There’s nothing funny about a comedy festival canceling in-person shows for two years in a row, but there will be plenty of funny happening when SF Sketchfest finally returns in person Friday, with Fred Armisen, Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo, John Hodgman, and lots more.
The San Francisco born-and-bred comedy festival SF Sketchfest would have celebrated its 20th anniversary in January 2021. But coming off the disaster film that was the year 2020, Sketchfest had to cancel and just do that year’s show as a livestream. We had higher hopes for 2022, but the Omicron variant postponed those performances, and that year’s festival too was fully scrapped. But that twice-delayed 20th anniversary SF Sketchfest is now less than two days away, and SFist can say with reasonable confidence that SF Sketchfest 2023 will be happening, running from Friday, January 20 to Sunday, February 5 at venues all across San Francisco.
2 DAYS TIL SF SKETCHFEST! Catch stellar standup at Killer Lineup (Jan. 20), @JAdomian with @jestom (Jan. 21), @JayJurden & Peter Smith (Jan. 21) + SF Sketchfest Dozens pairs @evermainard & Will Miles (Jan. 20) + @peetguercio & @realnorireed (Jan. 21). Tix: https://t.co/BYU8htoA80 pic.twitter.com/dbyMnypI8p— SF Sketchfest (@SFSketchfest) January 18, 2023
The original SF Sketchfest 2023 announcement dropped in the Chronicle in early December, and at that point the confirmed lineup included a three-night “Comedy for Bass Players” show with Fred Armisen, a Mighty Wind cast reunion (currently sold out, sorry), and a Celebrity Roast of Bruce Campbell with Peaches Christ and Elvira Mistress of the Dark scheduled to do some of the roasting.
3 DAYS TIL SF SKETCHFEST! Highlights from our first week include our “Viva Variety” tribute (1/21), UCB’s ASSSSCAT (1/21), “Avatar: Braving the Elements” (1/22), The Black Version (1/20), and “Hello from the Magic Tavern” (1/21). Tix: https://t.co/BYU8htoA80 pic.twitter.com/Wwm3I4fCoD— SF Sketchfest (@SFSketchfest) January 17, 2023
Lots of other big shows have been announced since! Blockbuster stars added to the bill include Maria Bamford and David Cross, plus tribute shows featuring Cheech and Chong, Laraine Newman, David Alan Grier, and Elliott Gould.
Acclaimed comedian @ihatejoelkim hosts a night of standup with some of the best names in comedy! With @AtsukoComedy, @realnorireed, @jestom, and @irene_tu. Jan. 21 at Great Star Theater. Tickets at https://t.co/BYU8htoA80 #SFSketchfest #20YearsOfSketchfest pic.twitter.com/LfduE4jxVM— SF Sketchfest (@SFSketchfest) December 28, 2022
A whole mess of local favorite SF comics are scheduled too. Just to name a few: Our beloved SF expat Kate Willett returns for three shows, cult-hit local comics like Nato Green and Irene Tu have shows, and sketch comedy troupe Killing My Lobster will be joined by some improv acts.
SF Sketchfest is back, and Janeane Garofalo wishes she could perform every night https://t.co/UinZ59w5Jm— Mercury News (@mercnews) January 13, 2023
Of course, it wouldn’t be Sketchfest without Janeane Garofalo, who has performed at this festival more times than she could count in a recent Bay Area News Group interview. Per the News Group, “Garofalo will be headlining a standup show and participating in events including ‘The 6 Year Anniversary of the 10 Year Anniversary of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival’ (alongside Bobcat Goldthwait, Sarah Vowell, Reggie Watts and others); ‘Stop Joking for 100 Years and Other Requests from My Kid (Stories of Parenting and Childhood)’; ‘Tinder Live with Lane Moore’; and ‘Hound Tall with Moshe Kasher Farewell Show.’”
Garofolo admitted to the News Group that she was just learning in the interview that she’d been added to the “Stop Joking for 100 Years and Other Requests from My Kid” show. “Oh, am I doing that?” she told the News Group. “I don’t have children! I haven’t parented.”
SF Sketchfest runs Friday, January 20 through Sunday, February 5. Schedule and tickets here.
Image: Tommy Lau, SF Sketchfest