dick cavett

All Photos by Tommy Lau

I’m going to make a very bold statement: If Dick Cavett never existed, late night television would be unrecognizable. As a writer and a talent coordinator of the original Tonight Show with Jack Paar, he helped shape the structure of the show, and stayed on for a bit as Johnny Carson took over. He continued to work on The Jerry Lewis Show before getting the opportunity to host his own talk show, The Dick Cavett Show, which lasted in some iteration from 1968 ‘til 1996, then back again from 2006-2007, bouncing between networks and time slots, but still keeping the same basic premise of edgy humor and probing interviews.

Tonight was a little bit different for Cavett. Tonight, Cavett became the subject of the interview, not the conductor. Tonight was special. And the person taking on the role of Cavett for the task in interviewing Cavett? Mr. John Hodgman. [read the whole post]

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Photo by Michelle Crow

Dave Hill is one of the most prolific performers you’ve probably never heard of. He plays guitar for the bands Valley Lodge (who do the theme to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver), Diamondsnake (a metal band with Moby), and his black metal band Witch Taint, which he’s bringing to Sketchfest this year as part of a larger schedule. He also hosts “The Goddamn Dave Hill Show” on WFMU radio, and a podcast called “Dave Hill’s Podcasting Incident.” Not good enough? He’s also an accomplished writer and stand-up comic. Spinning Platters pulled Hill away from his busy schedule to speak to us. Here’s how it went!

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It’s that time of year when the best possible three weeks of comedy programing take over Bay Area theaters, art spaces, and nightclubs: SF Sketchfest! There is so much good stuff happening that it’s impossible to make heads or tails of where to go when. Well, I’ve been studying the schedule in great detail for the last several weeks, and since I am of impeccable taste, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt what the best things are to do each day of the event. [read the whole post]

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Many reviewers, when they attend a show, tend to do a lot of research about the performers. They watch videos, read biographical information, and so forth. I don’t believe in this. I like to be surprised. I had no idea as to who Dave Hill was before tonight. I am not so oblivious as to not know who Dick Cavett is, nor Gordon Gano, but I didn’t know who the headliner was. Judging by the size of the crowd, neither did many of the attendees of Sketchfest. In fact, the balcony was closed and the main floor was only about half full. I went in (relatively) blindly. It was a good decision.

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Music and Sketches? Get It? Ha Ha Ha!

As San Franciscans, we love festivals. We also love music and laughs, and it seems that line is blurring between the two worlds more & more everyday. And, although our music festivals have been littered with comedians quite a bit lately, especially with Tenacious D functioning as headliner at least year’s Outside Lands Festival, the music leaking in to the comedy festivals has been a bit subtler. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the music of San Francisco’s Sketchfest. There is lot going on, and a lot of very special things that will pique the interest of any music nerd.

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