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18th Annual SF Sketchfest

  • Brava Theater Center 2781 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110 USA (map)

 Audible presents the

18th Annual SF Sketchfest

SF Sketchfest presented by Audible celebrates the 18th annual San Francisco Comedy Festival January 10-27, 2019, with more than 600 comedic talents performing in 18 venues across the city. The 18-day festival features major comedy stars and the best up-and-coming comedians from around the world for non-stop entertainment including sketch, stand-up, alternative comedy, music, improv, films, tributes, live podcasts, storytelling, family shows, workshops, and panels and more.

Brava Theater Center will host the following 24 Sketchfest events:

JAN 11, 8PM (Cabaret)
The Sklar Bros and Dan Van Kirk
Hosted by Allison Mick


It's a night of stand-up comedy featuring The Sklar Bros. & Daniel Van Kirk (Dumb People Town)! Hosted by Bay Area favorite Allison Mick.

JAN 11, 10:00PM (Main Stage)
Don't Say... with Paul and Dave

Featuring Dave Foley, Paul Greenberg, Crissy Guerrero, Jackie Harris Greenberg, Eban Schletter and more


Don't Say... with Paul and Dave is a comedy podcast in which two old friends (Paul Greenberg & Dave Foley) who also happen to be Canadians offer Americans a respite from, and a guarantee, that this is the one place you won’t hear that most unseemly word, “c*nt”. It’s a 45 minute stream of consciousness journey, peppered with enjoyable music and legal advice from the talented Eban Schletter (an actual lawyer), commentary from their wives (Jackie Harris Greenberg & Crissy Guerrero) and a surprise guest as the icing on the cake. And by surprise, we mean Paul and Dave have no idea who is going to show up! No agenda, no boundaries and no “c” word. Don’t Say… with Paul and Dave.

JAN 11, 10:15PM (Cabaret)
I Think I'd Be Good at That

With Drew Harmon and guests Brian Bahe, Emily Catalano, Adam Quesnell, Lynn Stein and Clinton Ware


Lots of comics have audience members come up after shows and tell them that their friends or coworkers have always told them they’d make a good comedian. But starting standup involves writing jokes, going to open mikes and being terrible for a while. So most intelligent people don’t even bother trying. To give those sane people a chance to feel the thrill of doing comedy, I created a show where they get to experience being a comic with the help of veteran comedians who write jokes and coach them in taking the stage. We remove all the stuff that can make that first set awful and give them the tips and tricks to succeed. “I Think I’d Be Good At That” is one of the most unique, crazy and fun comedy shows in the Bay Area. And so far, all our Newcomers have crushed it at the show and we’ve been helping people get a taste for what keeps comedians coming back to the stage.

JAN 12, 4PM (Main Stage)
Salute to Bill Plympton: Films, Live Drawing and Q&A


SF Sketchfest is thrilled to present an afternoon with acclaimed animator Bill Plympton, who will present a collection of new and classic short films, demonstrate live drawing onstage, and take your questions. After the show, each audience member will have the opportunity to meet Bill Plympton and have him create a complementary original piece of art that you can take home!

Bill Plympton is considered the King of Indie Animation, and is the first person to hand draw an entire animated feature film. Bill moved to New York City in 1968 and began his career creating cartoons for publications such as New York Times, National Lampoon, Playboy and Screw.In 1987, he was nominated for an Oscar® for his animated short Your Face. In 2005, Bill received another Oscar® nomination, this time for his short Guard Dog. Push Comes to Shove won the prestigious Cannes 1991 Palme d'Or; and in 2001, another short film, Eat, won the Grand Prize for Short Films in Cannes Critics' Week.After producing many shorts that appeared on MTV and Spike and Mike's, he turned his talent to feature films. Since 1991, he's made twelve feature films. Eight of them, The Tune, Mondo Plympton, I Married A Strange Person, Mutant Aliens, Hair High, Idiots and Angels, Cheatin', and Revengeance are all animated features.Bill Plympton has also collaborated with Madonna, Kanye West and Weird Al Yankovic in a number of music videos and book projects. In 2006, he received the Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award from The Annie Awards.

JAN 12, 7:30PM (Main Stage)
Queery Podcast with Cameron Esposito

With Cameron Esposito and Scott Thompson


Sit in on an hour long-conversation between host and standup comic, Cameron Esposito, and some of the brightest luminaries in the LGBTQ+ family. QUEERY explores individual stories of identity, personality and the shifting cultural matrix around gender, sexuality and civil rights. Cameron's guest for this live version will be The Kids in the Hall's Scott Thompson.  Co-presented by Frameline.

