Sketchfest

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]

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Special guest: the delightful “Weird Al” Yankovic

Show 2 of my 3 at this year’s SF Sketchfest was last weekend at Swedish American Hall on a chilly grey Saturday afternoon. What better way to spend such a day than laughing with Pat Francis taping a live Rock Solid podcast with Kyle Dodson and special guest “Weird Al” Yankovic? I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do, either. [read the whole post]

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The lovely Kirsten Vangsness is a MESS.

It’s that time of year again: SF Sketchfest 2017 is in town, and as always, brings with it the promise of some great talent and good times. It also marks yet another anniversary for me with Spinning Platters (my 6th), which also always makes me smile. Anyway, this year is no exception in terms of the fun shows I went to, the first being this past weekend, at PianoFight. Kirsten Vangsness may be best known to many of us as her character Penelope Garcia on CBS’ Criminal Minds (or, as Shemar Moore’s character Derek Morgan called her, simply “Baby Girl”). But even if this is the only thing you know her from, my guess is that you, like me, adore her for the quirky, sweet lady she plays on the show. Her original one-woman show MESS intrigued me: I learned that she wrote it based on ideas from a TED Talk (which, admittedly, I haven’t had time yet to watch). I wondered if she would be anything like Garcia, or something else entirely. I admit, I had no idea what to expect, but I couldn’t wait to find out.
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Saturday, January 21st, 2017 was a historic day. It marked the most significant single day of protest the US has ever experienced. Nearly one out of every hundred Americans went to the streets to protest the agenda of the incoming administration. It was an amazing and profound experience, and I was proud to  participate in it. With it, another, smaller record was broken: on this fateful day, 1,667 people experienced what will be known as the largest improv show in history. (Please don’t fact check this. It’s a joke. Don’t be that person.) [read the whole post]

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The Latino Comedy Project is a sketch troupe out of Austin, Texas. They do a healthy mix of political and cultural sketch, and are bringing their live show, “Gentrifucked,” to SF Sketchfest this year for four shows this Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are available here, although you might want to act fast, as some performances are already sold out.

We had a chance to talk to one of the troupe’s founders, Adrian Villegas, on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration. We were both a bit feeling a bit raw that day, as you are about to see after the jump!

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Photo by Heather Wilson

In the world of comedy, Laraine Newman is an industry legend. She’s been consistently working for over 40 years, starting as a member of the legendary first cast of Saturday Night Live, and branching out into dozens of roles in television, film and voice acting. She has an amazing amount of stories, and when I heard she was going to be doing a one-woman show as part of Sketchfest this year, I jumped at the chance to experience her live.

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Spinning Platters Interview: Amy Miller

January 25, 2016

Amy Miller is an old friend of Spinning Platters. She’s also the funniest person in Portland, OR, and was on the final season of Last Comic Standing. She was one of the earliest fans of the site and, despite her continued fame, she still managed to squeeze out some time to talk to us. She’s […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Workjuice Theatre with Paget Brewster, Craig Cackowski, Mark Gagliardi, Marc Evan Jackson, Hal Lublin, Busy Philipps, Paul F. Tompkins and more, 1/9/2016 at Brava Theater Center

January 11, 2016

This year would have been my fifth consecutive year watching The Thrilling Adventure Hour at SF Sketchfest. Sadly, it seems I must finally admit that I’m a terrible podcast fan. I adore this show, but I’m a little behind. Ok, a lot behind: what I mean is, I never listen to podcasts. Like, ever. So […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Mara Wilson’s What Are You Afraid Of? with guests John Ross Bowie and Sarah Thyre, 1/8/2016 at Eureka Theatre

January 11, 2016

So, I follow Mara Wilson on Twitter. It’s not specifically because she was the cutest-ever child star who happens to still be equal parts clever, funny, and brilliant. (See her in Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire for further evidence on the aforementioned childhood cuteness.) See, I found Mara through a circle of funny ladies on the […]

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SF Sketchfest Interview: Ron Funches

January 7, 2016

Ron Funches has been the king of dry, soft spoken wit since he first popped on the scene in 2011. After spending years on the road, he’s hit the big time. He’s one of the stars of NBC’s hit sitcom Undateable and is also a regular on @midnight as well as the dearly departed The […]

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