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Initial Line Up Announced For 2019 San Francisco Comedy Festival, Tickets On Sale This Sunday

By: Nov. 16, 2018
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Initial Line Up Announced For 2019 San Francisco Comedy Festival, Tickets On Sale This Sunday  Image

SF Sketchfest presented by Audible announces the initial line up for the 18th annual San Francisco Comedy Festival January 10-27, 2019, featuring top comedic talent performing in venues across the city. Audiences can expect another outstanding year of programming and fun as SF Sketchfest will host major comedy stars and the best up-and-coming acts from around the world for non-stop entertainment including sketch, stand-up, alternative comedy, music, improv, films, tributes, live podcasts, storytelling, family shows, workshops, panels and more.

SF Sketchfest is proud to announce that Audible is returning as the official presenting sponsor of the 18th annual festival. Audible is the world's largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken word entertainment. Audible content includes more than 450,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible will be presenting live versions of some of their original comedy products at SF Sketchfest, including "Bad Reception" featuring Mary Holland, Lauren Lapkus, Eric Martin, Jessica McKenna, Justin Michael, Zach Reino and Paul F. Tompkins; "Gustafer Yellowgold LIVE" featuring Morgan Taylor and Mike Phirman; "The Hills of Baldwin" featuring Jordan Black, Nyima Funk, Daniele Gaither, Phil LaMarr, Gary Anthony Williams, Cedric Yarbrough and special guest Wayne Brady; "The Indignities of Being a Woman," with Merrill Markoe and Megan Koester with special guest Laraine Newman; and "The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe" featuring Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, Andy Richter, Eliza Skinner, Paul F. Tompkins and Janet Varney. These Audible Originals and many other exclusive titles - from David Spade's "A Polaroid Guy in a Snapchat World" to "Hi, Bob!" featuring Bob Newhart in conversation with some of his famous friends such as Sarah Silverman, Will Ferrell and Conan O'Brien -are available exclusively on Audible, along with a wide range of world-class audio programming. In recent months, Audible introduced the Originals Member Benefit, through which Audible members can choose two Audible Original productions for free in addition to their monthly credit. For more visit

The 2019 SF Sketchfest features live in-person Tributes to some of the most influential names in comedy including comedy legend Carol Burnett; "Best In Show" 20th Anniversary Reunion & Screening with Ed Begley, Jr., Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard and producer Karen Murphy; "Superstore" with America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom, Nico Santos and creator Justin Spitzer; trailblazing comedian, activist and former Bay Area resident Margaret Cho; current Bay Area comedian and CNN host W. Kamau Bell in conversation with Hari Kondabolu; "Difficult People" co-creator and star Julie Klausner; and a Salute to Bill Plympton with Films, Live Drawing and Q&A. Local drag superstar Peaches Christ will be roasted in honor of her 45th birthday by an all-star dais of luminaries including Clea Duvall, Heklina, Jinkx Monsoon, Coco Peru, Mink Stole and more special guests to be announced.

New for 2019 is the debut of SF Sketchfest at The Speakeasy: An Immersive Comedy Experience offering six shows in a groundbreaking format within this one-of-a-kind venue, which recreates a Prohibition Era club with disguised entrances, secret passageways, two bars, a casino, and a two-story cabaret. SF Sketchfest will activate spaces throughout The Speakeasy venue, where audiences will be free to roam and take in performances in every area for an intimate and interactive comedy experience. From sitting barside and catching an informal set from your favorite comic, getting pulled into a small room for an impromptu mini-performance, eavesdropping on comics behind a two-way mirror, or catching a headliner on the cabaret's mainstage, this is an immersive comedy experience like no other. Performers include Michael Ian Black, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo & Jen Kirkman, Dana Gould, John Hodgman & Paul F. Tompkins, Improv All-Stars with Scott Adsit & Tami Sagher, and more.

SF Sketchfest will honor iconic comedy feature films and their stars with "Evil Dead II" with Bruce Campbell and "Local Hero" with Peter Riegert. Other cinematic events include RiffTrax Day of the Shorts and The Mads are Back, featuring some of the stars from the original "Mystery Science Theater 3000;" The Benson Movie Interruption of "Fifty Shades Freed" with Doug Benson and friends; On Cinema with Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington; and Found Footage Festival vs. Everything Is Terrible!

SF Sketchfest celebrates the best in television comedy with Schitt's Creek: Up Close & Personal; spotlights on two of truTV's best shows, "Jon Glaser Loves Gear" with Jon Glaser and John Hodgman and on "I'm Sorry" with Andrea Savage; and the returning favorite "Futurama" Live.