JAN 12, 8PM (Cabaret)
Bad Asians

With Imran G and David Nguyen and guests Moon Choe, Atsuko Okatsuka, Joseph Nguyen, Andrew Orolfo, Janesh Rahlan, and Ryan Sudhakaran


Bad Asians is a showcase featuring Asian comics doing stand up, being interviewed, and colorful commentary on current events and culture. Every month we have a different line up of comedians whose credits have included NBC, HBO, Comedy Central and more! “Bad Asian” is a term used playfully and condescendingly when an Asian Pacific Islander (API) American person fails to live up to preconceived notions of what it means to be Asian. What is a “good” Asian, and what is a “bad” Asian?” How “bad” can you really be? Resisting these tropes of obedient sons and daughters who grow up to be doctors/lawyers/engineers, these API comics are NOT in the “model minority” business. They are in the entertainment business (and perhaps there’s nothing more “heinous” than that). Your best course may be to tread lightly around this line-up of hilarious provocateurs and troublemakers, hosted by Imran G and David Nguyen!

JAN 12, 10PM (Main Stage)
Voyage to the Stars

With Steve Berg, Felicia Day, Colton Dunn, Kirsten Vangsness, Janet Varney and special guest Tom Lenk


Space: It’s big. Like, really big. These are the misadventures of a group of misfits that accidentally found themselves on the wrong side of a wormhole. Their mission: try not to blow up the galaxy in their attempts to return home. Join us on a voyage to the stars with the wholly unqualified Captain Tucker Lentz (Colton Dunn), scatterbrained scientist Elsa Rankfort (Felicia Day), apathetic technician Stew Merkel (Steve Berg) and the misanthropic A.I. Sorry (Janet Varney). Get a sneak peak at this disastrous space opera before its February debut. The universe will never be the same. 

JAN 12, 10:15PM (Cabaret)
Capitol PUNishment

With Daniel Humbarger, Damian Harmony, Marc Burg and Caleb Duffy and guests Natasha Muse, Andy Rider, Ronn Vigh and Paige Weldon


Capitol PUNishment is a fast-paced, in-the-moment spectacle that combines everything you love about gameshows, rap-battles, and "dad" jokes, into a unique and hilarious competitive format. Audiences have cheered, groaned, and loved (often all at once) Capitol PUNishment for over two years. The show has enjoyed a nearly year-long string of sold-out performances from Sacramento to Mill Valley, where Capitol PUNishment had a pilot taping at the famous Throckmorton Theater. The show utilizes a PUNwheel to select a random topic, keeping the rotating line-up of four contestants per show (and audiences) on their intellectual toes. Competitors must outlast, outwit, and outpun each other to get to the final round: a boss-battle against creators/producers/all-around pun savants, Daniel Humbarger and Damian Harmony. Mark Burg referees each round, bringing his own brand of wit to the show, and keeps things going at a quick and steady rhythm. Interludes featuring Daniel and Damian facing off using crowd-suggested topics keep the audience engaged and impressed, as the lightning quick duo battle each other, forming puns and trying to out-do each other in real time. Once a tournament champion emerges, he or she moves on to the boss battle, which becomes an endurance run, with the "bosses" having all the advantages. Can the tournament champion survive and defeat Damian and Daniel? Only a handful have! Who's next?

JAN 18, 7:30PM (Main Stage)
Audible presents: Bad Reception


With Mary Holland, Lauren Lapkus, Dan Lippert, Eric Martin, Jessica McKenna, Justin Michael, Zach Reino, Betsy Sodaro, Marissa Strickland and Paul F Tompkins 

Audible presents a living, breathing version of the improvised audio comedy Bad Reception, the hilarious story of a truly bizarre town and its zany inhabitants. Join the creators of this Audible Original, Justin Michael and Eric Martin, as they welcome you to the buttery mystery of South Grampers, Northern California with an all-star cast of improvisers. Download and listen to the made-up madness at

JAN 18, 8PM (Cabaret)
Charla Lauriston: Live Album Taping


Charla Lauriston is a stand-up comedian and television writer hailing from New York by way of Boston by way of Haiti. Charla has written for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Comedy Central’s Why? W/ Hannibal Buress, TBS’ People of Earth, and FOX’s Ghosted. She appeared on The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail on Comedy Central and has been featured at the New York, Brooklyn, Cape Fear, She-Devil, and Chicago Women’s Funny Festivals. Charla was Joke of the Week in TimeOut New York and has written pieces for Elle Magazine and The Root. Her web series, Clench & Release, garnered critical acclaim that described her as “self-assured and gleefully sarcastic” (WNYC) and “one of the most exciting and original voices in comedy” (Splitsider). The series was also featured in Glamour, Indie Wire, Paste Magazine, Bustle, and Comedy Hype. Charla was listed as one of 8 Black Women Ready for SNL by Essence Magazine and is a 2018 Sundance New Voices Fellow.

