Comedy: The Spectacular Craptacular

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Pack your barrel of laughs and get ready for the fourth annual SketchFest NYC at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater beginning this week. With 28 groups from across the country—and one from Canada—you can find a little something for the joker in everyone.

Some of the top returning acts are Kurt and Kristen, who just won Australia’s prestigious Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and Summer of Tears, who received the jury prize for best sketch comedy at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. As far as new acts go, SketchFest producer Alex Zalben says he’s excited to introduce Backpack Picnic, who will be making their NYC debut Friday, June 13 at 9 p.m.
A couple other first timers are also joining the festival this year, including four sketch artists who work solely in video, a panel Q&A with the creators of “The Onion News Network” and a live taping of the radio show The Sound of Young America, featuring Jesse Thorn. Also on the schedule is an after party Friday night with the comedian-headed bands Stickerbook and Shayna Ferm & The Upper Decks. Other comedy acts in the festival include Free Love Forum, The Apple Sisters, The Birthday Boys, Elephant Larry and more.

The festival ends with the “Craptacular,” hosted by Rob Lathan and Adira Amram. Zalben said this is when the comedians can pull out their really ridiculous and twisted material for our dirty minds to soak up. He also emphasized the positive feedback of last year’s event and said, “Even though it’s called ‘Craptacular,’ it’s not crappy.” (Linnea Covington)

June 12-14, UCB Theatre, 307 W. 26th St. (betw. 8th & 9th Aves.), 212-366-9176; full schedule at [www.](http://www., $10 for individual shows; $40 nightly pass; $100 full festival pass.

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