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Monday, January 18, 2016

Dispatches from SF Sketchfest: Nick Kroll, Pete & Pete, Patton Oswalt, and More

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 11:00 AM

click image Boots Riley and Patton Oswalt - PHOTO BY: STEVE AGEE
  • Photo by: Steve Agee
  • Boots Riley and Patton Oswalt

UPDATED, Jan. 19, 1:30 p.m.: 
Unfortunately, Judah Friedlander has canceled his SF Sketchfest appearance.

Dispatches from SF Sketchfest
will run throughout Sketchfest (Jan. 7-23). These recaps and previews are designed to fill you in on what you've missed and let you know what's coming next!

The second weekend of San Francisco Sketchfest started with a throwback, as a large majority of the original cast of Nickelodeon's The Adventures of Pete and Pete reunited at the Marines Memorial Theater on Friday night. Actors Michael C. Maronna (Big Pete Wrigley), Danny Tamberelli (Little Pete Wrigley), Toby Huss (Artie, the Strongest Man in the World), Rick Gomez (Endless Mike), frequent music collaborator Mark Mulcahy, and series creators Chris Viscardi and Will McRobb were joined by special guests Janet Varney, Cole Stratton, Emily Heller, and Matt Braunger for some scene readings from the cult classic show.

Saturday afternoon brought a tribute to comic Patton Oswalt, who was joined in conversation by The Coup's Boots Riley. The two held an incredible conversation at the Marines Memorial Theater that covered everything from the power of hip hop to enact social change to Oswalt's thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Later that night, the Marines Memorial Theater played host to Morzouksnick, the portmanteau given to the collective talents of Nick Kroll (Kroll Show), Jason Mantzoukas (The League), and Seth Morris (Comedy Bang Bang). The three engaged the audience in some impromptu Q&A before improvising scenes based off of the audiences' answers.

  • Photo by @eileenalot


While apologizing for the absence of Alison Fanelli (Ellen), Pete and Pete co-founder Will McRobb explained that she had just had a baby, prompting Toby Huss (Arnie, the Strongest Man in the World) to chime in that unfortunately, she had died in childbirth. His gallows humor was an unexpected delight for the duration of the evening.

Guest reader Matt Braunger gave an inspired reading as the part of Stu, a lovelorn bus driver who almost drives Pete and Pete to their doom during a manic rendition of "If You're Happy and You Know It," complete with hand clapping.

Patton Oswalt and Boots Riley went deep in their conversation together, touching on the difference between making fun of what makes someone human versus joking about their differences, the fear in popular media to acknowledge systematic oppression, and the problematic side of social media. Despite these heavy topics, the crowd regularly erupted in laughter because ... Patton Oswalt. 

Oswalt shared a story of bombing at the now-defunct Holy City Zoo on Fifth and Clement streets, then going across the street to Taiwan, where he assumably ordered wonton soup before tearing out every page in his joke notebook, writing the day's date, and deciding to start fresh as a comic. Now you can go visit Taiwan and sit where Patton Oswalt's career began (and seriously, order the wonton soup). 

Nick Kroll, Jason Mantzoukas, and Seth Morris explained to the sold-out "Morzouksnick" crowd that they knew how important keepsakes were to people attending comedy shows, and then proceeded to toss out Hanes white t-shirts they'd purchased from Target and written "Merch Zouk Nick" on with felt pens backstage. Kroll did eventually successfully throw one up to the balcony. 

Morris started the show by taking the stage as his alter-ego Bob Ducca, an injury-prone, thrice divorced man wearing a neck brace, a foot cast, and bearing many hilarious lists, including "What I Packed for Sketchfest," "Northern Californian Children's Names," and his ever-expanding list of ailments. For a sample of Ducca, check out this clip from the "Comedy Bang Bang" podcast.  

Coming Soon

Found Footage Festival Meets Everything is Terrible!
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 8 p.m., Castro Theatre
If old, weird VHS tapes are your bag, get a double dose of the odd and obscure when the Found Footage Festival teams up with Everything is Terrible! The hallowed grounds of the Castro Theatre will play host to the most bizarre, magical, footage to be found. If you loved Winnebago Man or watch a healthy dose of Adult Swim every night, this is the show for you. 

Maria Bamford with Jackie Kashian and Natasha Muse
Thursday, Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m., Marines Memorial Theater
Simply put, Maria Bamford is one of the best stand-up comics working today. Kudos to Sketchfest for placing her precisely where she belongs: on stage doing her incredible, authentic material. Bamford is joined by feature act Jackie Kashian and host Natasha Muse. Cancel your Thursday plans and be there. 

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About The Author

Zack Ruskin

Zack Ruskin

Zack was born in San Francisco and never found a reason to leave. He has written for Consequence of Sound, The Believer, The Millions, and The Rumpus. He is still in search of a Bort license plate.


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