Many of Clusterfest’s headlining acts are happening inside the Bill Graham Civic, unlike previous years. (Leslie Katz/S.F. Examiner)

Amy and Fred chat to open Clusterfest

Three days of fun include comedy, music and ‘activations’

San Francisco’s third Clusterfest got underway late afternoon with Amy Poehler chatting with Fred Armisen in the Bill Graham Civic.

Before a capacity crowd, the two briefly reminsiced about their days on “Saturday Night Live” — and knowing when to leave — as well as musing on myriad topics from Poehler’s costars in her 2019 movie “Wine Country” (“Maya Rudolph seems like a stoner, but she’s not,” “Rachel Dratch would make a very good therapist in real life,” “Ana Gasteyer is a mumbler” and “Paula Pell is fearless”) — to the dubious pursuit of climbing Mount Everest. (“You’re not supposed to.”)

Poehler, 47, said these days, she sees her life as a series of semesters, and that after headlining Clusterfest — The City’s third annual, three-day extravaganza of comedy, music and food in the Civic Center — she’s going to work on her upcoming film adaptation of the young adult novel “Moxie.”

Adamantly, she also offered advice to people who have trouble sleeping: “You’ve gotta get a CPAP machine if you snore,” she said. “It changed my life. I was never getting enough REM sleep.” She said in a scene in “Wine Country,” she used her own personal machine, “just like Bradley Cooper used his own dog in ‘A Star is Born.’”

Typically early to rise and early to bed, she said she was slightly concerned about staying up late for her 10:15 p.m. headlining set.

Also on the bill are Clusterfest’s touted “activations,” where folks can hang out and snap pictures of their favorite pop culture sites. There’s the “Seinfeld” set, “The Office” set, and a sizable “Drunk History” Pub, along with smaller stations showcasing “Atlanta” and the puppets from “Crank Yankers.”

Earlier today, executives Jonathan Mayers of Superfly and Jonas Larsen of Comedy Central described Clusterfest as the only thing of its kind: “It’s a celebration of all things comedy: standup, sketch, improv, podcasts and fandom,” said Mayers.

New this year are headlining acts appearing inside rather than in the outdoor plaza, and an app that allows patrons to reserve seats for sets in some of the venue’s smaller rooms.

Comedy

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