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Comedy: Sketchfest performances

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San Francisco’s reputation as a comedy mecca was cemented in the 1970s and 80s with the likes of Woody Allen and Robin Williams testing out material to judgmental, raucous crowds. But after some fallow years in which Chicago, New York and LA (gasp!) took the crown, the city by the Bay has made a solid and steady comeback thanks to a grassroots sketch comedy festival. Now in it’s 17th year, SF Sketchfest has always been a comedy nerd’s dream. Early years included reunions of 90s-era comedy groups The State and Kids in the Hall as well as sit-downs with guests like the famously reclusive (and dearly departed) comedy genius Gene Wilder. Spread around the city in various venues, the star power keeps getting bigger — even as the nerdiness remains. This year’s lineup includes a conversation between director Christopher Guest and Golden Globes all-time emcee Ricky Gervais, separate tributes to Twin Peaks and Animal House with many of the original cast and behind-the-scenes personnel as well as something called Fake TED Talks, which we can’t wait to check out.

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