Powerhouse Names like Margaret Cho, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kevin Pollak, Natasha Lyonne, Julie Brown and Kevin McDonald Top the 14th Year of Sketchfest in San Francisco By Kevin M. Thomas

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho

SF Sketchfest celebrates its 14th year in San Francisco with a program of known headliners, up-and-comers and movie and stage plays – all to get to your funny bone with shows at over a dozen San Francisco venues through Feb. 8.

Besides having reunions from TV shows of the past like  “News Radio”, there’s also a panel featuring a comedic discussion with stars of the current comedy “Silicon Valley.” Furthermore,  “Veep” will also peachescheerreceive a tribute with most of the cast on hand, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  Movies also get a comedy ribbing with screenings of “Groundhog Day,” featuring one of its stars Stephen Tobolowsky, “Princess Bride” has a quote-along with special guest Cary Elwes and the Fest also features the premiere of Kevin Pollak’s documentary “Misery Loves Comedy.” Another highlight includes the 30th anniversary screening of “Back to the Future” with Christopher Lloyd on hand.

Perhaps a highlight for the GLBT audience is a screening of the funny “But I’m a Cheerleader,” hosted by Peaches Christ and will feature the movie’s star Natasha Lyonne, who worked with Christ in her film “All About Evil.”  Christ will put her spin on the show and will feature an opening number parodying the film entitled, “But I’m a Drag Queen” and promises an evening of drag queen cheerleaders and dancing lesbians. The movie itself will be a hoot as Lyonne’s character is the victim of a family intervention who sends her to camp to straighten herself out and receives guidance from Cathy Moriarty in an over-the-top performance and from RuPaul….as a man!

Theatre-wise, the awesome “Point Break Live,” which has been making San Franciscans laugh their ass off for months, is doing a special “even sketchier edition” at the festival. This show usually features an audience member recruited to play the Keanu Reeves from the movie with a script girl proving the

"Point Break Live"

“Point Break Live”

lines right on the spot. With so much talent in this show and at the festival, this special edition will likely blow us all away.

Another likely home run will be “The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Musical,” in which comedian Julie Brown has taken her hit single and turned it into a musical about a murderous teenager cheerleader. This has played to great reviews and sold out crowds in Los Angeles and she brings along with her most of the original cast, including the funny Sam Pancake and Drew Droege.

The GLBT audience will also enjoy the live podcast of “Risk!” from out comedian Kevin Allison, who has a panel on hand and on the air will be told to share stories. Quite a “risk” as it may not turn out to be funny. But considering his podcast has 300,000 monthly listeners, he likely knows what he’s doing.

Then there’s the stand-up. Wow. The line –up is unbelievable.  In addition to troupes from Groundlings and the Onion, there will be Kevin McDonald, Margaret Cho and tributes involving Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Penn & Teller.

Many shows sell out so act quickly. To get the full schedule and see the over dozen venues, go to www.sfsketchfest.com.