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SF Sketchfest 2023: Here are 13 shows not to miss
Ron Eshel/Associated Pressn archives
SF Sketchfest 2023: Here are 13 shows not to miss

SF Sketchfest is always an embarrassment of riches, featuring more dazzling comedy shows than any one person could possibly catch, not least because several of them are often happening at the same time.

Here’s a baker’s dozen of highlights to get you started, but there’s way, way, way more going on than can possibly be listed here, including A-List out-of-town performers, local comedy heroes and more sketch, improv and standup than you can shake your head ruefully at. We’re skipping shows in this roundup that are already sold out.

For the full schedule and tickets, visit

The Black Version: African American comedians from the Groundlings improvise “the Black version” of popular films suggested by the audience. Performers include creator Jordan Black, Karen Maruyama, Cedric Yarbrough (“Reno 911!”) Nyima Funk and Gary Anthony Williams of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and Phil LaMarr and Daniele Gaither of “Mad TV.”

Details: 7:30 and 10 p.m. Jan. 20; Brava Theater Center; $30-$40.

Upright Citizens Brigade — “ASSSSCAT”: UCB’s signature long-form improv show features founders Matt Besser and Ian Roberts alongside guest improvisors such as Tim Meadows of “SNL” and guest monologist Nichole Sakura of “Superstore.”

Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21; Sydney Goldstein Theatre; $35-$55.

Celebrity Autobiography: Enjoy hilarious excerpts from the memoirs of celebs such as Matthew McConaughey and Mariah Carey as performed by an all-star cast of funny people including Beverly D’Angelo, John Michael Higgins, Laraine Newman, Oscar Nunez, Andy Richter, George Wendt and creator Eugene Pack.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27; Cobb’s Comedy Club; $45-$65.

Stop Joking for 100 Years and Other Requests from My Kid: Comedians swap stories about their own childhoods or parenting experiences. Eugene Mirman chats with Janeane Garofalo, Bobcat Goldthwait, Dana Gould, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Baron Vaughn at the early show and Nore Davis, Natasha Leggero, Bobby Tisdale, Reggie Watts and Jenny Yang at the late one.

Details: 7:30 and 10 p.m. Jan. 27; Swedish American Hall; $45.

Futurama vs COVID-3019!: The cast and head writer of TV’s “Futurama” assemble for a live episode reading about a somehow even more horrific pandemic of the future, followed by an audience Q&A.

Details: 1 p.m. Jan. 28; Cobb’s Comedy Club; $45-$65.

SF Sketchfest Tribute: An Evening with Elliott Gould: The Long Goodbye: Silver screen legend Elliott Gould discusses a life in the pictures after a 50th anniversary screening of perhaps the most unusual film adaptation of a Raymond Chandler mystery, Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye” with Gould as detective Philip Marlowe.  Details: 5 p.m. Jan. 28; Castro Theatre; $20-$35.

The SF Sketchfest Roast of Bruce Campbell: The iconic “Evil Dead” star and his iconic chin subjects himself to loving mockery from comedic pals including Cassandra (Elvira) Peterson, Ted Raimi, David Alan Grier, Kevin Pollak, Dana Gould, Dana DeLorenzo and Peaches Christ.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28; Sydney Goldstein Theatre; $35-$55 ($20 streaming).

SF Sketchfest Tribute to Cheech & Chong: Legendary stoner comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong celebrate their 50th anniversary in a conversation moderated by journalist Ben Fong-Torres. The honorees of other tributes this year include David Alan Grier of “In Living Color,” original “Saturday Night Live” cast member Laraine Newman and “The State” spinoff “Viva Variety.”

Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31; Sydney Goldstein Theatre; $45-$65.

Play Date with Puddles, Dave Hill and Steve Agee: The sad clown with the golden voice Puddles Pity Party teams up with other music-comedy double threats Dave Hill (“The King of Miami”) and Steve Agee (“Peacemaker”) to form a strange sort of supergroup.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3; Swedish American Hall; $50.

Bruce and Friend Kevin with Bruce McCulloch and Kevin McDonald: The two “Kids in the Hall” members with “Mc” in their names that aren’t Mark McKinney get up to whatever comedic hijinks they deem right and proper, joined by guitarist and fellow Canadian Allyson Baker (Dirty Ghosts, Red Room Orchestra).

Details: 4 p.m. Feb. 4, 1 p.m. Feb. 5; Gateway Theatre; $30-$40.

Yo, Is This Racist?: “Star Trek: Lower Decks” star Tawny Newsome and “That ’90s Show” writer Andrew Ti answer voicemail questions about micro and macroaggressions in this live version of their podcast, joined by Eugene Cordero (Pillboi on “The Good Place”) and standup comedian Mohanad Elshieky. Details: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4; Cobb’s Comedy Club; $30-$40.

John Hodgman & Adam Savage — Spin-a-Wheel Conversation: The name says it all. Professorial “Daily Show” contributor and expert in all things John Hodgman and insatiably curious “MythBusters” tinkerer Adam Savage have a probably hilarious conversation about whatever topic chance dictates through a spin of the wheel.

Details: 4 p.m. Feb. 5; Great Star Theater; $35-$45.

Riffapalooza: “Mystery Science Theater 3000” veterans Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, J. Elvis Weinstein and Mary Jo Pehl, and Sketchfest cofounder Cole Stratton, unite for improvised live mockery of some movie that almost certainly deserves it. Details: 8 p.m. Feb. 5; Great Star Theater; $35-$45.

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