JAN 18, 10:00PM (Main Stage)
Workjuice Improv


With Craig Cackowski, Mark Gagliardi, Hal Lublin, Marc Evan Jackson, Annie Savage, Paul F. Tompkins and Janet Varney

SF Sketchfest wouldn’t be complete without the WorkJuice Players, and this year is no exception. The cast of perennial favorites will take to the stage, sans scripts, and improvise a show based on monologues by a special guest! The players have mesmerized audiences around the world and will bring their incredible wit and hilarity to San Francisco for one show only. This is long form improv at its best!

JAN 18, 10:15PM (Cabaret)
The Art Critique Comedy Show

With Jordan Cerminara and Jeremy Talamantes and guests Mark Smalls, Kiry Shabazz and Maria Wojciechowski


The Art Critique Comedy Show {comedians roasting thrift store art} brings five secondhand disasterpieces, found at Goodwills, garage sales, and flea markets, up on stage to be properly torn apart by salty stand-up comics. You'll love laughing at this treasure trash so much by show's end, you won't be able to keep yourself from bidding when it's auctioned off by your hosts Jeremy Talamantes and Jordan Cerminara.

JAN 19, 4PM (Main Stage)
Worst First Chapter

With Ben Acker, Jonathan Coulton, Dana Gould, Jean Grae, Christopher Moore, Paul & Storm, Laser Malena-Webber and more 


Literature lovers take notice! Literature haters take notice! The "authors" of this show have written an intentionally awful first chapter to a terrible book that doesn’t actually exist. They will then read it out loud for you, the audience, to pick a best worst "winner.”

JAN 19, 7:30PM (Main Stage)
The Birthday Boys / Cobranauts


The Birthday Boys are bringing their bizarrely brilliant sketch comedy to SF Sketchfest with a jam packed show! One of the most accomplished groups to come out of the Upright Citizens Brigade, the Boys have credits ranging from writing for the MTV Movie Awards to starring on Portlandia and everything in between. Their eponymous sketch series, executive produced by Bob Odenkirk, aired for two seasons on IFC and is now available to stream online. With an opening set by the five-time winners of the House Team Tournament at the Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, CA -- Cobranauts!

JAN 19, 8PM (Cabaret)
Sudden Pirate: A Comedy Show Benefit for Mikey Walz

With Nicole Calasich, Francesca Fiorentini, Samantha Gilweit, Walker Glenn, Jesse Hett, Natasha Muse, Gabby Poccia, Aviva Siegel and Mikey Walz


Mikey Walz is a stand-up comic, writer and longtime member of the Bay Area comedy community -- and he learned on October 9th 2018 that he has cancer. On Halloween, in order to remove the soft tissue cancer in his left leg and save his life, Mikey had it amputated. He’s got several months of chemotherapy and years of physical therapy ahead of him. Join Mikey and his close comedy friends for a night of stand-up to raise money to help Mikey with the tough times ahead! And for a little bit more cash, stay and meet this sudden pirate after the show.

JAN 19, 10PM (Main Stage)
Theme Park Improv

With Rachel Dratch, Simon Helberg, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Jessica Makinson, Oscar Nunez, Cole Stratton, Janet Varney and special guest Tony Hale


The Theme Park Improv Show's improvisers take a single suggestion of a theme from the audience, and wing an entire set of fast-paced long-form scenes and characters, based on stories from a special guest monologist. After a streak of sold-out shows, they return to SF Sketchfest with a stellar lineup: Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), Simon Helberg ("The Big Bang Theory"), Michael Hitchcock ("Best in Show"), John Michael Higgins ("Pitch Perfect"), Jessica Makinson ("South Park"), Oscar Nunez ("The Office"), Cole Stratton (Pop My Culture podcast) and Janet Varney ("Stan Against Evil"). This will be a show you won’t soon forget!

JAN 19, 10:15PM (Cabaret)
Improv Night with The Ballroom, Bear Supply and Spunky Moms

Hosted by Bethany Van Delft


SF Sketchfest is proud to present a night of improvisation with some of the best emerging groups in the country! Hosted by Boston stand-up Bethany Van Delft.

JAN 25, 7:30PM (Main Stage)
The Allusionist with Helen Zaltzman and more


The Allusionist is an award-winning podcast about language and how and why we humans use it the way we do. It's fun. It's informative. It's...funformative? Steady on there with the portmanteaus, please.

