Colin Hanks

Wake up and go to shows this week! So many shows...

Wake up and go to shows this week! So many shows…

The thirteenth annual SF Sketchfest is upon us, littering San Francisco with night after night of too many good things at once.

To help with these sorts of problems, please consult “A Nerd’s Guide To Sketchfest 2014.” Yes, Dakin’s full-on once-over of this year’s fest is just the right guide to help you make those wrenching nerd decisions about which one-of-a-kind Sketchfest show to choose from on each jam-packed night. Too much good stuff is a good/ANNOYING problem to have. You are fortunate. We are fortunate.

This week! We have Canadiens! Sleepwalkers! Metal! Tim! Punk rock benefit shows! And science! O you lucky person, you — to have all of these awesome things to choose from.

Here’s what’s coming up this week.

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Don't miss it!

Don’t miss it!

This time last year, I hadn’t yet experienced the delight that is The Thrilling Adventure Hour. Since then, I’ve become a bona fide fan, even subscribing to their podcast. I admit, I was disappointed when the lovely Busy Philipps confirmed via Twitter that she would be missing this year to attend the SAG Awards in LA, but the addition of Rider Strong was a happy consolation. And really, what better way to spend a Saturday night solo in San Francisco than at a charming comedy show? I couldn’t think of anything, either, so I schlepped over to Marines’ Memorial Theatre last night at 7pm sharp and prepared for the fun to ensue!

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No photography allowed! Thanks to thrillingadventurehour.com for this pic of some of the players!

I admit it. When I took my seat in the Marines’ Memorial Theatre last night, I didn’t really know what to expect. I requested this show because I wanted to be a part of SF Sketchfest (last year I saw Maximum Volume with Greg Behrendt and Matt Nathanson with a friend, and there met Gordon Elgart, which eventually led to my writing for Spinning Platters). Furthermore, I was excited to see Colin Hanks, Busy Philipps, and Paget Brewster (to name a few). Though the title probably should’ve tipped me off, I didn’t know I would be seeing a staged production like an old-school radio show, nor that it would be chock-full of familiar (and abundantly funny) faces.

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The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a monthly live performance podcast done at Largo in Los Angeles written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker.  For SF Sketchfest we were treated to two performances featuring many great actors of varying degrees of famous-ness.  The 10:30 show featuring Neil Patrick Harris sold out, as everything he has done at Sketchfest has, so my ticket was for the early NPH-less show.  But the show didn’t need Neil Patrick Harris to be great.  It was an hour of fun witty writing and excellent acting, so good in fact I came home and subscribed to the podcast. [read the whole post]

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This is a picture of Chris Hardwick. He's not related to me, but he will be in San Francisco for Sketchfest. I will be hitting him up for birthday money, anyways. Hopefully I can fool him.

To the uninitiated, San Francisco’s Sketchfest is probably the most overwhelming 2 1/2 weeks out of the entire year, in terms of live entertainment booking. Its closest cousin is probably Austin’s SXSW festival, where you have a wide array of up-and-coming talent mixed with veterans, all playing some very intimate spots.

As a person that considers himself to be an expert of sorts on taste, I am going to sift through this year’s line-up, and let you know what you should be going to at this year’s Sketchfest. I will guide you through which Emmy winners or CSI corpses (both of which are well represented by this event), in my humble opinion, is most worthy of your hard earned dollar.

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