Maria Bamford Starts Sketchfest Off With A Bang

Nori Reed opened for the veteran comedian in an evening filled with jokes about sexual role-play and the Bible, among other things.

Maria Bamford pranced backward a step, waved her arm above her head, proclaimed “Gentrification!” in a booming voice, and proceeded to do both sides of a sexy role-play on the subject.

She followed that scene with similar ones about “Living wage!” and “Human Trafficking!” and the audience at the Castro Theater howled.

Last night was a quality start to this year’s SF Sketchfest, the 19th. The evening began with a short set by East Bay-based comedian Nori Reed, whom you may recall is hilarious. Having seen her perform at Outside Lands in August, this set had most of the same material, but that’s fine because it’s a killer set. It’s even better if you’re from the Bay Area, with dunks on Marin moms and PG&E.

Bamford then took the stage for the next hour and absolutely killed. Her energy was infectious as she strode, danced, and shuffled her way across the stage and through an impressive coterie of voices. The set was wide-ranging: She articulated her political stance by relating it to a dog she used to know in a way that I don’t want to spoil if you haven’t heard the joke; she took the audience through all sides of a group therapy session; and she did what was ostensibly a bit about a speaking engagement that nevertheless doubled as solid economic advice.

Bamford’s jokes — or “hot chunks,” as she referred to them — were varied and incredibly funny and I highly recommend seeing her in the near future if you have the chance.

While last night’s tour de force was Bamford’s only scheduled SF Sketchfest appearance, Reed will perform again a few times: Tonight at Cafe du Nord, Saturday morning at Cobb’s Comedy Club, and Saturday night at the Brava Theater Center.

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