SFGATE -- In 2002, sketch comedy was having a moment in San Francisco. The city contained an inordinate number of exceptional local sketch comics, touting then-relative unknowns like W. Kamau Bell and Al Madrigal.
And all of that talent collectively faced one issue: Good venues were hard to find.
Cole Stratton was one such sketch comedian. He, a couple of buddies from his time at San Francisco State (Janet Varney and David Owen — both in their early 20s) and Gabriel Diani made up one of those groups, called Totally False People. By 2002, they’d come into their own while performing together for a couple years, but had trouble finding stages that would host them.
So they rented out their own for the very first San Francisco Sketchfest.