It's tempting to become starstruck by the slew of top comedians from around the nation who are gracing our fair city for SF Sketchfest. But let's not forget the locals who make up this bedrock comedy scene throughout the rest of the year.
In addition to the must-see national acts in the festival, dozens of stand-up, sketch, improv, and theater shows will be happening all around the city, featuring the best of our own local comedians. Head outside to just about any part of town through February 10, and check out these local all-stars!
These SF-founded sketch, improv, and theater groups have made the bill:
This improv, sketch, and all-around comedy troupe of S.F. comedians brings a variety show akin to Saturday Night Live meets Funny or Die. See them Thursday, January 31 and Friday, February 8 at 10 p.m. at The Dark Room.
This S.F.-based improv theater and school presents "Your F!#&ed Up Relationship," an improvised comedy inspired by real relationships Thursday, January 31 and Friday, February 8 at 8 p.m. at The Dark Room.
This pro-feminist, "pro-funny" 501(c)3 organization is made up of the funniest women in the Bay Area, of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and orientations. They'll perform Saturday, February 2 at midnight at The Dark Room.
They call themselves a "rip-roaring group of comedians, artists, theater nerds, and improv dorks." They'll perform with Taste Better Wit, 3 Woman 1 Woman Show, and host Jeff Wattenhofer Saturday, February 9 at midnight at The Dark Room.
This long-standing local troupe fuses slapstick, multimedia, satire, monologue, and live music to present a wacky and wildly-entertaining show. They'll perform their annual "Best In Show" Show for Sketchfest, which features their top sketches from past years, Monday, January 28 at 8 p.m. at Eureka Theatre.
Many regular, locally produced shows will take advantage of the onslaught of stars and feature top national talent this time of year:
Nato Green's popular Iron Comic stand-up competition runs an "All-Star" event Saturday, February 9 at 10:30 p.m. at Cobb's Comedy Club, pinning Maria Bamford, Michael Ian Black, Andy Kindler, Natasha Leggero, and Michael Showalter against one another to see who can write the best routine from topics assigned on the spot.
The weekly showcase The Business & Friends welcomes Pete Holmes and Eddie Pepitone along with the cast of Business regulars Saturday, February 2 at 11:45 p.m. at Punch Line Comedy Club and Wednesday, February 6 for their regular 8 p.m. show at The Dark Room.
You can catch local up-and-comers Dave Thomason, Mary Van Note, Keith Lowell Jensen, and Kaseem Bentley alongside national headliners at SF Sketchfest Comedy NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences Thursday, January 31 beginning at 6 p.m., with several shows running throughout the evening until 10 p.m.
Joe Klocek hosts his regular Sunday night storytelling show, Previously Secret Information, this Sunday, January 27 at 8pm at Stage Werx. Featuring comedienne Dhaya Lakshminarayanan and SF Weekly's own Anna Pulley!
On the flip side, many nationally renowned shows will feature our local talent for the fest:
Saturday, January 26 at 11:45 p.m. at Punch Line Comedy Club, comedian Bryan Cook brings his L.A.-based Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, challenging locals Jesse Elias, Caitlin Gill, and Sean Keane to write and perform erotic fan fiction pieces along with Brooklyn's Kate Berlant, Portland's Ian Karmel, Derek Sheen, Dan St. Germain, and Nick Thune.
Pete Holmes returns to Cobb's Comedy Club with his You Made It Weird Podcast, Saturday, February 2 at 1 p.m., chatting with The Business's Chris Thayer, recent S.F.-to-N.Y. transplant Mike Drucker, YMIW regular Kumail Nanjiani, Rick Overton, and Sara Benincasa.
Guy Branum's Talk Show: The Game Show will challenge S.F.'s Moshe Kasher, Casey Ley, and Kevin O'Shea to win prizes by being amusing, along with DJ Douggpound, Arden Myrin, and April Richardson Saturday, February 9 at 8 p.m. at The Dark Room.
S.F.-turned-N.Y. comic Janine Brito will be featured as part of the Sketchfest Dozen at Punch Line Comedy Club Friday February 9 at 10:15 p.m. and Saturday, February 9 at 7 p.m.
In addition to these, dozens of local stand-ups will appear in Rooftop Comedy and SF Sketchfest Stand-Up Showcases throughout the fest.
Awkward Silence is a weekly column covering local stand-up comedy in San Francisco.