Musical highlights include Wajatta with Reggie Watts and John Tejada with guests Galen & Solar from Sunset Sound System; The Milk Carton Kids & Friends Variety Show; Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt; Matteo Lane in Streisand at the Bon Soir; Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm and "Friends;" Jon Daly Kills It; and local ensemble The Red Room Orchestra recreating the soundtrack of "The Big Lebowski" live and taking a deeper dive into the music of "Twin Peaks" with an all-star band under the direction of bandleader Marc Capelle.

Returning festival favorites include the hit podcast Judge John Hodgman; the Upright Citizens Brigade ASSSSCAT with Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh and more; a special night of comedy at the California Academy of Sciences; Selected Shorts: Too Hot for Radio with guest readers Hope Davis, John Cameron Mitchell and host Aparna Nancherla; Celebrity Autobiography, celebrating its 11th consecutive year at SF Sketchfest with Ed Begley, Jr., Jennifer Coolidge, Rachel Dratch, Michael McKean and Laraine Newman; and Fake TED Talks with Jonathan Coulton, Jean Grae, Justin McElroy, Sydnee McElroy, Paul & Storm and Adam Savage. The festival returns once more for SF Sketchfest NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences featuring Jon Glaser, Sawbones with Justin & Sydnee McElroy, Omnibus with Ken Jennings & John Roderick, and more.

Improv shows include a special first look at Madison Wells Media's new improv sci-fi adventure Voyage to the Stars with Steve Berg, Felicia Day and more, SpontTourCo with Paul F. Tompkins, Eugene Cordero, Eban Schletter and more; The Improvised Shakespeare Company; Workjuice Improv with Craig Cackowski, Marc Gagliardi, Marc Evan Jackson, Hal Lublin, Annie Savage, Paul F. Tompkins, Janet Varney and guest monologist Busy Philipps; Wild Horses with Stephanie Allynne, Mary Holland, Lauren Lapkus and Erin Whitehead; members of The Groundlings in The Gale and Cookin' with GAS; Speechless; The Black Version; Super Married with John Ross Bowie and Jamie Denbo; Theme Park with Rachel Dratch, Simon Helberg, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Jessica Makinson, Oscar Nunez, Cole Stratton, Janet Varney and guest monologist Tony Hale. The craft of sketch comedy is represented by BriTANick; The Groundlings: The Best of Sketch; original first year SF Sketchfest returnees Please Leave the Bronx; Bay Area collective Killing My Lobster; Gabriel Gundacker, creator of the viral hit "Zendaya is Meechie," and much, much more.

Audiences may attend live recordings of popular podcasts including Stuff You Should Know with Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant; The West Wing Weekly with Joshua Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway; This Might Get Weird with Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart; Jordan, Jesse, Go!; We're No Doctors with Steve Agee and Busy Philipps; The Allusionist; Doughboys; Dumb People Town with The Sklar Brothers and Dan Van Kirk; Oh No, Ross and Carrie!; the narrative sci-fi comedy series Bubble with Cristela Alonzo, Alison Becker, Jonathan Coulton, Mike Mitchell, Jordan Morris, Keith Powell, and Eliza Skinner, and many more.

The SF Sketchfest Dozen, a yearly spotlight on twelve top comedians, this year features Emmy Blotnick, Byron Bowers, Nore Davis, Jo Firestone, Caitlin Gill, Zainab Johnson, Dwayne Kennedy, Langston Kerman, Matteo Lane, Jacqueline Novak, Max Silvestri and Kate Willett.

SF Sketchfest hosts many of the current up-and-coming headlining stand-up comedians from around the country including the variety shows Big Terrific with Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman & Max Silvestri; Butterboy with Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla; Joel Kim Booster's Joy F*ck Club; Reductress Presents Haha...WOW!; The Daily Show Writers Stand-Up; Asian AF with Will Choi; Filipino AF; The 420 Show with Matt Besser; plus stand-up appearances by Todd Barry, Guy Branum, Sean Cullen, Will Durst, Naomi Ekperigin, Danny Franzese, Jena Friedman, Sabrina Jalees, Moshe Kasher, Jackie Kashian, Martha Kelly, Jamie Kennedy, Laurie Kilmartin, Andy Kindler, Natasha Leggero, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Nico Santos, Alice Wetterlund, Lizz Winstead, Sasheer Zamata and more. International stand-ups will be featured in a handful of Best of Edinburgh Spotlight Series showcases featuring Wil Anderson, Alex Edelman, Matt Kirshen, Natalie Palamides and more.

