SF Sketchfest returns with Carol Burnett, ‘Best In Show,’ much more

Best in Show, Sketchfest, SF Sketchfest

The cast of ‘Best In Show’ will be honored at SF Sketchfest 2019.

Producers of SF Sketchfest, the city’s independent comedy and arts festival, have announced the initial lineup for the festival’s 18th run, happening from Jan. 10 to 27 at venues throughout the city. Tickets go on sale Sunday at 10 a.m.

The festival will feature tributes to Carol Burnett, the cast of  Best In Show, TV show Superstore, with America Ferrera, other cast members and creator Justin Spitzer; Margaret Cho; Bay Area comedian and TV host W. Kamau Bell and many more.

SF Sketchfest will again host both well known and up-and-coming acts in sketch and stand-up comedy, music, improv and film. Performances will include tributes, podcast recordings, workshops and more.

New for 2019 is the debut of SF Sketchfest at The Speakeasy: An immersive experience offering six shows in a venue that recreates a Prohibition-era club with disguised entrances, secret passageways, two bars, a casino, and a two-story cabaret. Audiences will be free to roam and take in performances in every area, from sitting barside and catching an informal set to getting pulled into a small room for an impromptu performance, and eavesdropping on comics behind a two-way mirror. Performers include Michael Ian Black, David Cross, Janeane Garofalo and Jen Kirkman, Dana Gould, John Hodgman and Paul F. Tompkins, and Improv All-Stars with Scott Adsit and Tami Sagher.

The festival will also pay tribute to Evil Dead II with Bruce Campbell and Local Hero with Peter Riegert. Musical highlights include Wajatta and Reggie Watts; John Tejada and Galen & Solar from Sunset Sound System, and The Milk Carton Kids. The Red Room Orchestra will return to perform the soundtrack of The Big Lebowski and take a deeper dive into the music of Twin Peaks.

A selected lineup is listed below. Visit sfsketchfest.com for the complete lineup.

Tributes and special events

  • Carol Burnett, in conversation
  • Best In Show 20th Anniversary Reunion & Screening
  • Margaret Cho, in conversation
  • W. Kamau Bell in conversation with Hari Kondabolu
  • Julie Klausner, in conversation
  • Superstore with America Ferrera, Ben Feldman, Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom, Nico Santos and creator Justin Spitzer
  • Who’s Laughing Now: An Evening with Bruce Campbell and Evil Dead II
  • Big Terrific with Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman & Max Silvestri
  • SF Sketchfest at The Speakeasy: Six interactive nights including Dana Gould, Blaine Capatch and Caitlin Gill; David Cross, Janeane Garofalo, Jen Kirkman and Sabrina Jalees; John Hodgman and Paul F. Tompkins; Michael Ian Black, Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas, and Ryan Stout; Improv All-Stars with Scott Adsit & Tami Sagher

Film and television

  • Found Footage Festival vs. Everything Is Terrible!
  • Outtake-o-rama: Famous Celebrity Outtakes with the voice talents of Futurama
  • Riffer’s Delight with Kaseem Bentley, Nato Green and Natasha Muse: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Schitt’s Creek: Up Close & Personal
  • Totally Looped with Joe Liss, Jessica Makinson, Laraine Newman, Oscar Nunez, Rick Overton, Cole Stratton & Vince Waldron


  • The Black Version
  • Facebook Improv with Owen Burke, Chad Carter, Phil Jackson, Seth Morris, Paul Scheer, Charlie Sanders and more
  • The Gale: A Ferociously Queer Night of Improv
  • The Groundlings: Cookin’ with GAS
  • The Improvised Shakespeare Company
  • Theme Park Improv with Rachel Dratch, Simon Helberg, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Jessica Makinson, Oscar Nunez, Cole Stratton, Janet Varney and Tony Hale
  • Upright Citizens Brigade: ASSSSCAT with Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh and more

Live Reads and Theater

  • Celebrity Autobiography with Ed Begley, Jr., Jennifer Coolidge, Rachel Dratch, Michael McKean, Laraine Newman, Eugene Pack, Dayle Reyfel and more
  • Fake TED Talks with Jonathan Coulton, Jean Grae, Justin McElroy, Sydnee McElroy, Paul & Storm and Adam Savage
  • Peaches Christ & Varla Jean Merman in THE WHINING: A drag parody of the Stephen King classic

Music and Comedy

  • 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
  • Asian AF with Will Choi
  • Brandon Wardell
  • Butterboy with Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla
  • Charla Lauriston: Live Album Taping
  • The Daily Show Writers Stand-Up