Sketchfest show digs deep into past to find the funny 

Returning for their fourth year at the 11th annual SF Sketchfest are the hilarious Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver, making numerous appearances at the two-week event.

On Friday at Cobb’s Comedy Club, the trio hosts an evening focused on the trials and tribulations of working on the small screen. It’s a subject they know plenty about, since beginning in their early 20s on MTV’s hit half-hour sketch comedy show “The State.”

Garant says that the stage show, moderated by Matt Mira, will be “very, very strange.” He and his comrades have been digging around their parents’ basements, he says, to bring fans “weird and rare gems” from the past.

Silver-Kenney’s take is less nostalgic: “Sketchfest has been kind enough to bring us back every year and frankly we’ve run out of shows to do reunions for,” she jokes.

Having dusted off VHS cassettes from giant camcorders, in anticipation of Friday’s event, Kenney-Silver says, “I’m excited to see old, live stage stuff from when we were in college.”

The show will also include more than home videos. The gang is bringing along pilots — failed and otherwise — to share and discuss.

“If you’re a ‘State’ nerd, you’re gonna love footage of ‘You Wrote it, You Watch It’ with Jon Stewart … the original pilot for ‘ Reno 911!’ … and the pilot for ‘Viva Variety,’ which was actually very psychedelic … this got changed,” says Garant.

“Some of the things we’re going to see were not picked up because they weren’t right for the network,” Kenny-Silvers says. “That doesn’t mean the work wasn’t good.”

Jokes, great stories, live commentary, as well as opportunities to ask questions, get answers, be mocked and just laugh and laugh round out the evening’s lineup. The night will be a look into another world — a funnier, television-shaped world — sure to be punctuated with guffaws and knee slapping.


An Evening with Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver

Presented by 11th Annual SF Sketchfest

Where: Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $25
Note: SF Sketchfest events continue at various locations through Feb. 4.

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