The SF Sketchfest will provide us all with our much-needed, nourishing daily value of humor throughout the month of January. Whether you are a true comedy nerd who can't wait to ask the Freaks and Geeks cast about Judd Apatow's radness, or just some schmuck who prefers the comical stylings of Gallagher, this year's Sketchfest has tons of fun in store. Well maybe not so much for Gallagher fans, but if you really like that guy you should sincerely consider suicide. It's probably just as funny. But for those less miserable, here's ten events you shouldn't die before seeing:
The Kids in the Hall
Part One: The SF Sketchfest Tribute: The Kids in the Hall in conversation with Paul Myers. Saturday, January 26
Part Two: The Kids in the Hall in a rare performance. Sunday, January 27
This here's the big one. If you don't understand how legendary this sketch comedy troupe is, then you have no business at all carousing at the Sketchfest events. Attend Part One to see an Inside the Actor's Studio of sorts with the Kids, as they field questions about their craft. Then the funniest crossdressers in history perform both new and old sketches the next day, so expect classic material such as the head crusher, the chicken lady, and French-Canadian prostitute talk.
Upright Citizens Brigade: A.S.S.S.S.C.A.T.
with guest monologist Neil Patrick Harris. Friday, January 25
Only this troupe could come up with sticking pennies up your ass as a form of self-empowerment. Not to mention a monologue from Doogie Howser.
Freaks and Geeks Speak!
Reunion Panel and Q&A. Sunday, January 20
This great, short-lived series would give sway to Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen's recent successes with The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad. It's too bad neither of them will be at the Q&A, but go ahead and pester the rest of the cast with questions about the two, you annoying fanboy.
More picks after the jump...
The legend returns to San Francisco. Sunday, January 13
I don't even need to write a quirky excerpt because the man is legendary. Sahl influenced your favorite comedian, wrote speeches for JFK and was married to a Playboy bunny, son!
John Vanderslice meets Michael Showalter: Music and Comedy. Monday, January 21
Normally, we'd advise against going to a John Vanderslice show, not because we don't like him, but only for the fact he plays in SF every five minutes. But this time his music is paired with Michael Showalter, whose hilarity has been evident through The State, Wet Hot American Summer, Stella, and his recent directorial debut, The Baxter. The unexpected pairing could make for an evening of good music and buffoonery.
RiffTrax Live at the Castro: Plan 9 from Outer Space with Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett from Mystery Science Theater 3000
Cult classic with live commentary. Thursday, January 17
Shitty movies are so much better with some commentary from the MST3Kers. Here's a chance to watch the ultimate end-all-be-all shitty movie, Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space, with a little commentary to boot.
An Evening with Dr. Katz Professional Therapist, and Patients
with Maria Bamford, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn, and more. Friday, January 18
Watch some really great comedians get psychoanalyzed, or just go on flat-out rants. Brian Posehn and Mr. Show's Bob Odenkirk should be funny, but Maria Bamford's therapy session could turn out to be the standout case, as her own comedy act is schizophrenic as fuck.
Comedy Death-Ray: Patton Oswalt, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Doug Benson and hosts The Fun Bunch (Scott Aukerman & BJ Porter). Monday, January 21
You can't go wrong with the Comedians of Comedy. Maria Bamford's multiple personalities run the hilarity gamut, from a disturbing voicemail to her mother left by the baby Jesus, to a sultry rendition of Alicia Keys. Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt's nerd obsessions translate into quick Blade Runner and comic book references and harsh George Lucas jokes. Not to mention Patton Oswalt's KFC Famous Bowl joke is now part of comedy lore.
A Salute to Gene Wilder
Screening of Young Frankenstein, conversation, Q&A and book-signing of the new novel "The Woman Who Wouldn't" with Gene Wilder IN PERSON
Post-Festival Special Event. Wednesday, March 19
It's a shame that this event happens freakin' months from now, but all comedy lovers simply must report to the salute to Gene Wilder. No one can undermine his genius in The Producers, Blazing Saddles, all his movies with Richard Pryor, and Young Frankenstein. Don't pass up a theatrical screening of Young Frankenstein along with a chance to be regaled with anecdotes involving Mel Brooks. Then shake Wilder's hand. Just not the hand he shoots with.
-- Oscar Pascual