SF Sketchfest is teeming with all manner of sketch comedy, stand-up, panel discussions, music, movies, tributes and performances over its 18-day run in 17 venues. To help make heads or tails of the 700 performers, here are some of the shows worth hitting. All venues are in San Francisco.StarTalk Live: Bill Nye the Science Guy and Eugene Mirman head this show drawn from the popular “StarTalk” podcast and TV show, with guests Claudia O’Doherty, Ariel Waldman and more. Sketchfest has had a long-running affinity for combining comedy and science, so what better way to kick off the festival than with this nerd-embracing paring? Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12; Curran Theater; $30-$50.
Soundtracks Live — Scenes and Songs from a Classic ’80s Movie: This fundraiser for 826 Valencia features Matt Ballard, Michael Ian Black, Beth Dover, Joe Lo Truglio, Chelsea Peretti, Marisa Ryan, Michael Showalter, Bobby Tisdale and David Wain, with music performed by Amy Miles. The comedic actors re-create memorable movie moments and songs of the Leg Warmer Era to benefit the San Francisco writing center for youth that was co-founded by author Dave Eggers. Details: 4 p.m. Jan. 14; Marines’ Memorial Theatre; $50.
Kids in the Hall — “Brain Candy” Live: The treasured Canadian sketch comedy troupe members Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson reunite for a reading of the script from their 1996 cult classic movie. Details: 7 p.m. Jan. 14; Castro Theatre; San Francisco; $45.
Pop My Culture — the Final Episode: Sketchfest co-founder Cole Stratton records the final episode of his podcast with Vanessa Ragland and guests Paul F. Tompkins, Samm Levine and Rhett Miller. More info on the podcast is at www.popmyculturepodcast.com. Details: 4 p.m. Jan. 15; Eureka Theatre; $20.
A Salute to Peter Bogdanovich: It’s the 45th anniversary of “What’s Up, Doc?” and the 25th anniversary of “Noises Off!,” so director Bogdanovich is presenting a 35mm version of each film. The event, hosted by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks, includes a Q&A session. Details: 7 p.m. Jan. 18; Alamo Drafthouse; $25.
Will Durst and Friends on Inauguration Day — What Now?: Need some tips on surviving the new president? Look no further than Bay Area political comedian Will Durst, who’ll be joined by Nato Green, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan and Brian Malow. Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20; Cobb’s Comedy Club; $22.
Ricky Jay in conversation with Van Dyke Parks: The sleight-of-hand master, author, actor and historian will discuss his life and career with Parks, the legendary musician, composer, producer and arranger. Details: 2 p.m. Jan. 22; Marines’ Memorial Theatre; $30.
“Hollywood Shuffle” 30th Anniversary: Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans reunite for a 30th anniversary screening of their still-all-too-relevant indie film that skewers racial stereotyping in the movies. Expect it to be batty batty! Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24; Alamo Drafthouse; $25.
Bill Irwin & Bill Frisell Perform Songs and Scenes from Vaudeville: Tony-award-winning comedian Irwin pairs with jazz guitarist Frisell to re-create classic American vaudeville scenes and songs. With special guests Geoff Hoyle, the Bay Area actor who teamed with Irwin in Pickle Family Circus in the ’70s, and percussionist Kenny Wollesen. Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27; The Nourse; $35-$75.
The Latino Comedy Project presents “Gentrif*cked”: How perfect is it that the Latino sketch troupe from Austin makes comedy hay out of the subject of gentrification, in an area reeling from this phenomenon? Featuring Bay Area Bay Area comedian and producer Nicole Calasich. Details: 8 and 10:15 p.m. Jan. 27; Brava Theater; $18.