SF Sketchfest brings together amazing comics in from all over the U.S., but the best news is we also get a couple of locally-grown superstars this weekend at the Punch Line when Brent Weinbach and Moshe Kasher take the stage (Thursday 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. joined by comedian Josh Fadem). Both Weinbach and Kasher got their start in the Bay Area and have since become award-winning comics whose careers have reached critical tipping-points. We were lucky enough to grab these two for Q & As about their funny profession--below is Weinbach's interview.
Weinbach was a finalist in the 2008 San Francisco International Comedy Competition, performed at the Montreal "Just For Laughs" festival, and won the Andy Kaufman award for originality in 2007.
When did you start your comedy career?
When I was three years old. I wrote a song and the lyrics contained only the words "poo poo pee pee and caca." Basically my material hasn't changed much since then.
I grew up in Hollywood, but I was based in San Francisco for 12 years.
What was great about doing comedy in the San Francisco area?
It's a really supportive scene and lots of good, fresh energy was around when I started. Everybody was just really good. It was a city that seemed really open to people that were different and trying new things in comedy.
Are you excited about performing at the Punch Line?
I remember the first time I went up at The Punch Line years ago. It was a Sunday night showcase on a holiday weekend, so it was pretty packed. I was good and it felt great to be well-received by the audience. It's sort of a big deal to perform at the Punch Line when you're a new comic, because it takes a long time to get the chance. That night was a big deal. I love the Punch Line. It's like my home club.
Why did you make the move to L.A.?
In 2005, I started making more trips down to Los Angeles. NBC went around the country looking for comedians of diversity -- meaning comedians that are not white. I'm half Filipino. Even though I don't have much material about being Filipino, if there's an opportunity to be half Filipino, then I take advantage of it. It was a nationwide search and they sent the finalist to Los Angeles. Two of the comics got holding deals from NBC and I was one of the two comics picked.