out the film program are a 30th Anniversary Footloose Dance-Along and Sing-Along Party on February 5; Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lemme’s presentation of Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers on February 1; Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington’s On Cinema discussion and screening on January 25; and a special night of short films made by comedians called Say Hello To My Little Funny on January 28.
TV SPOTLIGHTS AND REUNIONS
Popular comedian Amy Schumer will appear for Inside Inside Amy Schumer on February 6 along with co-creator Dan Powell and writers Jessi Klein and Kim Schumer Caramele.
Cancelled, Schmancelled! Why would the cast of Futurama let a little thing like the end of the series keep them from entertaining their fans?! At Farewell, Futurama, the gang is getting back together to perform classic Futurama scenes live on-stage and take questions in a Q&A moderated by series producer Lee Supercinski. Scheduled to appear are cast members Billy West (Fry, Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan), John DiMaggio (Bender), Maurice LaMarche (Kif,Morbo, Lrrr), Lauren Tom (Amy Wong), and Phil LaMarr (Hermes Conrad) on January 25.
A staple of Adult Swim’s animated late-night shows, The Venture Bros. follows the unpredictable adventures of twin thrillseekers Hank and Dean Venture. Steven Rattazzi (“Dr. Orpheus”), Michael Sinterniklass (“Dean Venture”), Dana Snyder (“The Alchemist”) and James Urbaniak (“Dr. Venture”) will take the stage on January 26 for an afternoon of all-things Venture.
In a rather unusual reunion, Andy Blitz, Jon Glaser and Brian Stack will take the stage on February 1 in The Slipnutz Variety Show as their recurring characters from Late Night with Conan O’Brien. They’ll welcome guest Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program) and more for a night of comedy and literal nut slipping.
Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter from Stella and The State will present a live version of their Adult Swim late night infomercial parody You’re Whole on January 31.
LIVE RADIO EVENTS
Making its debut at the festival is Wits, a live public radio show where host John Moe gives world-class comedians, actors, musicians and the audience the time of their lives. Wits mixes improv, sketch comedy, conversation, music and genuine beauty in a program praised as “one of the rare public radio comedy shows that’s actually funny” (Huffington Post) and “a wildly successful radio show.” (City Pages, Minneapolis). Joining Moe are special guests Nellie McKay, Loudon Wainwright III and Paul F. Tompkins on January 24.
A mash-up of Jeopardy meets Saturday Night Live, Ask Me Another is NPR’s rambunctious hour of puzzles, word games and trivia that blends your local pub’s trivia night with comedy and music. Host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton challenge celebrity contestants and listeners alike with games that stretch their noggins and tickle their funny bones. They’ll bring their hilarious headscratchers to the Castro Theatre on February 5.
The internationally acclaimed, long-running Celebrity Autobiography, returns to SF Sketchfest for a special Music Edition spotlighting memoirs by musicians and pop stars on February 8. This year Pamela Adlon (Louie), Rachel Dratch (30 Rock), Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch), Michael Hitchcock (Glee), Laraine Newman (Saturday Night Live), Fred Willard (Best in Show) and Celebrity Autobiography’s co-creators Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel will perform the memoirs of the best and the worst from the world of music.
Also returning is the irreverent old-time radio-style production, Acker & Blacker’s The Thrilling Adventure Hour with the WorkJuice Players and very special guests on January 25.
Filmmaker and comedian David Wain brings Wainy Days Live, a stage version of his popular internet series from My Damn Channel that presents a fictionalized version of Wain’s daily life. Wain will be joined by special guest stars for the event on February 1.
Thomas Lennon (Reno 911) and Matt Mira (Nerdist podcast) will explore the singular and too-silly-to-be-made-up world of one star Yelp reviews on February 8, with special guests, in their salute to bad service with One Star with Thomas Lennon and Matt Mira.
The festival will present a special reading of a series of one-act comedy plays by Celebrity Autobiography creator Eugene Pack called Stripped Down Shorts, with a cast including Pamela Adlon, Florence Henderson, Michael Hitchcock, Laraine Newman, Dayle Reyfel, Fred Willard and more on February 9.
In Uptown Showdown, a unique and quirky spin-off on school debate events, two teams of comedians will square off to argue which is better, Breakfast vs. Dinner. Debaters Michael Ian Black, Dana Gould, Myq Kaplan, Megan Mullally, Michael Showalter, David Wain and moderator Arden Myrin will go head-to-head on February 1.
In the tradition of previous SF Sketchfest hit “The Hills Live,” the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater will lend the festival its hit live staged reading of another pop culture phenomenon in The Realest Real Housewives with June Diane Raphael, Danielle Schneider, Morgan Walsh and more on January 24.
Bobcat Goldthwait will revive his 1991 cult comedy classic with a lively live reading at Shakes The Clown Live. Reprising their film roles in front of the audience on February 9 are Julie Brown (“Judy”), Tom Kenny (“Binky The Clown”), Florence Henderson (“The Unknown Woman”) and Goldthwait himself (“Shakes The Clown”).
In The Great Debate: Girls vs. Golden Girls – Who Empower Us and Who are a Bunch of Stunted, Oppressed Degenerates?, hosts and debaters Matt Price and Ilyse Mimoun will make cases for each of the popular television series while pulling no punches on January 24.
After a recent televised debate on this subject as part of Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, atheist comedian Jamie Kilstein and believer comedian John Fugelsang will flesh out their arguments as they Debate the Existence of God at this special event on February 9.