JAN 25, 8PM (Cabaret)
Obscure with Michael Ian Black


Comedian Michael Ian Black is tackling a great work of literature. Actually, tackling might be too strong a word. More like “light caressing” plus a lot of complaining. He’s reading the Thomas Hardy classic, Jude the Obscure, out loud and commenting as he goes. Join Michael, some of his famous (and non-famous) friends and experts as he discovers Jude’s world and a few things about his own. Is it a terrible idea? Probably. But it’s a terrible idea he wants to do with you.

JAN 25, 10:00PM (Main Stage)
Uptown Showdown Debate: The Future vs The Past

With Greg Behrendt, Michael Ian Black, Andrea Savage, Aparna Nancherla, Kevin Whittinghill, Drew Droege and Kevin Allison


In Uptown Showdown, a unique and quirky spin-off on school debate events, two teams of comedians will square off to argue for and against a hot topic. Debaters will go head-to-head to tackle what will clearly be one of the most important issues of our time: which is better, The Future or The Past? You, the audience, will decide the winner!

JAN 25, 10:15PM (Cabaret)
Lady to Lady and Ladyfriends

With Tess Barker, Barbara Gray and Brandie Posey and guests Carly Ballerini, Whitney Chitwood, Grace Thomas, Valerie Vernale, Sureni Weerasekera and Hoodo Hersei 


Barbara Gray, Brandie Posey, and Tess Barker, the trio behind the hit podcast "Lady to Lady," host a night of stand-up from an amazing array of incredible lady-friends at the Brava Cabaret!

JAN 26, 4:00PM (Main Stage)
Impro Theatre, Twilight Zone Unscripted

With Dan O'Connor, Edi Patterson, Jo McGinley, and Stephen Kearin 


Impro Theatre’s Main Company creates completely improvised, full-length plays in the styles of the world’s greatest playwrights, authors and composers. This special SF Sketchfest show will be a series of totally improvised episodes of "The Twilight Zone!" Featuring Groundling Edi Patterson and more to be announced!

With no pre-planning or prepared scenarios, the performers combine verbal dexterity and robust physicality to bring character and plot to life in an instant, making each Impro Theatre show unique and unlike any other theatrical experience. Founded as Los Angeles Theatresports in 1988, Impro Theatre has evolved from a successful short form improv troupe into a critically acclaimed improvisational theatre company.  Impro Theatre’s Main Company has received multiple Critics’ Picks  and the Los Angeles Times calls them “Amazing! One of the funniest evenings in town. The troupe spins an entire play into comedy gold right before your eyes.”

JAN 26, 7:30PM (Main Stage)
The Black Version

With Jordan Black, Wayne Brady, Nyima Funk, Daniele Gaither, Phil LaMarr, Karen Maruyama, Gary Anthony Williams and Cedric Yarbrough


An all African-American cast of seasoned improv specialists from the world-famous troupe The Groundlings asks the audience to suggest a popular film title and then performs the "black version" of that movie. And with experienced and talented performers like Nyima Funk, Daniele Gaither, Phil LaMarr, Gary Anthony Williams, Cedric Yarbrough, and creator Jordan Black in on the fun, audiences are sure to see off-the-cuff comedy at its best. The cast's stellar credits range from "Saturday Night Live" and "Mad TV" to "The Boondocks" and "Reno 911!"

JAN 26, 8PM (Cabaret)
Just For Us, with Keith Lowell Jensen


Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Alex Edelman returns to SF Sketchfest with Just For Us. It’s about sign-language gorillas, Nazis and tribalism, and was the best reviewed show at any major comedy festival this year. Come. In the last year alone, Edelman has performed on Conan, supported Beck and Ricky Gervais, and saw his special, ‘Live at the BBC’ released on Netflix UK. A Boston-native, NYC-dweller, this millennial poster-boy is wise beyond his years, remarkably self-assured, and at the top of his game. He’s still Jewish. Hope that’s OK.

JAN 26, 10:00PM (Main Stage)
Spotlight on "I'm Sorry" with Andrea Savage and more


Join us for this special inside look at the acclaimed TruTV series, "I’m Sorry” with show creator and star Andrea Savage! 

JAN 26, 10:15PM (Cabaret)
CUCK: A Comedy Show

With Eddie Della Siepe, Grant Gordon and Jason Saenz and guests Rosebud Baker, Clare O'Kane, Jesus Trejo and Troy Walker


L.A.'s best stand-ups perform original material then proceed to "have their way" with the jokes of another comic on the same bill, right in front of them. The show has been selling out at UCB Sunset in Los Angeles for over a year, making it a monthly favorite at UCB. Past performers include Reggie Watts, Nikki Glaser, Moshe Kasher, Kyle Kinane, Harland Williams, Laurie Kilmartin, The Lucas Brothers, Aparna Nancherla, Nicole Byer & Garfunkel and Oates.

Later Event: January 20