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Fall Arts 2015: Comedy 

Wednesday, Sep 2 2015
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For a part of the country that takes itself pretty seriously, the Bay Area has a good comedy scene. Months before Sketchfest — the 16-day-long, mid-winter comedy festival — there are tons of standup nights and open mics that feature smart, weird, and socially conscious comics who speak directly to Bay Area sensibilities.

Even people who vowed they'd never again attempt to scale the steep lawn at Mountain View's questionably located Shoreline Amphitheater will risk it when Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer headline the Oddball Comedy Festival (Oct. 17, Launched three years ago, it's already become an institution — and while it initially seemed like a cheesy corporate festival geared toward Googlers who like podcasts, Dave Chappelle's compelling, two-hour performance at the first Oddball gave it cred. Besides Schumer and Ansari, this year you can see favorites like T.J. Miller, Bridget Everett, and John Mulaney.

Bob Odenkirk allegedly claimed that the future of standup and sketch comedy lies in storytelling. One-liners or setup-punchline jokes are giving way to long-form stories with well-toned comedy beats and bigger payoffs. The Nourse Theater seems to have Odenkirk's dictum in mind, as Pop-Up Magazine — the live onstage show — holds its storytelling event there on Oct. 7 (, and NPR darling Sarah Vowell of This American Life chats with Daniel Handler as part of City Arts & Lectures on Oct. 26 (

If you'd rather hear long, embarrassing anecdotes with considerably less polish, the doggerel and juvenilia at any Mortified ( show always inspire laughs. Real people revealing their ghastliest adolescent writing is never not funny, and the Mortified live show swings by DNA Lounge on Sept. 11.

If you haven't moved there already, take BART to Oakland for Hoodslam ( An insane combo of wrestling and comedy, it has three events scheduled at the Oakland Opera House this fall: Fanarchy Rules (Sept. 4), Fuck the Fans VI (Oct. 2) and BLOODSLAM (Oct. 24). Laugh and get blood on you! You won't automaticallybecool if you go, but if you haven't gone, you definitely arenotcool.

Besides that, you can support your local video storeandBay Area comedians if you see Myq Kaplan (from television) perform in the Cynic Cave under Lost Weekend Video in the Mission (Oct. 2, The next day,Oct. 3, brings the Third Annual San Francisco Comedy Crawl (, which local comic Anthony Medina recently announced. It starts with Good Times in the Grotto (at Brainwash Café in SOMA) before moving to Mission bar Il Pirata.

Meanwhile, other big names are coming through town this fall. Gabriel Iglesias stops by the Oracle Arena on his #FluffyBreaksEven tour (Oct. 3), and Cobb's Comedy Club hosts SNL alums Tim Meadows, Norm Macdonald, Jim Breuer, David Alan Grier, and more. The Independent occasionally brings in comedians, and this fall you can see Silcon Valley's Andy Daly (Sept. 8), Cameron Esposito (Nov. 2), and Kurt Braunohler (Nov. 8) on stage there. Punch Line Comedy Club will host a lot of local mainstays, and Doc's Lab — in the iconic former Purple Onion space — hosts touring comedians such as Emmett Montgomery (Sept. 16) and Myq Kaplan (Oct. 1), in addition to the club's regular Monday free comedy night with a rotating cast of local comedy emcees.

Fall Arts 2015

Fall Arts 2015: Art

Fall Arts 2015: Film

Fall Arts 2015: Film Festivals

Fall Arts 2015: Lea DeLaria

Fall Arts 2015: Dance

Fall Arts 2015: Theater

Fall Arts 2015: Television

Fall Arts 2015: Sex

Fall Arts 2015: Weird


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Emilie Mutert


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