Winter Arts: Things to Laugh at This Winter

Did you hear? The comedy groundhog saw his shadow. That means that there's going to be six more weeks ­— six more months, even ­— of totally worthwhile comedy shows in San Francisco. Obviously, there's the fantastic two-week event-tacular known as Sketchfest. Beyond that though, there are notable and exciting stand-up tours, interesting comedy conversations and lectures, and recurring local comedy nights that'll make you laugh and feel cool at the same time, which is normally a pretty tough combination to pull off.

SF Sketchfest

Jan. 23-Feb. 9, all over town,

Sketchfest is a wonderful time of year in San Francisco. There are literally too many stand-up shows, podcast tapings, film cast reunion panels, comedy-tinged musical acts, and sketch shows to see during these two weeks. The good news is, no matter your taste in comedy or your work schedule, there's a Sketchfest show for you.

Mike Birbiglia

Jan. 26 & 28, The Palace of Fine Arts,

Birbiglia is a sleepwalker. In fact, he's got one of the funniest sleepwalking stories you've ever heard. It was that story, which is funny but also a little scary and unbelievable, that was documented in his sort-of famous special, Sleepwalk with Me. He'll be performing new material, hilarious stories and self-deprecating jokes, probably, for two nights at the Palace of Fine Arts.

BJ Novak

Feb. 13, The Nourse Theater,

You probably know him as Ryan from The Office or from his minor role in Inglourious Basterds. But did you also know that Novak was a writer and executive producer on The Office? He's a funny writer, not just a funny actor. His new book, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, is already drawing comparisons to the works of David Sedaris, Steve Martin, and George Saunders. His show at the Nourse will be a conversation with Paul Lancour and will give Novak the opportunity to share some of his humorous stories, and other stories.

David Alan Grier

Feb. 27-March 1, Cobb's Comedy Club,

Multi-talented David Alan Grier is coming to town! DAG, beloved star of stage and screen (not to mention amateur food blogger), is bringing his stand-up show to Cobb's. This is a great opportunity to see him — wait for it — in living color.

Chris D'Elia

March 27-29, Cobb's Comedy Club,

One of Variety's "Top Ten Comics to Watch," surprisingly tall Chris D'Elia is on the rise. He's been known to make lots of funny Vines. He has a popular new special, White Male. Black Comic. You may remember him playing the role of Whitney's husband on the sitcom Whitney, which is thankfully canceled. (Don't hold that against him.) Even more thankfully, D'Elia will bring his dynamic stage show to S.F. this spring.

John Hodgman

April 21, The Nourse Theater,

Humorist John Hodgman — he who became famous as a Daily Show "Resident Expert" or as a PC on a Mac commercial, depending on what television you watch — is back in S.F. for another show, but this time it's getting turned up to 11 because he'll be in (probably interesting and possibly mind-blowing) conversation with Mythbuster Adam Savage.

The Business at the Dark Room

Wednesday nights, The Dark Room,

The Business is possibly S.F.'s coolest alternative comedy show. Hosted by local comics such as Bucky Sinister, Caitlin Gill, Sean Keane, and Nato Green, the show will be featured as a part of Sketchfest, but it also happens every week!

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