Two UC Santa Cruz alumni-- Maya Rudolph (’95, Art) and Jesse Thorn (’03 American Studies)--will be featured performers at the 12th annual SF Sketchfest comedy festival, opening January 24, and running through February 10, at various venues throughout San Francisco.

Rudolph, who spent seven seasons on Saturday Night Live, and recently starred in the hit comedy film, Bridesmaids, will be out front with “Princess,” her Prince cover band, performing two shows on February 8, at Yoshi’s San Francisco.

She’ll also perform live readings from real-life celebrity autobiographies along with comedians Janeane Garafalo and Fred Willard on Feb. 9 and 10 at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre.

Rudolph will additionally participate in SF Sketchfest’s first family-oriented comedy showcase, “Don’t Let the Comedians Do Story Time!” with fellow parent/comics Laraine Newman, Patton Oswalt and Andy Richter at Kanbar Hall at the SF Jewish Community Center. (Note: This one is already sold-out!)

Rudolph is currently working on the film Grown Ups 2, with Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade. It’s scheduled to be released this summer.

A 1995 graduate of UCSC’s Porter College with a B.A. in Art (photography), Rudolph became widely known on SNL for her portrayals of Oprah Winfrey, Whitney Houston, Donatella Versace, and Michelle Obama.



Syndicated radio host and producer Jesse Thorn founded The Sound of Young America in 2000 while he was a student at UC Santa Cruz. When the show was picked up for distribution by Public Radio International, Thorn became the youngest national host in public radio history.

The Sound of Young America became the show Bullseye in 2012.

Thorn and comedian John Hodgman (The Daily Show) will bring a live version of their collaborative podcast Judge John Hodgman to the Punch Line on January 25, where they’ll be joined by musical “guest/expert”  John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats for a special performance.

Thorn will also return solo to the Punch Line the following night to record his Bullseye podcast before a live audience.

Check out Thorn’s web site at maximumfun.org.