IMPROVISATION AND SKETCH COMEDY
The master improvisers of the Upright Citizens Brigade return with their long-running and hugely popular show A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T. with one show on February 8. UCB’s co-founders Matt Besser (Freak Dance), Ian Roberts (Arrested Development) and Matt Walsh (VEEP) will be joined by Andrew Daly (Eastbound and Down), Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Chris Gethard (The Chris Gethard Show), and more.
Longtime improv team Naked Babies featuring Rob Corddry, John Ross Bowie, Brian Huskey and Seth Morris, returns on February 7, and the Facebook Improv team, who create an entire show based on an audience member’s Facebook page, returns on February 9 with Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Chad Carter, Owen Burke and Seth Morris.
The critically acclaimed troupe The Improvised Shakespeare Company will create fully improvised Shakespearean masterpieces right before your eyes using the language and themes of William Shakespeare on January 30. Nothing is planned-out, rehearsed or written.
Theme Park Improv returns on February 7, led by SF Sketchfest co-founders Cole Stratton and Janet Varney and featuring a team of all-star improvisers including Ian Brennan (co-creator of Glee), Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory), John Michael Higgins (Best In Show), Michael Hitchcock (Glee) and Jessica Makinson (Mary Shelley’s Frankenhole).
In Gravid Water, top improvisers and actors perform in scenes from Stoppard to Sophocles, and everything in between! The actors will know their lines and the improvisers will improvise, with no prior knowledge of the scenes. Creator and director Stephen Ruddy welcomes Andrew Daly, star of Comedy Central’s upcoming Review, the Upright Citizens Brigade’s Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh, and more February 7.
Andrew Daly (Eastbound and Down) will give the Bay Area a very special sneak peek of his upcoming Comedy Central Show Review with Forrest MacNeil as part of his one-man show, The Andy Daly Show.
The Groundlings, the Los Angeles-based improvisation and sketch training center and theater, present two special shows: The Black Version, on January 25, features Jordan Black, Danielle Gaither, Keegan-Michael Key, Phil LaMarr, Jordan Peele, Gary Anthony Williams and Cedric Yarbrough. Personals, hosted by Brian Palermo on January 31, features MADTV’s Mike McDonald, Austin Powers’ Mindy Sterling, The Heat’s Jamie Denbo and more.
Keegan-Michael Key and the Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Marc Evan Jackson bring their improv troupe The 313 back to the festival with troupe mates Maribeth Monroe, Jaime Moyer and more on January 24.
Kevin McDonald of the Kids in the Hall will lead an intensive workshop for students to improve their acting and writing skills by learning how to write comedy through performance and how to use improvisation as a writing tool. The two-day course is on January 25-26. McDonald will also present a special evening of stand-up alongside fellow Kid in the Hall Dave Foley on January 24.
Returning comedians The Birthday Boys, following the premiere of their own television series on IFC in October, will bring their refreshing and original take on sketch comedy back to the stage on February 1.
Shitty Jobs, a long running show at Los Angeles’ Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, features a cast of improvisers spinning true audience on-the-job horror stories into hilarious pieces of comedy on January 25. The cast includes Sean Clements, Dominic Dierkes, DC Pierson and Ben Rodgers.
Internet video sensation BriTANick (Brian McElhaney and Nick Kocher) return to the fest for a night of live sketches and video favorites on January 29. Sharing the bill are Brooklyn’s BOAT, performing at the fest for a third time.
The festival also features dozens of the best up-and-coming sketch and improv groups from
around the world — representing international waters are Aunty Donna (Australia); Foil Arms and Hog (Ireland); The Norwegians of Comedy (Norway); Hip.Bang!, Peter n’ Chris, Suspicious Luxury presents REMEMORY and Tony Ho (Canada); and repping the USA are 3 Woman 1 Woman Show (with 3 Women), Bellevue, The Best of Craigslist, The Blank Experience, Bonafide, Charles, Cheap Smokes, Classy Pants, Colin Mahan’s Ball Trap: A Crock Opera, Cossbysweater, Convoy, Don’t Watch This Show Live!, The Dress Up Gang, Duchess Riot, Endgames Improv, Femikaze, Frange & Stern, John Velvet, Killing My Lobster, Ladystache, Lester Milton, Lost Moon Radio, Manboobs Comedy featuring Danny Tamberelli, Matt&Sam, Medium Friends, Miles and Jesse, Mission CTRL, Nephew, Oh Brother!, Oh Theodora, Pianofight’s Chardonnay, Robber Barons, Sad Vicious, Speechless, Time Capsule, Unsuspectingly Sponsored By…, Vagina Jones, Whiskey Tango and Winslow.
MUSIC MEETS COMEDY
SF Sketchfest is nothing if not eclectic, and continues to cross over into other genres, with a special emphasis on music.
Maya Rudolph brings her Prince cover band Princess, co-led with Gretchen Lieberum, back to the festival after a wildly successful debut last year. They will rock the festival’s closing night on February 9.
The epic comedic and musical salute to nerdery known as w00tstock returns to SF Sketchfest for the third time for w00tstock Founders featuring co-creators Adam Savage (Mythbusters), musical comedy duo Paul and Storm (Da Vinci’s Notebook), actor/author/blogger Wil Wheaton (Stand by Me) and surprise guests on January 26.
The critically-acclaimed, massively talented and funny singer and musician Nellie McKay, who just finished an extended run in the acclaimed off-Broadway hit Old Hats, will perform on January 25 and make an appearance on Wits with John Moe on January 24.
Brother and sister Sara and Sean Watkins