The diverse programming of the festival is reflected with family shows with Story Pirates and The Groundlings Children's Show; live theater including the West Coast premiere of Peaches Christ and Varla Jean Merman's "THE WHINING," a drag parody of the Stephen King classic; viral YouTube star Manon Mathews; storytelling by Porchlight hosted by Beth Lisick & Arline Klatte and RISK! with Kevin Allison; and lively game shows and debates: Brew HaHa: The Comedy Drinking Game Show; Iron Comic with Moshe Kasher and Nato Green; s Arcade with Mike Drucker; and Uptown Showdown Debate: The Future vs The Past, with Greg Behrendt, Michael Ian Black, Andrea Savage and more. Experienced or neophyte comics can hone their skills participating in workshops including sessions on producing original audio content for Audible, Kevin McDonald's Improv and Sketch Workshop, Reductress' Satire Writing Workshop, WOW Your Crowd Workshop with Kevin Allison, How to Improvise Like a Married Couple with Craig and Carla Cackowski, and Character Workshop with The Groundlings Alum Brian Palermo.

SF Sketchfest once again has teamed up with 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization that provides free writing, tutoring and publishing programs to under-resourced students in San Francisco. Founded by educator Ninive Calegari and author Dave Eggers, 826 Valencia comprises two writing centers--a flagship location in the Mission District and a new center in the Tenderloin neighborhood--and three satellite classrooms in Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, Everett Middle School and Mission School. This year 826 Valencia will be celebrating its 17th anniversary and, as part of the official festival program, SF Sketchfest will host the show Worst First Chapter as a benefit show.

The festival will also be staging a fundraiser for Bay Area comedian Mikey Walz, who learned back in October that he has cancer. On Halloween, in order to remove the soft tissue cancer in his left leg and save his life, Mikey had it amputated. Sudden Pirate: A Comedy Show Benefit for Mikey Walz will feature Mikey's closest comedy friends doing stand-up, along with a closing set by Mikey himself.

Find the SF Sketchfest 2019 schedule at
Lineups are subject to change.

All shows are ticketed separately and go on sale at 10am PT / 1pm ET on Sunday, November 18 at

Tributes + Special Events

Cinema + Television

  • The Benson Movie Interruption: "Fifty Shades Freed" with Doug Benson & Friends
  • Found Footage Festival vs. Everything Is Terrible!
  • "Futurama" Live with David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, David Herman, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, Tress MacNeille, Lee Supercinski and Billy West
  • "Local Hero" screening with special guest Peter Riegert
  • The MADs Are Back with Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu
  • On Cinema with Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington
  • Outtake-o-rama: Famous Celebrity Outtakes with the voice talents of "Futurama" with John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Billy West and David X. Cohen
  • Riffer's Delight with Kaseem Bentley, Nato Green and Natasha Muse: "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
  • RiffTrax Day of the Shorts with Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Bridget Nelson, Mary Jo Pehl, Cole Stratton, Paul F. Tompkins and Janet Varney
  • Schitt's Creek: Up Close & Personal
  • Spotlight on "I'm Sorry" with Andrea Savage
  • Spotlight on "Jon Glaser Loves Gear" with Jon Glaser and John Hodgman
  • Totally Looped with Joe Liss, Jessica Makinson, Laraine Newman, Oscar Nunez, Rick Overton, Cole Stratton & Vince Waldron


Live Reads + Theater

Music + Comedy

  • Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt
  • Don't Stop or We'll Die / The Sloppy Boys
  • Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm and "Friends"
  • Jon Daly Kills It
  • Matteo Lane: Streisand at the Bon Soir
  • Mike Phirman
  • The Milk Carton Kids & Friends with Andy Kindler and more
  • The Red Room Orchestra play the music of "The Big Lebowski"
  • The Red Room Orchestra play the music of "Twin Peaks" Vol. 2: A deeper dive into the musical world of David Lynch
  • Skinner Alive with Eliza Skinner and Sam Johnides

Podcasts + Talk Shows

Sketch Comedy

  • The Birthday Boys
  • BriTANick
  • Gabriel Gundacker ("Zendaya is Meechie")
  • The Groundlings Mix Tape: Best of Sketch
  • Killing My Lobster
  • Please Leave The Bronx
  • White Women

