By Emilie Mutert
Paul F. Tompkins is, as his official bio states, a comedian. Besides having a handful of comedy albums, stand-up specials, and stints on Mr. Show with Bob and David and Best Week Ever, he's become internet-famous in the comedy podcast boom era. You'll hear him most often on Comedy Bang Bang! or his own The Pod F. Tompkast in character as one of a handful of his quasi-celebrity alter-egos: rapper and SVU-er Ice-T, cake boss Buddy Valastro, or director Garry Marshall, among others.
Tompkins has stepped outside stand-up, cobbling together comedy and storytelling and old-fashioned variety shows in live performances, web videos, and particularly podcasts, a medium that he says has found its footing and has started to be taken seriously. He's coming to San Francisco from his Los Angeles home base to partake in his at-least-eighth SF Sketchfest. We talked to him about his many projects, following in Adele's musical footprints, and what's worth seeing at this year's festival.