Janet Varney

METALLICA! And nothing else matters…

Photo by Ben Irwin

Day 2 of any festival is a little rough. Your energy is a little bit zapped from the day before. You can’t seem to drink enough water or coffee. Your legs are sore. So when you finally get there, you need something to kick yourself into gear. And I managed to stumble across that band at 12:00 on the dot. [read the whole post]


Sketchfest co-founder & all-around funny girl Janet Varney

I’ve always liked Janet Varney, who I knew almost exclusively from her work with Thrilling Adventure Hour, but once someone made the connection for me that she was one of the co-founders of SF Sketchfest, my admiration for her ratcheted up quite a few notches. So, she’s super funny, and likeable, and charming, and kind of a badass producer too? So cool! So this year, when I was perusing the schedule, and saw that she was doing a live podcast (The JV Club, it’s called) with Matt Nathanson, Rachel Dratch, and Jon Hamm? Hell yeah! I’d been trying to get to a Rachel Dratch appearance at Sketchfest for at least a year or two, and Jon Hamm is so fun when he’s in comedy mode (which I’d not yet seen live, either). I immediately put in my request and hoped I’d get to cover the show. Next thing I knew, there I was, at Brava Theater Center, last Saturday afternoon, with a great seat, just in time for the house lights to go down. [read the whole post]


Sketchfest is really rough. There is literally too much to do over the course of the three weeks the festival runs. We have 18 days of anywhere between 3-10 shows, all special events with performers that rarely come to San Francisco to perform. I’m here to help you decide what to do. Below  are some of the events that I find the most interesting over the course of the entire event. You can use my handy guide, or you can just go rogue and take a look at the full schedule here! [read the whole post]


tommy lau2

Bring the Rock ALWAYS brings the fun(ny). (Photo thanks to Tommy Lau.)

Sketchfest is always fun. It’s even better, though, when I get to see Greg Behrendt, and most of all when it’s for Bring the Rock, as was the case for the final weekend of Sketchfest 2016 at Swedish American Hall. It’s even sweeter than usual, though, because it marks my fifth anniversary with Spinning Platters: I first met editor-in-chief Gordon Elgart at a similar event in 2011. It was called Maximum Volume, but the premise was the same, and any chance I have to be there when an event like this takes place, I’m not gonna miss it. [read the whole post]


Q & A after The Muppet Movie (Left to right: Amy Goelz, Gonzo, Dave Goelz, Susan Juhl and Janet Varney

Q & A after The Muppet Movie (Left to right: Amy Goelz, Gonzo, Dave Goelz, Susan Jewel and Janet Varney

SF Sketchfest is one of my favorite things about San Francisco. So when I saw that they were doing a Summer Social, and that it involved two of my favorite things: Muppets and Doug Benson, I jumped at the chance to attend. [read the whole post]



There is something about Yelp that inspires some of the finest creative writing out there today. I really enjoy reading pieces where the writer is in so much pain and frustration over the poor treatment they got at a commercial establishment, that they feel compelled to write a letter to the entire world about the demons that can be found in such a place. One Star with Thomas Lennon and Matt Mira is a show that pays loving tribute to those passionate writers. Until last night, those voices could only be heard if you stumbled across them on the web. Now, those voices can be heard by all.

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Show Review: Wainy Days Live on 2/1/14

February 3, 2014

I will fully admit to the fact that I had never seen Wainy Days prior to this evening at Marines’ Memorial Theater. The reason I went to this performance was because the cast bridged my favorite TV show when I was 12, The State, and my favorite TV show now, at the age of 35, […]

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A Nerd’s Guide To Sketchfest 2014

January 17, 2014

Wouldn’t it be great if cloning was already a thing? So we could be at 8 places at once and not have to decide which Sketchfest events you are going to? Well, until science improves greatly, we are stuck with one body and being in one place at a time. Because of this trouble, I […]

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Spinning Platters Interview: Janet Varney, Cole Stratton, and David Owen, Organizers Of SF Sketchfest

December 13, 2013

This is the 13th year of the SF Sketchfest, and it seems to be getting bigger every year. The event’s founders, David Owen, Janet Varney, and Cole Stratton tooks a few minutes out of their day, busily putting together another epic line up, in order to chat with me. Tickets for all dates go on […]

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Sketchfest Review: Greg Behrendt & The Reigning Monarchs: “Bring The Rock” at Cobb’s Comedy Club, 2/4/12

February 8, 2012

Sketchfest, the three week long behemoth of a comedy festival came to a mind-melting close on Saturday night. Although there were some more popular events with bigger stars, nothing stood up to the sheer volume of “Bring The Rock.”  This was, quite literally, the first time I ever needed to wear ear plugs at a […]

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