Rarely are we spontaneous but the airfare sale on Southwest was too good to pass up. So in Mid-January (mid-cold snap) we booked a flight to someplace warmer than Wisconsin and that place turned out to be San Francisco. One of the main reasons we chose San Fran (besides the mild climate) was because of the SF Sketchfest, a three week celebration of comedy and the weekend we were visiting happened to be opening weekend. Jessica and I are fans of the comedian Paul F. Tompkins (see post from May 2012 of our visit to Minneapolis for more proof) and he happened to be performing at various clubs during the opening weekend of the fest. Immediately after buying plane tickets we bought tickets to his show; Paul F. Tompkins and fiends (real and fake) for the Friday that we arrived. The show was at the Verdi Club, an intimate venue in the city. The show featured sets of stand-up from Paul and his real friends Steve Agee, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Kids in the Hall alum Kevin McDonald. Each comedian had a fifteen minute set and they were all fantastic. The "fake" friends of Paul were characters that he has been performing as for a few years now on various podcasts performances across the country. His impressions of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Garry Marshall and Buddy "Cake Boss" Valastro stole the show. Jessica, myself and the rest of the crowd laughed ourselves silly for the entire performance.
There were many Sketchfest shows that we wanted to see but there was only time (and budget) for one more show. Superego is a sketch comedy podcast that has been producing shows on a monthly basis for three or four years now. The core members of the group are Matt Gourley, Jeremy Carter and Mark McConville. For this live performance they invited Paul F. Tompkins, Colin Hanks, John Hodgman and James Urbaniak to join in the fun. The show consisted of various sketches featuring Superego regulars with the guests sprinkling in their own impromptu characters. The main source of enjoyment for us was watching these very funny people try not only to make the audience laugh but also their fellow performers. This was highlighted by the great John Hodgman tripping and falling (not on purpose) on his way back onto the stage and crawling to the "preacher" that was trying to "heal" him and telling him that his affliction was asthma. After an hour and a half and some sore side muscles the show was over. It was great fun and it made me wish that we could spend more time with these great performers.