Stand-Up + Variety

  • Alex Edelman: Just For Us
  • Asian AF with Will Choi
  • Bad Asians with Imran G, David Nguyen and more
  • Best of Edinburgh International Spotlight Series: Alex Edelman, Matt Kirshen, John Hastings, Clara Bijl, Chris Turner and more
  • Best of Edinburgh International Spotlight Series: Wil Anderson, with Jena Friedman
  • Best of Edinburgh Spotlight: Natalie Palamides: Nate
  • Best of Sacramento: JR De Guzman, Kiry Shabazz, Ngaio Bealum
  • Brandon Wardell & Friends
  • Butterboy with Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla
  • Charla Lauriston: Live Album Taping
  • The Daily Show Writers Stand-Up
  • Danny Franzese and the House of Glen CoCo
  • Donde esta mi COMEDY? with Baruch Porras Hernandez
  • Facial Recognition Comedy: A Desi Woman Stand-up Show
  • Filipino AF
  • The 420 Show with Matt Besser
  • Harmon Leon Infiltrates Trump's America
  • Jamie Kennedy
  • Joel Kim Booster's Joy F*ck Club
  • Joyelle Nicole Johnson / Charla Lauriston / Maggie Maye
  • Late Late Breakfast
  • Lizz Winstead / Laurie Kilmartin
  • Man Haters with Ash Fisher and Irene Tu and more
  • Manon Mathews
  • Martha Kelly / Mary Lynn Rajskub
  • Natasha Leggero & Moshe Kasher: The Endless Honeymoon
  • Nico Santos from "Crazy Rich Asians"
  • Reductress Presents Haha...WOW! with Naomi Ekperigin, Jena Friedman and Sabrina Jalees
  • Resistance is Fertile with Nicole Calasich and more
  • Sasheer Zamata Party Time!
  • Set List: Stand-Up Without a Net
  • The SF Sketchfest Dozen: Emmy Blotnick, Byron Bowers, Nore Davis, Jo Firestone, Caitlin Gill, Zainab Johnson, Dwayne Kennedy, Langston Kerman, Matteo Lane, Jacqueline Novak, Max Silvestri, Kate Willett
  • SF Sketchfest Threesome with Alex Koll, Amy Miller and Clare O'Kane
  • SF Sketchfest Threesome with Guy Branum, Sean Cullen and Alice Wetterlund
  • The Sklar Brothers with Dan Van Kirk
  • Todd Barry: The Crowd Work Tour
  • Vintage Basement with Max & Nicky
  • Will Durst & Friends: Trump Year Three


  • Porchlight, a storytelling series with Beth Lisick & Arline Klatte
  • RISK! with Kevin Allison
  • The End of the World with Josh Clark, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Humanity

Debates + Game Shows

  • Brew HaHa: The Comedy Drinking Game Show
  • Iron Comic with Moshe Kasher & Nato Green
  • Playing Games with Jimmy Pardo
  • Quiz-o-Tron with Rebecca Watson
  • s Arcade with Mike Drucker
  • Uptown Showdown Debate: The Future vs The Past, with Greg Behrendt, Michael Ian Black, Andrea Savage and more

Family Shows

  • Story Pirates
  • The Groundlings Children's Show


  • Reductress Satire Writing Workshop
  • Storytelling Skills: WOW Your Crowd Workshop with Kevin Allison
  • Character Workshop with Groundlings Alum Brian Palermo
    How To Improvise Like a Married Couple with Craig and Carla Cackowski

