Now that San Francisco Sketchfest has announced their 2017 line-up, the monster festival is looking more and more like a comedy comic-con. As opposed to traditional, smaller-scale festivals that solely feature sketch groups or stand-ups, the SF Sketchfest is drawing talent from all areas of production and many comedic mediums to form something more impressive than a string of shows.
The 17-day festival boasts more than 200 shows; this is like the world’s fair of comedy. The event pulls from all decades of comedy; there’s a staged reading of The Kids in the Hall’s “Brain Candy”, tributes to Fred Willard and Robert Townsend, anniversary celebrations of incredible classics like “What’s Up, Doc?” and “Noises Off!” as well as so much contemporary content. There’s more recent classics, like a conversation with Abso Lutely-founders and producers of just so many amazing shows Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and a performance of ASSSSCAT with most of the original UCB cast. Then there’s huge-name podcasts like “Star Talk Live with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Eugene Mirman”, “Nerdist Podcast”, “Harmontown” and a ridiculous list of other terrific shows, some up and coming.
The extravaganza has also teamed up with the charity 826 Valencia, an organization that provides free writing tutorship to under-resourced Bay area students. The festival is co-hosted by Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable spoken word entertainment. Consequently, many of Audible’s original comedy series will hold live episodes, including “Hold On with Eugene Mirman,” “The Guest List,” “Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency” and “Fresh Voice of Stand-Up”. For first-time listeners whose interest is piqued by these potential new favorites, all prior episodes are also available on Audible’s app to allow for comedy research in the months leading up.
If you met an alien who had absolutely no prior knowledge of Earthlings and they wanted to know what human comedy is, you could legitimately just bring them to the SF Sketchfest and they would learn so much more than they ever wanted to know about comedy as it currently is and how it became what it is. There’s no way to fully comprehend how much is going on at the Fest other than just reading the whole insane line-up.