Comedy enthusiasts have to wait until 2014 for the return of SF Sketchfest, but fortunately there's plenty to laugh about in the meantime.
Most comedy fans have already snatched up their tickets to the first-time-ever Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival (Sept. 20) featuring Flight of the Conchords and the return of Dave Chappelle. The diverse lineup is full of big-shots: Kristen Schaal, Al Madrigal, the hilarious Hannibal Buress, Chris D'Elia, and more. Each of these folks would be worth seeing solo, but having them all in one place, along with energetic Brody Stevens hosting local comics on a second stage, is definitely worth the trip to Mountain View's Shoreline Amphitheater.
If you're not prepared to spend $84 for a once-in-a-lifetime comedy lineup, there are plenty of opportunities in the city to spend a couple hours getting your laugh on at a local club. The professionally off-the-wall Maria Bamford graces the stage once again at Cobb's Comedy Club (Oct. 22-23), and if you haven't had the opportunity to follow Ms. Bamford into her weird neurotic world, you shouldn't miss it. Yoshi's in S.F. has a couple of not-to-be-missed shows this fall as well: First, Jabari Davis (Sept. 13), who performs his intelligent, spot-on comedy throughout the Bay Area. And sardonic Kathleen Madigan will be there the next night (Sept. 14) as part of her "Gone Madigan" tour. Don't hold it against her that Jay Leno called her one of America's funniest female comics; she's held her own on stage for 22 years in the business. Punchline Comedy Club has Neal Brennan (Sept. 12-14), co-creator of Chappelle's Show and now part of the team behind Inside Amy Schumer; and the soft-spoken, incomparably funny Ron Funches (Nov. 1-2).
If you're not big on stand-up and prefer a multimedia approach to comedy, you've got one last opportunity this fall to see another type of show: Mystery Science Theater 3000 spin-off Cinematic Titanic, featuring part of the gang (including Joel Hodgson) from the cult favorite movie-riffing show, will be performing for the last time live at the Castro Theatre (Oct. 19). The crew, also featuring Dave "Gruber" Allen, will be screening quasi-classic films The Doll Squad and The Astral Factor and live-riffing on the movies like no other team of professionals can.
And if you want to experience one of the most current, most absurd, and funniest forms that comedy's taking these days, check out Comedy Bang! Bang! Live! at the Palace of Fine Arts (Sept. 29). If you've never seen Scott Aukerman's hit IFC TV show, imagine Mr. Show meets Between Two Ferns with quite a bit of Pee Wee's Playhouse and a lot of brilliant comedy-music and music-comedy from Reggie Watts. The live production also features special guests Paul F. Tompkins and Bob Odenkirk's new sketch group (and maybe-sensation), The Birthday Boys.