Showcases for Emerging Stand-Up, Sketch, Solo and Improv Performers

Abhay, Adam Quesnell, Alex Falcone, Alex Price, Alexandria Love, Allison Mick, Alyssa Westerlund, Amy Estes, Amy Miller, Andie Main, Andrew Holmgren, Andrew Michaan, Andrew Orolfo, Andy Rider, Annick Adelle, Anthony K, Arjun Banerjee, The Art Critique Stand Up Show, Arthur Gaus, Atsuko Okatsuka, Aviva Siegel, Back Alley Racket Club, The Ballroom, Barbara Gray, Basement Party, Bear Supply, Becky Braunstein, Ben Harkins, Ben Kolina, Bethany Van Delft, Billy Anderson, Blair Socci, Brian Bahe, Brooke Heinichen, Bryan Babylon, Butch Escobar, Butt, Caitlin Peluffo, CAMDONyes, Caleb Lush, Capital PUNishment, Cardinal Redbird is So LA, Carly Ballerini, Carter Anderson, Chad Opitz, Charles, Chase Brockett, Chris Conatser, Chris Estrada, Chris Gordon, Chris Sandiford, Chris Turner, Claptrap, Clara Bijl, Clare O'Kane, Clay Newman, Clinton Ware, Cobranauts, Comedy Baseball, The Comic Thread, Conor Kellicut, Corina Lucas, Cory Robinson, The Crazy Str8s present: Focus Group Improv, CUCK: A Comedy Show, Dalia Malek, Dammit Carol!, Dan Kapr, Dan Linley, Daniel Humbarger, Danielle Perez, Dauood Naimyar, David Nguyen, David Nihill, David Roth, Day Job, Daytime Talk at Night, The Deadbeat Improv Party, Death Hammer, Deep Night with Dale, Devon Walker, Dewayne Perkins, DJ Real, Dominique Gellin, Donnie Sengstack, Don't Watch This Show Live, The Doubleclicks, Drew Harmon, Dro Knows, The Drunk Theater Company, Dylan Jenkins, Eddie Della Siepe, The El-Salomons (Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini), Eloisa Bravo, Emily Catalano, Emily Van Dyke, Emma Haney, ESC, The Everything Report, Feel Woods, Femmebot PhD, Fizaa Dosani, Florentina Tanase, The Fork! presented by Little Gem, Francesca Fiorentini, Gabby Poccia, Gary Hughes, The Geek Show, Geneva Rust-Orta, The Get Brown, G.O.A.T.$, Good Hombres, Grace Thomas, Granny Cart Gangstas, Grant Gordon, The Great Difficulties, Hail to the Queen, Hanna Evensen, Hannah Einbinder, Hayden Greif-Neill, Hayley Benham-Archdeacon, Hoodo Hersei, Hope This Helps, Human Amusements, I Think I'd Be Good At That, Imran G, Irene Tu, J.A.D.E., Janesh Rahlan, Jason Mack, Jason Saenz, Jazmyn W., Jennifer Dronsky, Jennifer Jolly, Jesse Hett, Jesus Trejo, Jesus U Bettawork, JoAnn Schinderle, Joe Kwaczala, Joe Nguyen, Joey Avery, John Hastings, Jordan Thewlis, JR De Guzman, JV presents #ThrowbackFriday, Jules Posner, Julia Shiplett, Julie Ash, Kazu Kusano, Keith Lowell Jensen, Kelly McCarron, Kevin Camia, Kevin O'Shea, Kevin Whittinghill, Kid Cactus, Kids These Days, Kiry Shabazz, Krista Fatka, Lady Garden, Land Smith-Abbinante, The Laser Comedy Show, Liss n' Sams, Living Impaired, Local Honey presents Real Honeys of SF, Luxury Cruise Singles Mixer, Lydia Popovich, Lynn Stein, Man Haters, Maria Wojciechowski, Mark Smalls, Matt LeGrande, Matt Lieb, Merrill Davis, Michael Foulk, Mike Lane: One of the Good Ones, Missed Connections, Mission CTRL, Molly Sanchez, Moon Choe, Naptime, Nasser Khan, Nate Craig, Nate Follen, Neel Nanda, The Next Big Thing with Courtney & Dara, Nicole Calasich, Nicole Conlan, Nick Sahoya, Nipsey, Nori Reed, Normal Show, Opey, Paco Romane, Paige Weldon, Pallavi Gunalan, Paul Conyers, Pedro Gonzalez, Please Leave the Bronx, Princess Party, Priyanka Wali, "Queer and Now" from Martini Ranch, redDoor, Richard Sarvate, Ronn Vigh, Rosebud Baker, Ruby Gill, Ryan Sudhakaran, Salma Zaky, Samantha Gilweit, Sara DeForest, Sara June, Scott Vermeire, Sean, Secret Family, Shanti Charan, Somebody's Baby, Spanish Aqui Presents, Spunky Moms, Stef Dag, Steve Ausburne, Stuart Thompson, Sup Doc, "Swipe Right" from the Unscripted Theater Company, Sureni Weerasekera, Talkies, Tanael Joachim, The Templeton Philharmonic, Torio Van Grol, Traumatized with Erin and Jason, The Trifecta, Troubled Comedy, Troy Walker, TSTMRKT, Valerie Vernale, Very Famous, Wake Up Wyoming!, Walker Glenn, Wanjiko Eke, The Westside Sketch Co., Wendy Wroblewski, Whitney Chitwood, William Williams, Yogi Paliwal, Your fed Up Relationship, Zach Noe Towers, Zahra Ali and Zorba Jevon Hughes


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