SF Sketchfest Review: Sara Schaefer: Little White Box, Krista Fatka at Punchline, 1/16/18

by Dakin Hardwick on January 22, 2018

As we all know, things are kind of nutty right now. There are some terrible people in power, those people are inspiring other terrible people to act and speak out in terrible ways, and it seems that the entire country has been either drowning, burning, or freezing most of this year. The best thing for coping with all of this, at least for me, is satire. But not dark satire. Warm, comforting satire, that helps you laugh at the issues while also feeling comforted that somebody else understands what’s going on. Sara Schaefer is one of the finest writers of this brand of satire. And, despite it being a Tuesday night, I needed to see what she had to say.

Krista Fatka opened the show with a very brief warm up set. She’s a local, and I’m surprised I hadn’t seen her perform yet, but she’s definitely onto something good. Her rhythm is excellent, and she definitely is well studied in the art of stand up. I will admit to not loving her entire set, but when she was on, she was definitely “ON.” Especially when talking about chihuahuas, who are a special breed of dog, and it’s great when comics understand them.

Schaffer danced on to the stage while the epic sounds of “Return Of The Mack” by Mark Morrison filled the room. She danced herself into a state of near exhaustion, or comically over exaggerated tiredness, depending on how you look at it. She then dove head first into a pitch perfect, one woman show, reflecting on our current world.

Early in the set, she started with a bit about how divided we are, as a people these days. She specifically brought up the fact that the worst people that keep optimistic slogans that include words like “love” and “God” and “hope” on artwork in their homes. She then told a series of stories and anecdotes that she managed to move through seamlessly. Schaefer covered anxiety and night terrors, dealing with the rise of conspiracy theorists, the legitimization of conspiracy theorists, how religion plays into your political ideology, and at no point did it feel like any theme was in a box on it’s own. And, most importantly, she was funny as hell well covering this ground.

One of my favorite takeaways came from her discussion of religion. Schafer was raised in a baptist household, and said that her Christian upbringing is what made her the liberal she is today. She told a few stories that circled around this. She sang a song about keeping Jesus in a “little white box” with you all the time, while also keeping Satan in a similar box, but only after smashing him. She also brought up the conflict of Hobby Lobby, a place where they use “religion” to control women and keep them away from necessary medical treatment and birth control, but is also a place where you may actually find exactly what you need at a fair price. She closed the show out by informing the crowd that Hobby Lobby has been working on a bible museum in Washington, DC, and had actually purchased artifacts from Isis to make this possible (Google it!) .

Sara Schafer is one of the boldest and brightest minds in the comedy world commenting on the world as we know it today. She’s fearless and bold and funny, and put together a totally unique show. This was thought provoking in all the right ways, and I hope everyone gets to enjoy this show.

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