SF Sketchfest: Day Nine – An Evening with Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver

I earned my Loyalty Passes (check in on Foursquare three times!) to Cobb’s Comedy Club with my last Sketchfest show for 2012, An Evening with Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant and Kerri Kenney-Silver. My friend, A, got to attend her one and only Sketchfest show with me and we ended up getting the same seats in the front row we had last year when we saw Neil Patrick Harris in conversation with Brian Henson. Though I was not filled with the same childhood excitement as with the Muppets experience, it was still great to have prime seats for my last show of the year.

I ended up overestimating the crowd that would be waiting for this show (last year, every show at Cobb’s had a HUGE line way ahead of time), so forty-five minutes before doors, I was still the first person in line. While I waited for A, I played with my phone (SO much nicer to have a smartphone for just an occasion such as this). About quarter after six, I noticed a woman in skinny jeans and heels exit the club and realized that it was Kerri Kenney-Silver! She was joined by (I assume) her husband, and soon after Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon (with his child) and Matt Mira and various spouses joined her. The woman behind me in line was less than cool about the sighting (never comment about a celebrity’s child – it will creep them out, no matter how complimentary you are being), but it was a nice perk to get to see them all head off to dinner before the show. Tom later tweeted that they went to Tommaso’s (note to self: if it’s good enough for Tom Lennon, you should try it!) I was also surprised to see Matt Mira was hosting, since I’d only seen/heard him with the Nerdist guys. But I know that he and Tom Lennon are good friends, so it did make sense. Good on him!

Janet Varney (co-creator of SF Sketchfest and current girlfriend of Nerdist, Chris Hardwick) introduced the show by saying that these three had been long-time friends and supporters of the SF Sketchfest. Sketchfest has hosted a Viva Variety reunion, a Reno 911! reunion, etc and this year, they just wanted to have a conversation and keep them in the Sketchfest fold. The show was pretty simple in its execution and that was genius on Sketchfest’s part. Tom, Ben and Kerri brought DVDs of their (mostly) never before seen work – MTV sketches, unaired pilot for Viva Variety, unaired pilot/precursor for Reno 911! – and talked us through each one.

Matt Mira started as a moderator to set up clips, but Tom, Kerri and Ben didn’t really have a need for him. They prefaced every clip by telling us how bad it was (and some of it was bad), but mostly, it was just really funny/weird sketches and characters by these three comedians. The unaired pilot/precursor to Reno 911! was the greatest because it included Niecy Nash, Cedric Yarbrough and Carlos Alazraqui as well. It was MUCH more like COPS than the incarnation of Reno that we got to see, but a lot of the characters were already there.

I bought the tickets on a whim because I enjoyed Reno 911! and the three of them and I’m so glad I did! It was a hilarious show and so awesome to see that archive of exclusive footage!

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